Anomaly: Warzone Earth
11 Bit Studios sent us
over the code to check out the Xbox Live Arcade version of this
interesting game. Anomaly: Warzone Earth is a bit of a twist on tower
defense gaming. Rather than being the one defending against incoming
forces, the player is the one defending their column of military
vehicles going in to take down the defenses.
The story goes strange aliens have created some kind
of defenses in several major cities where parts of their space craft
have crashed. Well really, if you crashed on an alien world where they
may be hostile, wouldn’t you set up defenses as soon as you could?
Leading the group of vehicles, the players character
is the commander and he is on foot, scouting out the best route for the
team to get through. Strange anomalies are interfering with radar and
satellite imaging, so the team has to get in there and take out any
threats. The player only controls the Commander, not the vehicles. The
commanders and the player’s job are to order the vehicles on what route
to go on.
A really good tool here is a higher altitude map, you
become sort of the command and control here which is pretty cool. It’s a
simple point and click affair. Or is it as simple as it looks. If you
just consider point click go, then yes it can be simple. But you are not
really thinking about it. The player’s job is to get the convoy through
the fastest and least exposed to enemy attack as possible, and placing
your combat column into an ideal position to put the hurt on the enemy.
The game is so simple if you just look at it, but full of small tactical
Also the Commander also decides the order of the
vehicles in the convoy. So placing a heavier armored APC the front is
perhaps a good thing. Each of the vehicles has strengths and weaknesses.
As the Commander, players also support the vehicles
by dropping power ups, of both attack and defense and repair. The
powers up effects are timed, so that adds a layer of urgency in a fire
Players also make purchases to upgrade their
vehicles, strengthening up their various defenses, or offensive
capabilities. You are going to need every trick in the book, things get
darn right hectic in heavy fire fights and you’re running around doing
vehicle support. Worse, if you are not careful, alien weapons fire can
incapacitate the Commander for a time and then the whole convoy can be
destroyed if you are not careful.
Further, there are times when enemy weapons fire is
incoming, your convoy is right near an intersection and you have a
second to make the choice on rerouting. I had to replay a level more
than once because I did not make the choice nor commands fast enough and
the convoy rolled right into its own destruction. You would not think
that there would be much in the line of tactics for such a game but
there is. Looking over the routes and working at outflanking the enemy
seems to be a tried and true tactic, even here. The game keeps you
coming back for more.
Have fun, play games