Set in the near future, alien spaceships crash in several major cities around the world from Tokyo to Baghdad. Taking the role as commander of the 14th Platoon in Anomaly: Warzone Earth, you are sent to investigate the anomalies around the crash sites and provide support where needed as you try to guide a convoy through dangerous battlegrounds.
Anomaly is a tower defense game at heart even though it is a “reverse” tower defense game. You won’t be building defenses to protect your base from incoming waves, as you are the wave going through enemy territories. The invading aliens are well protected and well armed too. As commander it is your job to keep the always-moving convoy safe, which is no easy task. Bringing up the map allows you to change the path decisions for the convoy. This is a must as the aliens have plenty of things raining down on the convoy that can conveniently block one of the two possible paths at each intersection. Not to mention, you will want to avoid some of the bigger alleys lined with turret after turret.
While not in direct control of your convoy, it is the commander’s job to decide what vehicles will be a part of the convoy. The order of the vehicles can also really make a difference as well. Knowing when and in what position to place a missile launcher or a shield-generating vehicle is crucial. I recommend leading with a well-armored vehicle, like the APC, to take the brunt of all the attacks as well as defending those weaker units.
Going through the story mode, you will be given the opportunity to upgrade your convoy units. You must be always on the move, picking up power-ups as well as deploying support to your troops. Your abilities range from repairing damaged vehicles to using smoke screens or decoys to draw fire away from the real convoy.
There are challenges to complete after you beat the story mode, but the story mode is just such a complete experience that the challenges will not hold your attention for as long.
Graphically, especially for a tower defense game, the Anomaly is very good looking. The game uses a bright and colorful palette that stands out from the standard brown and greens of today’s games. I really liked the design of the aliens and how they work in a tower defense title.
This is one tower defense game with a perfect blend of strategy and action. It has enough to appeal to tower defense fans, but also to strategy fans in general. Being the mix of action and strategy it is, Anomaly is a perfectly blended experience. You are forced to keep on your toes as you must deal with constantly adjusting your path while also dealing with the onslaught your convoy is facing. The gameplay and great story are also reasons to keep coming back to the game and playing mission after mission.
Note: The Anomaly: Warzone Earth review was written based on the PC version of the game provided by the publisher.