Nukezilla Review: Anno 2070 (PC)
Imagine a supermodel. Beautiful, charming, sings like an angel. You forgive her foibles because you know she’s trying so hard. Now imagine her overbearing parents who force you to jump through numerous hurdles to see their daughter. That’s Anno 2070 in a nutshell: spectacular graphics, entertaining music, decent gameplay, lackluster campaign, dreadful technical issues.
The Anno franchise has been around for years, and is one of the historical staples of the RTS genre. Taking the leap into the not-too-distant future, Anno 2070 introduces advanced combat units, automated industries, and renewable energy sources. Probably the greatest addition is that instead of simply expanding across the map, the game features a second layer of play accessed by constructing bases underwater. This adds to the (ahem) depth of the game, and 12 hours into a map you will still unlock new units and buildings. The water graphics are beautiful, in an already good looking game. And the accompanying music is almost as soothing and relaxing as that of rival Civilization, making for a relaxing experience.
Moreso than its predecessors in the series, Anno 2070 is meant for multiplayer enjoyment. An online voting system allows you to determine which player will be the ruling faction, which determines the perks available to you in-game. Anno 2070 also features drop-in multiplayer, and you can participate in global events, which enhances the sense that you are part of a worldwide game. As befits an Anno game, the combat tends to take a backseat to resource management: you can bribe your opponents to prevent them declaring war or intercept transport ships thereby avoiding conflict entirely. This means you can focus on expanding your empire, keeping the populace happy, and completing randomised objectives. Of course when the carrot fails, the stick is required and the variety of units at hand allow for a simple yet functional battle system.
Unfortunately the game suffers from a number of flaws. Players have to stomach a terrible installation requiring multiple attempts to patch and enter your CD-Key, which isn’t helped by poor documentation. If you want to play offline, the game still tries to login, an example of the annoying technical design issues getting in the way of enjoyment and access. A generic plot and poor voice-acting do nothing to inspire you to play through the campaign, which acts as little more than a tutorial to the ‘continuous game’ (a type of sandbox mode).
Despite being a pretty game, Anno 2070 suffers from some inexcusable technical issues (like the installation), and the generic plot is unfortunate compared to other contemporary “sandbox” games. However, despite these flaws it’s a suitable standard bearer for the Anno series. While not perfect, the solid gameplay makes it worth your time.
This review is Day 24 of The December Review Nukestravaganzagain. This post was guest written by Nukezilla user Adushan Govender.