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Anomaly 2 Review

By James Gilmour, on November 1, 2013
Last modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago


Anomaly 2
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Morphing ability adds an extra layer of strategy.
  • Core tower offence gameplay is as solid as ever.
  • Huge campaign.
  • Looks astonishing.

CONS

  • Bar the morphing ability, nothing much has changed.
  • Not ideal pick-up-and-play fodder.

VERDICT

Though it doesn't rewrite the tower offense rulebook, Anomaly 2's meaty campaign, gorgeous visuals, and new morphing mechanic make it a worthy successor.


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When Anomaly Warzone Earth rolled onto the App Store two years ago, it made a big impact. Not only did it popularise the now well-established tower offense genre, it proved you could port high-quality PC releases to the App Store without compromising too much functionality.

Anomaly 2, the first true sequel after the Anomaly Korea expansion, brings back the futuristic sci-fi warfare that made the original game so popular, and adds just enough bells and whistles to warrant you giving the franchise a second visit.

The big addition to the gameplay this time out is the ability to morph units. As before, you have to guide a convoy of military units through the streets of devastated cities. These burnt out monuments to civilisation are teeming with alien defence turrets, which you must either avoid or destroy if you are to reach your goal.

The map screen remains unchanged, allowing you choose your route through the city in advance, and make tactical redirections on the fly. However, the tanks and artillery under your command can now transform into mechs or airships with a swift double-tap.

As well as looking pretty sweet, these secondary vehicle states come with different attack capabilities. For example, your bog-standard Hound unit can transform into a mech with dual flamethrowers, making it more effective at close range. Your Guard unit, which neuters the effectiveness of enemy attacks when close, morphs into an airship which deploys shielding around your squad.

This dual functionality brings an extra tactical layer to the standard Anomaly formula, and helps kick the franchise out of its well-worn groove. Managing unit upgrades and monitoring your route while deploying power-up like the decoy beacons and health boosts has always been a challenge. Throw in the need to morph your troops mid-volley to exploit an enemy's weakness - or avoid activating a dormant threat - and you've got yourself a true test of your multitasking capabilities.

Beyond the morphing ability, however, not an awful lot has changed. It's noticeably prettier than its predecessor, but the style is consistent with the series. The missions still switch between all-out assaults, escort details, and timed defensive manouvers. As before, you'll need to set aside a decent chunk of time to complete some of the more involved mission, making it touch to pick-up and play in short bursts.

However, as a solid sequel with a little added depth and an extra serving of eye-candy, Anomaly 2 acquits itself admirably. It doesn't rewrite the rulebook, but it does add a couple of pages, and badazzle the cover.

Screenshots

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