Anomaly 2 had the potential to be a fantastic sequel, but it became “only” a creative evolution of the first, with an intriguing multiplayer mode at the foreground. The creation of the Polish 11 bit studios leaves you disappointed with a simplistic narrative, lousy acting, and a short single-player campaign. The potential was far larger.
Since the initial half of the game, not much has changed. Aliens attacked Earth in the near future, in 2018. Nothing looks the same after that. The world is in ruins, mankind is on the verge of extinction, cities have been abandoned, and motionless, mechanical animals lurk at every turn. The survivors travel the earth in convoys in quest of food and a way out of their bleak position. Yukon is the name of one of the armored caravans, and we are the commander named Jynx. We make our way across the chilly United States, tropical Brazil, and ultimately land in the center of the Anomaly itself, literally at the edge of the planet, following the orders of the sergeants, scientists, and our own conscience. Typically, our mission is to go from one end of the map to the other, destroy enemy structures, and safeguard our own vehicles. We see the game from an isometric perspective, and as the commander, we decide on the convoy’s makeup and the routes it will take.
While our mechs, tanks, and helicopters attempt to break through the concrete jungle teeming with metallic aliens, we continually shape the course of events. We pause the game, switch to the neon tactical view, and indicate new pathways here if we determine that our players should take a different route. During skirmishes, the commander can also repair vehicles or interrupt opposing machine operations. And, while Anomaly 2 is a totally strategic game, the recipient must have quick reactions. At any time, our garrison may want assistance, and too many adversaries may require the placement of a decoy that will temporarily take all of the fire. We must be wary of enemy towers at every perpendicular street bend, because a few seconds of inattention may result in a mission restart or a return to the automated save point. When we drive on a straight road for an extended period of time, it is worthwhile to invest precious metal in long-range shooting units. When we reach a location thickly populated with aliens, we morph, or alter our driving vehicles into walking ones, and they wreak havoc with flamethrowers on both sides of the road. There are five different types of units accessible, each with an alternate mode of operation that may be triggered at any moment. As a result, the arsenal will contain both fully armored tanks and auxiliary helicopters that bolster the unit with extra armor, as well as magicians who will temporarily vanish our whole caravan.
Unit morphing is a new element in the Anomaly series that adds a lot of variety to the gameplay. This means that we can finish each level in a variety of ways. Additional objectives to achieve as well as unexpected story twists are also welcome variations from the usual. The former are generally confined to exerting more effort than the main plot needs and sending the brigade to the map’s outskirts, where extra troops are waiting or valuable ore, which serves as the game’s money, is lying idle. In turn, a few basic game changes need a 180-degree shift in gaming strategies, such as driving around the research station and protecting it, or moving simply as a commander and disabling the enemy’s alarm system on your own feet. The foes – mechanical towers – appear familiar at first glance, but some of them have received new attack or defense choices. For example, on our road to triumph in the first section of Anomaly, we came across a tower that caused massive damage to our players with a concentrated laser beam, but only when they were in front of the opponent. In version 2, a comparable unit may also assault from the flanks, making careful crossing planning even more difficult. Although the story campaign allows you to enjoy the game for a few hours, I couldn’t think of any compelling reasons to return to it. Yes, four distinct and severe difficulty levels motivate you to take on the challenge, but monotony gradually seeps into the game. “Get from one point to another, destroy this and this, get this, don’t get killed” – and so on and so on. I still believe that the Anomaly series is best suited for short sessions.
Our bosses’ talks and the mechanical monsters’ speeches likewise give subpar encouragement. I felt neither excessive delight nor guilt after finishing the game. The acting, which is fairly restrained in its yells when faced with the death or salvation of mankind, does not assist the issue, but this may be due to the disciplined military training. However, troops or instructional instructions will occasionally make a decent joke, demonstrating the remoteness from the world or video games in general. Anomaly 2’s graphics, like the first in the series, are impressive. The finely made unit models, explosions, and representation of the Arctic temperature in combination with the tropical vegetation are all outstanding. The multiplayer option, on the other hand, is the most intriguing inclusion. We take on the role of the commander of a mobile garrison or an extraterrestrial race. The player with the greatest amount of points or the greatest advantage wins. Of course, each side has distinct units and talents at their disposal, as well as varied objectives. Humans must access and destroy the main alien structure at all costs, while the mechanical species must safeguard the base. We push or resist landings, alter units, and construct new towers and structures. We grow the technological tree and acquire important raw materials. We are rushed for time and are aware that on the opposite side of the screen is another player, maybe a natural strategist. Diversifying multiplayer action across many maps of suitable size is both a major challenge and a lot of fun. I had a terrific time regardless of whatever side of the struggle I was on or who I had to fight. Essentially, the story campaign serves as an excellent introduction to the multiplayer feature, which I believe will be quite popular.
Everything in Anomaly 2 is turned on its head. Although it is a technique that relies on great preparation, it offers emotions, action, and needs reflexes. We assault towers instead of protecting them, and the additional multiplayer feature is more engaging than the tale campaign. A fantastic title, however it may be tedious and predictable at times.