Posted: December 5, 2013
Anno 2070 is a very good game! When compared to older Anno games they've really taken some bold moves and they do work well. However, I am NOT RECOMMENDING this very GOOD GAME. Related designs (the developer) has done nothing wrong, Ubisoft (the publisher) does a lot of things wrong. I will tell you a bit about the game, but also WARN you about Ubisoft and their pushy ways. I wish someone told me before I bought this game, because I wouldn't have bought it! Please read along!
A few years ago I was playing CivCity Rome. Off course I had heard of Anno, but untill then I had never played it. Then I tried Anno 1404 and I was instantly sold. Anno is a citybuilding game that is always set in a specific era. Instead of needing power and water, your citizens would like to have food and goods that you need to create for them. You build your city (or cities) on a map consisting of a bunch of islands that each have their own resources which you will need to create the goods you people want. When their wishes have been met, they grow a level. This causes the house to grow and support more people but it also generates more taxes for each citizen living there. Anno always goes very deep, you have to manage the fleet of ships carrying the goods around, time them, have the right amounts in stock etc, and sometimes when I'm about 24hrs into one sandbox game, it starts to feel like a lot of work! You must keep the production going, sell excess goods, don't go bankrupt, build that monument, manage trade routs,,,
Anno comes in many flavors, just pick your favorite age and go! The latest installments are the most consistently playing ones, and with this new Anno 2070 they really made the game a lot more accessible to new players and old players alike, when it comes to the amounts of resources in a map for instance. I have a few minor points of critisism about some of the made choices though. And for me, the futuristic theme is ok, but the style is a bit bland for my taste. For instance, in Anno 1404 the palet of colors was more vibrant on my led-tv for instance. I also like seeing dozens and dozens of wooden sail ships being processed at a big massive harbor, rectangular electric ships just aren't the same. When it comes to graphics in general, this Anno is really good looking with the later effects though. I still prefer 1404, but it's a matter of taste. The action (yes, there is also warfare, limited islands and resources mean war! sometimes) is still not really spectacular and really... I don't like it. I like the building and trading! I have not played this Anno a lot or a long time, but it plays familiar enough to judge that it is a good Anno. Related Design does not screw up their beloved Anno I think! Anno games are generally good, this one is no exception... however I personally still prefer Anno 1404, it also comes without Uplay, the reason I'm not recommending this game!
I would score the game 8/10 if it weren't for the game's publisher Ubisoft. I would really like to warn you about them! Really annoying buggers they are!
Usually here on Steam, when you buy a game it downloads and you can play it. No worries, no fuss. Sometimes there is some online DRM, annoying and pointless but ok... Sometimes it's an online game, understandable that they want you to create a seperate account with them.
But then comes along Ubisoft and their pushy Uplay "services". I know one thing, it's no DRM. When you buy a Ubisoft game here on Steam, as soon as you have paid for the game and you have downloaded it, it takes you away from Steam, pushes you to create an account at Uplay (which is Ubisoft's marketplace/Social Media), that is being published publicly.
So in other words: you're in Department store A, you buy product X and as you put it in a bag to take home with you a salesperson from Department store B comes along and forces you to create a public membership with their store, while you were in the first store to begin with!
Afterwards, you can look in your settings to get your profile to be blocked from the public again if you want to, but as far as I'm concerned the damage has already been done. Who do they think they are, Facebook?!?
When I accepted my fate and tried to apply for Uplay, it was impossible due to server problems! When I got tired of waiting to create my public humiliation, I went looking for fora. It seems ever since it's creation, Uplay has been plagued by downtime. When I waited these weeks in a row to create an acount and get confirmation I actually bought it, Uplay already existed over a year! And it also serves no further purpose. It does not autopatch the game, it just 'checks' if it's you and if you're allowed to play the game. Yes, what Steam already does. It annoys you with 'unlockable goodies' for games as you play (stuff that already was in the game and screenshots(!), but blocked because of idk, so you had something to unlock online), you can start finding your friends again, it needs to be constantly online while you play the game. Also it downloaded the game again as soon as I managed to create an account.
Look at it this way. Valve is singlehanded carrying the PC-gaming sector by itself. It saved PC-Gaming and has achieved Cult-status. I mean, come on. Well over 60 Million people choose to be here on Steam. Ubisoft is just pushing their own store upon unsuspecting people walking around in this store! And then publicly humiliating them with their social media crap. They are trying to ply away the customers and public from Steam. If you have read this review, and then still buy any Ubisoft game... you clearly do not share this view of Steam, and I wish you a good day. To those that agree with me: if you have a game in your steam library that requires this Uplay crap, please write a review about it!
When we look at EA, we can see that they have Origin as their store. When I buy an EA game here on Steam "(like Command and Conquer or the Sims), EA does not push me into an Origin account. We can all hate EA for a lot of reasons (for me it's Red Alert 3, C&C4 and that city game that came between simcity 4&5), but I give them credit for that! The games that do require Origin (Fifa, SW:TOR, Battlefield and Simcity) are not for sale here.
I can accept another marketplace that digitally delivers games and software. No problem, competition is very healthy! But I cannot understand why Valve allows these practices. I mean, go ahead and try this in real life. Try to lure people from a Department store into another and I bet security is kicking you out! It's just common decency! I am not going to buy another Ubisoft game untill they either close Uplay entirely or stop pushing it with their games! That's 100% certain. I would probably have bought something there eventually, but not after this, I'm done with Ubisoft.
Anno, to me, is a singleplayer game! I have played a very few games of Anno 1404 with a friend, but not a lot of people feel like going for a 24hr game in multiplayer. Still, with this whole Uplay non-sense it does not play offline! There is no reason to force something as intrusive as Uplay down our throat with a game like Anno. After that short period of being very angry with Uplay and Ubisoft I decided to delete the local content and delete Uplay. The whole attitude of Ubisoft with their Uplay causes me to score the game with 3/10.
Ubisoft, please change your ways! If you don't trust Valve and Steam in their sales, don't sell your games here! Stop pushing your complete store/social media like this!!! Related Designs, please ask Ubisoft to change their ways, or go find a new publisher, I am not buying the next Anno as long as Uplay is still on it. I'm also not playing Assassins Creed 3 or 4 or Far Cry 3!
I have created a group about Uplay, please join if you agree: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/boycot-ubi