11 Bit Studios is back at war with the aliens in this follow-up to the terrific tower offense game, Anomaly: Warzone Earth. This time the aliens are destroying Korea and setting up all manner of horrible structures, and it’s the player’s job to take ‘em down. Though the game certainly doesn’t feel like a full-blown sequel, more Anomaly action is a good thing and there’s plenty to be had here.
The most striking feature of the game is the presentation. While the voice acting is a bit hedgy at times, the visuals are stunning. The game manages to portray a burned-out warzone with detailed vehicle and building models, terrific lighting and smoke special effects, and other goodies. While the graphic engine doesn’t seem particularly enhanced over the original game, Anomaly is still one of the best looking games of its type out there.
The game starts the player off right in the thick of things. Your commander wakes up and must immediately cross through enemy territory to rescue his comrades and build up resources. Just like the first game, players map out their path on the map screen, then watch their units go while laying down an array of timed power-ups to aid them. There’s no direct control of individual units, but the game forces players to frequently adjust their chosen path as the missions advance.
Anomaly Korea throws in a few new toys and enemies. Right from the start, the new boost power-up gives the troops added strength to more quickly take down enemy towers while taking less damage. There’s a new super tank as well, with a powerful charging attack that will damage all enemies in a specific radius. The huge flamethrower tower adds extra danger to the maps, and some of the missions require the commander to route his troops through enclosed areas.
These indoor spaces prevent power-up drops, so careful planning and occasional re-routing to go back outside are necessary. The twelve new levels start out with a challenging bang and seldom let up. There are three difficulty levels, which should cater to most skill levels, but the game can still be incredibly cheap at times—especially the later levels. Also new to the game is the art of war mode, which is essentially an endless level where players try to survive as long as possible.
Anomaly Korea definitely doesn’t reinvent the original game. This is strictly more of the same, but since the gameplay still feels fresh and innovative, that’s not a bad thing. The levels are lengthy enough to feel satisfying, the visuals are terrific, and most importantly, the game is a lot of tactical fun.