Posted: June 26, 2013
ANOMALY WARZONE EARTH is surprisingly entertaining, with great tutorials. Its a top down somewhat tower defense game... only in reverse. You lead a squad of vehicles that must take clear cut streets through enemy defenses, but you select the route and your caravan just keeps following the path you set for them. So imagine a train that cannot stop on a tracks with multiple paths. If something blocks your train track, you divert your train at the next intersection by going to a tactical route map and just clicking on the intersection to point their next direction to head in. Its really as easy as that. You don't control the vehicles so much as just point out the route to take. You do have a player character to control. There is a 'speed up / turbo' button to make the game go faster.
Since you're going through a warzone, the enemy has turrets, and other defenses setup to slow you down. So this is like you play the part of a GPS and they'll do the fighting as they come upon enemies. You can buy more vehicles for your caravan, upgrade current vehicles (for the same price as buying them new) and assign their formations. Like do you select a less defensive more offensive vehicle to go first or do you select a more defensive less offensive vehicle? Another thing to consider is range of attack. The 'attack crawler' vehicle has a longer range, but it is considerably weaker than the 'defender APCs.' Eventually you'll get shielders that will provide a shield for the vehicles directly in front and in back of them in the caravan train. There are also tanks that you will unlock later. In all the game's player vehicles seem limited in diversity.
As a commander, you have abilities that you collect. The first is to repair your vehicles in a radius of where it is used for a specific time as the train keeps rolling. Your player character isn't limited to staying with the caravan, he can go out and wander to find things. This is a very simple yet engaging. The only downside is the controls could be better. A lot of times my commander was accidentally walking all over the place when I wanted him to repair things. Just because you hit the abilities menu, then select the ability with the mouse. Well when you use the mouse it makes your player character walk. The other abilities are, smoke screens that will cover vehicles in a radius preventing some cannons from hitting them and then decoys that will attract larger cannons that would otherwise accurately hit your vehicles in a smoke screen. Finally, there is a bomb target to bluntly bomb enemies. It might seem cheap, but it is useful for wide beam cannons that keep streaming a draining vehicles.
Eventually the challenge outweighs the fun just gets too much on even the normal difficulty. When you have limited resources, money and enemies keep getting more and more powerful, such as giving enemies a damage radius to every bullet and enemies that ressurect destroyed towers. Once one of your vehicles is destroyed, I find myself wanting restart from the last checkpoint, because I know that one vehicle down will make my train too weak to beat later levels.
Each level seems healthy time wise and you get to select your level of difficulty. It is definitely worth a play. Good instructions, good voice work explaining everything in a simple manner.