Anomaly : Warzone Earth, previously available on PC, has made its way onto the PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Store; and what a treat it is. 11 bit studios has done itself proud by taking the well-established tower defense genre and flipping it on its head by mixing things up by putting the player in the role of the attacker instead of the defender, which provides a unique and entertaining twist.
The game thrusts you into the frontlines of battle as you take control of a commander who has various abilities to aid your progress. The story begins by taking players to the initial battlefield in Baghdad in order to investigate wreckage that has crash landed onto Earth. This is where things really take off as you discover the alien menaces that you must defeat. As you progress and gain more information about the anomaly, the campaign progresses into Tokyo where another crash site and a second anomaly has sprung up. This is where the player then has to seek out the other crash site before being able to return to Baghdad for the final battle.
Taking command of a squad known as the 14th platoon, you gain access to a variety of armored units, including APC gunner, Shield Generator, Missile Launcher, Tank and some special advanced units as you progress through the campaign. This is definitely one of the game’s strengths as you can customize the arrangement of units and upgrade them to have your very own style of play. Being placed in the commander role you have varied abilities that you can activate to help the squad you have under your command. Players play a really active role as you repair your units, use smoke screens to block enemy vision, place decoys to direct enemy fire and call in air strikes for that extra bang.
The game takes place across two different cities. Baghdad has a main city area, but is also flooded with sand, whereas Tokyo is more modern and urban-like. Something that also took me by surprise was how awesome the graphics look; it may not be AAA quality but it looks and feel like you’re right in the thick of it. The explosions, lasers and burning buildings mean you constantly have to change the route in order to outdo the enemy and gain the advantage. The sound is also top notch, with meaty explosions and gunfire created at atmosphere befitting of war. The only thing that put me off is the voice acting, which can be great at times but sometimes can wear thin and irritate.
The control scheme also works really well for the most part, though using abilities sometimes didn't click right; after hitting ‘X’ then moving the thumbstick over to your designated choice, it could flip back easily and inadvertently select nothing, leading to the possibility of losing units. Apart from that it has fairly solid controls.
Even after you finish the main campaign it isn't over yet, there are two other modes that you unlock through the progression of the main story. The first mode is Baghdad Mayhem, which sees the area of Baghdad overrun by the enemy who are trying to take control of the energy resources. Gameplay involves fighting through countless waves of enemies in order to take out generators they are defending before it is too late. The other mode is Tokyo Raid, which faces a similar situation of being overrun by the enemy, however, you are giving the task of heading out to take out the enemy control centre located on a small island. Players must fight through countless islands in order to take out the enemy CPU for good. The PS3 version also has two exclusive local co-op campaigns which involves having two commanders on the battlefield at once; one taking control of the troops and the other dealing with the plans, but both need to work together to complete the task at hand.
Anomaly: Warzone Earth certainly brings a refreshing splash to the tower defense genre by taking what we’ve already experience in the genre and making gamers play the role of attacker rather than defender. With the varied unit types at your disposal and the commander abilities you can use, it should provide a lot of fun for those hoping to get something new out of this well-established genre.
Head on over to the PlayStation Store to pick up your copy and get blasting those aliens!
|Anomaly Warzone Earth Review by Fraser Miller|
-The Final Word-
With the varied unit types at your disposal and the commander abilities you can use, Anomaly: Warzone Earth should provide a lot of fun for those hoping to get something new out of this well-established genre.