I have played my fair share of Anomaly: Warzone Earth, on PC, XBLA, and PSN. It's come out for iPhone, iPad, and even Kindle Fire. Anomaly is a weird but awesome mix of real-time strategy and tower offense, meaning you are the attack of already setup defenses. 11 bit studios is back, with simply Anomaly 2. The game was just announced last week!
Anomaly 2 picks up where the first games left off, and the world is in dire straits. The game now takes place across American cities rather than Baghdad or Tokyo, you find yourself dealing with more vicious aliens as they emerge from under the Earth. There's a very nice ramp up to the actual gameplay with the tutorial, which use VR Missions to actually train you, a place seen in the XBLA version. Quickly though, you're pulled from VR Training and thrown into the mix...
Gameplay of the first actual mission, Mission 01:
Control options have improved the PC side of things: WASD is now supported. Anomaly: Warzone Earth was purely mouse-driven. As of now, there isn't any gamepad support, but it is in the menu to eventually be an option. It feels a lot smoother and responsive using the keyboard. It's a bit more precision running about the battlefield to collect power-ups and distract enemy turrets.
As your run around the battlefield, you are live commanding your troops by setting their paths, and often times updating them on-the-fly. Setting a route is as easy as pressing a button or scrolling the mouse wheel. Navigating the world allows you to grab pickups like repairs and decoys. You can deploy these to distract enemy turret fire so your guys can get in massive damage before they notice, or lay down a healing aura to bring your guys back from near-death. Along the way you'll earn currency which can be used to purchase new units, or upgrade existing ones. The money is finite, so choose wisely. But you can sell it, should you make a mistake.
The game comes with a new difficulty to test you, aptly named: Insane. The difficulty translates to tougher enemies, stronger enemies, and a nice score bonus as a reward for challenging yourself. Other difficulties: Casual, Normal, and Hardcore are available, and scale properly. They are exactly what they should be an adequate measures for the challenges that lie ahead.
Anomaly 2 has insane detail and texture quality over its predecessor. It's still a harsh world, but it looks fantastic. Fire and particle effects are a spectacle, like death-inducing fireworks. When everything is set to the max, it still runs at a blistering 60fps. The menu and UI is further improved, making it simpler to navigate missions and in-game features like the tactical map and buying units.
11 bit studios continues to impress as Anomaly 2 is incredibly well done so far. From the announcement to having the press be able to play the game was very short, and extremely welcome. Having hands-on this early shows confidence in the game and not wasting anybody's time. If you haven't played the first Anomaly, it is out for nearly everything - so find it somewhere and play it.
Look forward to more coverage from us on Anomaly 2 soon.