Anomaly 2 isn’t the real-time strategy game you might be expecting

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11 bit studios announced Anomaly 2 yesterday as a “tower offense RTS” destined for PC, Mac and Linux. When I first read this description, I immediately imagined creating a base, building mechs and harvesting resources for more money. After all, that’s what’s expected in a real-time strategy game. However, Anomaly 2 doesn’t contain traditional RTS features. Simply put, don’t expect this game to play like Command & Conquer or StarCraft.

I played a preview build of Anomaly 2 yesterday. I’m a huge fan of the previous two games, so I couldn’t wait to see the changes 11 bit studios made to the franchise. After playing a couple missions, I realized I wasn’t dealing with the kind of RTS I was expecting. To me, the core gameplay is still mostly tower offense. Something wasn’t right.

Trust in the gaming industry is a little fragile right now after the controversy surrounding Aliens: Colonial Marines. I don’t anyone to buy into Anomaly 2 thinking it’s something it’s not. I also don’t want to imply 11 bit studios is doing anything unscrupulous without hearing from them first. So that’s what I did.

Pawel Miechowski, the senior writer at 11 bit studios, responded to my concerns about Anomaly 2 being described as an RTS, but not necessarily playing like one.

“It’s an RTS as opposite tu turn base strategies,” Miechowski said. “You have tactical map, it’s all in real time, you have squad management, resources management. It doesn’t have base building. So this is in my view the tower offense RTS. The game’s gameplay formula is pretty original but actually the RTS name was not coming from me. The first Anomaly Warzone Earth was called this way by Rock Paper Shotgun journalists. I just adapted it to Anomaly 2.”

“The “tower-attack” or “tower-offense” doesn’t also explain the whole idea, and it is not also classic RTS. Mixing genres is hard.”

That response lets me know exactly where 11 bit studios is coming from. This is the kind of transparency we need in an industry where everyone is suspicious of everyone else.

We’ll have a full preview of Anomaly 2 later today. Want a quick teaser? My first impressions of the game are positive. Based on what I played, I think you’ll like it.

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