Tower defence games are certainly in abundance, Anomaly 2 though is different. It essentially flips it around as you now control the wave. Described as tower offence, it does enough things different to perhaps be worth your time.
A battle between humans and aliens, the plot is largely inconsequential ferrying you from one event to another, but the gameplay is what makes Anomaly 2 stand out. In traditional tower defence terms, you’re taking control of the runners instead of the towers. But it’s more than that. With a convoy at your disposal you can upgrade, sell and buy a variety of different vehicles each with their own attributes and morphing abilities. But it’s more than just picking the best vehicles for specific missions, much more.
You will have direct control of the Commander. Running around the battlefield you’re able to drop power ups to aid your convoy. These range from health to emp blasts. As the Commander you’re unable to die as when your health reaches zero you simply collapse for a few seconds before jumping back to your feet. Probably for the best as later missions get incredibly hectic.
Planning out your approach to each mission is a major aspect of Anomaly 2. At the start of each mission you’re able to select what vehicles to start with and your route through the level. It becomes a nice risk reward as you could go for the pick-ups in order to build a bigger convoy and upgrade existing vehicles, or take the easier route with far less resistance.
As you delve further into the story more vehicles open up and a larger variety of enemies appear. From simple towers that attack on sight to flamethrower units that can only shoot in three directions. There’s a great range of enemies to tackle and each one comes with its own unique aspect. Whether it’s the units that sprout up when you get too close or the ones that absorb energy if you fire too many shots. Figuring out how to approach each battle is the best part of Anomaly 2.
What isn’t the best part is the rather poor technical aspect. It’s not the best looking game you can find on PS4, far from it, so you expect it to hold up. However, cut scenes and the more intense moments result in a significant framerate drop. It’s not game breaking, but for a game that doesn’t exactly push the PS4, it’s a little disappointing.
With multiple medals to be earned depending on your performance in each mission, multiple difficulty levels and a challenging experience (even on Casual) there’s a lot to be found in single player. But if you get bored of this and want to take on the best Anomaly 2 has to offer, then there’s multiplayer.
First things first, finding an online game here is incredibly difficult. After waiting for around ten minutes it was clear nothing was happening. A quick look in the Global Leaderboard explained why. At the time of writing (half a week after release) there are just over a hundred people listed on the leaderboard. It’s a ghost town, and it’s a crying shame really as this is the sort of game that would flourish with an active community. Eventually though after much perseverance a game was found.
In a multiplayer game its offense vs defence with one player taking control of the vehicles and the other, the towers. The convoy controls pretty much the same as in single player; the towers however feel more like an RTS. Unlike with the convoy (don’t let everyone die), with the towers your main goal is not have your main base destroyed. There are a set number of routes on each map and you have to position towers in the best positions to defend. So in that sense it’s more of a traditional tower defence mechanic. Unfortunately you only start off with one map with the rest being unlocked as you play, and as has already been said, finding a game is extremely difficult. It’s a shame really, as due to this the shelf life has been severely shortened.
Anomaly 2 then is a game well worth having if you’ve always wanted to see a tower defence game from the opposite side of the battle. Unfortunately the single player while entertaining won’t last forever, and the ghost town multiplayer means there’s very little reason to return once finished.