On Thursday morning, 11 bit studios broke its silence about Anomaly 2. This is the title 11 bit studios sold to players before actually telling them what it was they were paying for. While that tactic may be questionable, those who bought in to the hype will be happy to know they’re getting another Anomaly game this year. I played a preview of Anomaly 2 and came away pleased and confused at the same time. 11 bit studios calls this a real-time strategy game with tower offense elements. However, there are no traditional RTS elements. We asked 11 bit studios about this discrepancy and was told the game is not an RTS in the classic sense, and the RTS genre description was actually given to the Anomaly series by the gaming press. With that cleared up, let’s go over how Anomaly 2 is shaping up.
Humanity is just about wiped out in Anomaly 2. The events of the previous two games have ultimately done very little to stop the machines from taking over Earth. The remaining humans have been reduced to scavengers who seek refuge far away from the destroyed cities of yesterday. However, there is one potential weapon that could turn the tide of war. Finding the proper research and the man who can build the weapon was the focus of the preview.
You’re given control of Lieutenant Lynx who directs and aids combat vehicles in his Yukon convoy. Just like in the previous two games, you have to heal damaged units, deploy power-ups and set the route you will take towards objectives. Along the way, enemy towers will emerge from the ground to impede your progress. This is the same tower offense strategy that made Anomaly: Warzone Earth and Anomaly Korea so unique. At the same time, Anomaly 2 is much improved over Anomaly: Warzone Earth. For instance, the basic APC and Crawler units have been replaced with transforming mechs.
The Assault Hound unit for example shoots a constant barrage of bullets in vehicle form, but it wields dual flamethrowers when it’s transformed into a Hell Hound. The Sledge Hammer unit has a powerful long range gun that can move up to 30 degrees, but it can also shoot missiles in all directions in its Rocket Hammer mech form. You can transform units at any time, but their effectiveness depends on the combat situation. Close quarters combat in dense urban areas are best for mechs, whereas wide open areas benefit from the long range capabilities of the weapons in vehicle mode. Speaking of areas, the environments in Anomaly 2 are prettier and more varied than its predecessors. Instead of moving through areas populated with generic buildings most of the time, I trekked through a frozen tundra, made my across across a destroyed highway and even shot my way through a destroyed New York City. And yes, a mostly-destroyed Statue of Liberty did make an appearance.
The navigation tactics were very similar to the previous games. The tactical map lets you choose the path you will take towards your objective. The preview build of Anomaly 2 didn’t introduce any new elements to the tactical menu. It looks a little differently, but the overall functionality hasn’t changed.
Multiplayer was not available in the preview build. When the multiplayer beta begins this March, players will take on the roles of human and machine in tower defense vs. tower offense gameplay. 11 bit studios will also be at PAX to show off Anomaly 2.
Based on my time with this preview build of Anomaly 2, I came to a couple conclusions. I think the RTS description of the game should be dropped. It’s simply implies too much that isn’t there. Secondly, I can tell Anomaly 2 is much improved over Anomaly: Warzone Earth. I like the evolution of units, the greater attention to the storyline through voiceover cutscenes and the visual improvements of the new engine.
Site [11 bit studios]