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Sept. 24, 2012
Anomaly: Warzone Earth - PS3 Review
Release Launch Price Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
28/8/2012$AU14.9511 Bit Studios11 Bit Studios1-2
Media HDD Space Resolution Move Controls Tilt Controls OFLC Rating

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Anomaly: Warzone Earth is now on PS3.
Released over a year ago on PC/Mac/iOS it has been a long wait for Anomaly: Warzone Earth to hit the PlayStation 3, but the wait has certainly been worth it as developers 11 bit studios have developed a game that puts a major twist on the tower defense genre, and at a budget price it's definitely worth checking out.

The game tasks you with saving a near-future Earth from an alien onslaught. The invaders have captured world’s major cities, building huge turrets that destroy everything in their path. It’s up to you to lead an armor squad through the streets of cities like Baghdad and Tokyo, planning the route and strategically choosing which units to deploy in order to crush the opposition.

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Setting your waypoints before entering, or while on, the battlefield.
In the game you take control of the Squadron Commander and have several tasks. Upon starting each mission you will need to set the path through the streets to arrive at the objective. As you play through the mission though you may need to change the active path which is accomplished by hitting the triangle button to bring up the map. As enemy emplacements are destroyed air units drop abilities. As your units (including APC's, Shield Generators, Tanks and more) move through the level you can use these abilities which includes setting off smoke screens so enemy turrets can't see your exact position, calling in airstrikes, using decoy units to draw enemy fire, or health to repair units in your convoy. It's also possible to purchase new units in your convoy, upgrade their stats or change their order for best effect (putting shield generators between two other units means they are both given shields.

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Battling on the streets of Tokyo.
As many of you would know, or perhaps a few of you at least, I love my tower defense games. I can now say that I love Tower Offense games too, thanks to Anomaly: Warzone. The developers have fine-tuned the controls perfectly and even allow you to speed up the pace of the game by hitting the R2 button.

We do have a few niggles with Anomaly: Warzone Earth though, the first being that while you control the Commander, they can be moved around the level to pick up the power-ups, and place them on the path but other than that, have no other purpose. Perhaps if they could clear roadblocks, fire on enemy emplacements or, I don't know, have a little more input then just redecorated cursor/pointing device. I would have also loved to see a way to prioritise targets for you convoy to take out in the game. This would have added another layer of strategy to the mix. It must be said that while the game isn't overly long, the price points (just over $14 on the Australian Store) makes it worth a purchase.

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2-players working together in the game.
As you complete the Main Campaign two additional modes are unlocked - Baghdad Mayhem and Tokyo Raid - each of which offers a considerable amount of gameplay as you face countless waves of enemies. In the former mode you need to survive as long as possible, and in the latter you need to reach and destroy the Enemy Control Center. In a rather neat twist the game also allows 2-players to work together through the campaign.

It's amazing to look at the quality of visuals in downloadable titles these days. Years ago there was a marked difference between games purchased as full retail released on disc and downloadable ones. Despite a rather lean 600MB download size, Anomaly: Warzone Earth has a fantastic intro, but more importantly fantastic in-game visuals for a top-down strategy game with lasers and explosions all over the place. Both the sand-filled Baghdad and urban nature of Tokyo have very different visual styles too. Fortunately the game retains a slick frame rate throughout.

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This is a game well worth purchasing.
Sonically it's unlikely that this game will disappoint either with some great, atmospheric, music and effects that are up there with any other game. The game is littered with conversations in particular those detailing the current status of the battles, and your next objectives.

Anomaly: Warzone Earth is one of the better real-time strategy games that turns the tower defense genre on its head and offers something fresh for a very low price and, as a result, gets our highest recommendation. The developers are also working on a sequel set in Korea for release somewhere in future (at this stage it isn't scheduled for PS3, but that might happen later) and we can't wait to see what else they can bring to the franchise.

Review By: Dave Warner

GRAPHICSA top-down RTS game, that actually looks impressive
SOUNDMusic and effects are good, speech is good, but becomes, well, meh.
GAMEPLAYThe gameplay is unique, and most importantly, brilliant. We can't get enough trying to beat our scores.
VALUEAt just over $AU14 this is superb value and a game we'll return to frequently.
OVERALLWe didn't really know what to expect from this game, but it's one of the most enjoyable titles we've played this year. Unique, good looking and very entertaining.

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