I had fully intended to head over to 11bit Studios and leave, due to the fact that I had already played their single player preview build of Anomaly 2 at home. Instead, they brought the multiplayer build of the game so I got excited and jumped right in.
Giving me a crash course, Paweł Miechowski took the role of offense while I grabbed defense. This is a strictly competitive mode which, while resembling traditional tower defense in parts, changes it up by allowing the attacker to reroute his paths or attack different locations altogether.
As the defender, I was able to build towers of increasing strength and much like the offense, had special abilities that I could unleash for each tower. Berserk mode would consume a fraction of your life, but would deal more damage quicker. You’re also able to heal towers or detonate them to deal large amounts of damage.
All of these powers are limited, and the ultimate goal for either team is to eventually gain enough points to win. This can be achieved primarily by having the defender consistently destroy the offense, or by having the offense destroy targets. On defense, there’s a special Harvester tower which will allow you to gain resources or victory points the longer it remains active.
While Paweł eventually had to leave to do an on-camera interview, I got to a point where I felt fairly comfortable with both the mechanics and towers and was able to win the match when Paweł’s brother stepped in.
What I like about Anomaly in general, is that they’re not afraid to change the traditional tower defense genre. While certainly resembling other games, the mechanics are different enough to feel fresh. If Defense Grid is pure tower defense, refined to near perfection, Anomaly is the smart evolution. Anomaly 2 certainly isn’t just a refinement, it’s an even further evolution.