11 Bit Studios Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com 11 Bit Studios RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Frostpunk Review: Steampunk Aesthetics of the Modern Ice Age https://www.gameskinny.com/p1u96/frostpunk-review-steampunk-aesthetics-of-the-modern-ice-age https://www.gameskinny.com/p1u96/frostpunk-review-steampunk-aesthetics-of-the-modern-ice-age Mon, 23 Apr 2018 10:00:01 -0400 Sergey_3847

The authors of This War of Mine came back with another story, full of pain, human suffering, but not without a glimpse of hope. Frostpunk, a new project from 11 bit studios, is a very different game than This War of Mine, and yet it follows the same philosophy -- making complex decisions and living with their consequences.

Tragic events become the catalyst for character development and the deep base for an exciting story. If you previously played This War of Mine, there you could witness a small group of people who found themselves in a very difficult situation, and their lives depended on your decisions. But Frostpunk goes even further than that!

The Story and the Setting

Frostpunk reveals an alternative history of the 19th century. In the game's version of 1886, a terrible storm befell the whole world and covered every single inch of it with ice and snow. Millions of people moved south in search of salvation, but found only chaos and death. Great Britain decided to go the other way and organized several settlements inside the ice craters. The source of life was found in giant thermal generators capable of heating entire cities.

The next storm came from the south a little later and knocked out most of the world's population. Some people managed to escape, including a modest group of refugees who stumbled upon one of the abandoned generators. Thinking that this was the best chance to survive, they decided to stay and build a new home. This is where your role as a survival manager begins.

As you may have guessed already, Frostpunk is a survival strategy game that involves lots of building. The setting is quite unique and features frozen landscapes in combination with steampunk aesthetics. The gameplay is very much similar to Surviving Mars, a current indie Steam hit, and it looks like Frostpunk has everything necessary to be a worthy competitor.

The Survival Aspects of the Gameplay

It's no secret that the level of difficulty in Frostpunk is pretty high, which means that the player needs to put forth a lot of effort in order to survive. To begin with, you need to start the generator. It requires coal, so the first concern of the new mayor of the settlement is the extraction of resources. Wood and steel will come in handy very soon, so a few free hands should be sent to fetch them.

Your people will have a hard time working in the conditions of such merciless cold. Then, you need to make sure that your workers have a roof over their heads and food supplies, not to mention medical care. The game throws you into the thick of the problems from the get-go.

You start building small shacks so that your people don't freeze under the open sky. An emotional connection with the residents of the settlement really grows on you through smart visual design. You can even zoom in really close, just enough to examine each settler and see how much they tremble.

At that moment you realize the harsh truth about this game: all these characters must survive through your decisions, and there is actually a huge chance that you will fail. This thought strikes you so hard that it becomes a bit depressing, but then you really begin to think everything over.

This is the point where the freedom of choice within the gameplay leads you to certain decisions, such as turning off a generator for some time in order to save some coal. The workers will have to wait for more comfortable houses just to keep enough wood for the construction of a hunting hut, which is a necessity if you want to keep them fed, and so on and so forth....

The Book of Laws

Hard times require unpopular decisions, and you will have to make them regularly. As a new mayor you will have the power to sign laws, among other things. As a rule, you have to choose between two options: soft and inefficient, or tough but effective.

For example, you will have to decide how to deal with the deceased ones. You can build a cemetery to let people say goodbye to their loved ones, but the construction of the cemetery will draw a lot of resources, and all the posthumous ceremonies take up precious time. On the other hand, you can dump bodies in a corpse disposal, but be prepared for some bad reactions in this case.

Frostpunk sets these incredibly difficult goals: on one hand, you must survive, and on the other, you just can't let people fall into despair. It's incredibly easy to provoke a riot in these circumstances. When discontent grows, local people start to make certain demands, threatening with a strike.

Too many hungry workers begin requiring drastic measures. You can brush it off or promise to feed all those suffering in a couple of days. But if you don't follow through with your promises, it will turn into a real catastrophe!

Final Verdict

Both in technical execution and gameplay design, the game is practically flawless. You won't see such complex decision-making processes in any other strategy game that is on the market today.

In order to survive, you need to constantly develop and grow. The research of new technologies will increase the efficiency of mining resources and medicine, as well as provide other benefits for your little civilization. Every new day brings new choices. Over time you become accustomed to the constant struggle and sense of responsibility.

Frostpunk is not only an endless survival for the sake of survival. You will find out the reasons behind the new Ice Age as the story takes you further out into the world. Frostpunk is a hard but fair game. It's incredibly complex and may create an illusion of great moral pressure. But that's the beauty of it!

[Note: A copy of Frostpunk was provided by 11 bit studios for the purpose of this review.]

This War of Mine: The Little Ones Expansion Is Now Available On PC https://www.gameskinny.com/qj4kn/this-war-of-mine-the-little-ones-expansion-is-now-available-on-pc https://www.gameskinny.com/qj4kn/this-war-of-mine-the-little-ones-expansion-is-now-available-on-pc Wed, 01 Jun 2016 12:19:17 -0400 Cody Drain

This War of Mine, the survival game by 11 bit studios wherein players are tasked with protecting survivors in a war-torn society, has received a new expansion for PC players. This War of Mine: The Little Ones (previously available on the PlayStation 4) adds a new layer of complexity to the game with the addition of children that players are expected to provide for and protect.

According to the developers, children come with their own set of needs and concerns, which will make players' decisions more difficult when it comes to prioritizing which survivors are taken care of and when. They also explained why they made the decision to add children to the game:

"From our perspective, adding children to the experience was the most important puzzle to complete the big picture. The creation of it required respect for the victims of war. So, understandably, we wanted to present the topic without any gore that could serve only for shocking players. In fact, our goal was to show how little ones perceive the reality of an armed conflict."

In addition, the developers will donate $1 from each purchase of This War of Mine: The Little Ones to the War Child charity, which works to help children across the globe affected by war.

From now until June 8th, the DLC will be $8.99 instead of $9.99, as well. Interested players can take advantage of this deal at Games Republic, a part of 11 bit studios. This War of Mine: The Little Ones requires This War of Mine on Steam to play.

This War of Mine: The Little Ones shelter management guide https://www.gameskinny.com/p6kes/this-war-of-mine-the-little-ones-shelter-management-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/p6kes/this-war-of-mine-the-little-ones-shelter-management-guide Fri, 05 Feb 2016 09:47:39 -0500 Sergey_3847

Your shelter in This War of Mine is the main hideout place for your group of survivors. There are a couple of locations that can be used as a shelter and with The Little Ones expansion two more alternate shelters have been added – an apartment and a large mansion.

It doesn’t matter which one you will choose to be your hideout, as all of them have basically the same functions and the difference is purely cosmetic. Your shelter needs to be taken care of and it must be protected by setting up guards.

At the start of the game you will be given the right to choose the type of the shelter with the default conditions: simple workshop, fridge, medicine cabinet and certain types of furniture. From this point on you will be able to manage your place as you wish, but this shelter guide will help you do it in the most efficient way.

Start by clearing your shelter

This War of Mine: The Little Ones shelter

In the very beginning, your hideout in This War of Mine will be a mess with piles of rubble and other waste lying around. Some of it will be blocking doors to the rooms, so you have to clear this out as well as you can.

It is highly advisable to use the metal workshop for crafting a crowbar and a shovel at the very start of the game. It will significantly help you deal with all the waste quickly.

During the clearing, you will encounter several lootable crates that may or may not be locked. Don’t waste your lock picks on them just yet, as you will need them for your further scavenging – use your crowbar instead.

You will also gain enough resources for the beginning of the game just by getting rid of all the unnecessary debris. They will include food, medicine, tools and even weapons. You can also use axe to chop up wood for heating purposes.

Continue to refine your shelter

This War of Mine: The Little Ones inventory

Your characters will get tired and hungry after a long day of work, so it’s important to create the best possible conditions for them with the available resources. In order to get the best out of your people and tools, assign various tasks during daytime to different characters.

You can make one of the characters to start crafting some useful items, while another character can start cooking food, and if you see that somebody got tired - make them take a rest.

The best way to understand the current condition of your shelter in This War of Mine is to regularly check "Some Thoughts" note on the inventory screen. This is where your characters will leave notes about their condition and the state of the shelter. Use it often and follow any hints given.

For example, if your characters need to be cheered up, they may ask for some books to read. Another alternative is a radio or some comfortable furniture that will help them rest more efficiently. So, you need to get these things inside and keep your people happy.

Time from time a travelling trader or a new survivor may come to your home. You will also have neighbors who will ask for help, and they may give you some resources as well. Use all these opportunities to refine your hideout and keep your group in good shape.

Protect your shelter

This War of Mine: The Little Ones raider attacks

Your shelter will be constantly raided by looters. For this reason, it’s important to set everything up prior to the attacks.

In the beginning, the raids will happen occasionally, but they can become as frequent as every night. During these raids your people can be wounded and depressed, if they are not able to effectively protect themselves and their resources.

You have no control over the raids that will happen at night, and you will learn about the consequences only the next morning. So, in order to prevent the raiders from injuring your people and scavenging your items follow these instructions:

Set up guards

You can assign certain characters from your party to guard your shelter. If you wonder which characters fit this role the best, then be sure to check out our character guide on This War of Mine. In short, you want to look at characters such as Boris, Roman, and Arica.

You should always leave some weapons and tools in your inventory. In this way, the guards will be able to use them and protect the shelter with a much higher chance of success.

Reduce the amount of losses by:
  • Using the advanced workshop to board up holes and windows in your shelter.
  • Then as the game progresses be sure to craft a reinforced door and set up a simple alarm system.
  • Leave at least one melee weapon for each guard in your inventory. Better have a few good fire weapons as well.
  • Never assign just one character to guard at nighttime - use as many as you can.
  • Search for additional armor and helmets for your guards - these will protect them well.

With this simple advice, you will prevent any raiders’ attempts at scavenging your home. In the case your people get injured, always keep some healing items in the inventory and never forget to cheer them up afterwards with a guitar.

Come back soon for more This War of Mine: The Little Ones guides at GameSkinny!

11 bit studios announces This War of Mine board game expansion https://www.gameskinny.com/krkhr/11-bit-studios-announces-this-war-of-mine-board-game-expansion https://www.gameskinny.com/krkhr/11-bit-studios-announces-this-war-of-mine-board-game-expansion Sun, 29 Nov 2015 04:35:44 -0500 Michael Falero

This War of Mine, the acclaimed 2014 war survival strategy game, will soon be coming to your living room table.

In an announcement on its blog, developer 11 bit studios said that the board game will not just be a repeat of the game in a new format, but instead serve as a deeper dive into the world that the previous game created:

The board game significantly broadens the original game’s universe and emphasizes the depth of the plot, yet its main focus will be on human interactions driven by survival instinct and group decision-making.

The board game will allow for up to six players and also include a solo play option. The blog post made a point of the "hundreds of new challenges and difficult choices" that players would face in the new game, suggesting that it will be just as re-playable as the original title.

Furthermore, 11 bit studios emphasized that it wants players to jump right into the new game and try to survive as best they can: it will be "omitting the usual board game threshold":

...this project will be extremely ambitious because it aims to omit the usual board game threshold - TTWOM the board game will be an INSTANT-PLAY game, with no need to read the manual before starting the adventure.

The upcoming game will be a collaboration with veteran tabletop designers Michal Oracz and Jakub Wisniewski.

Haven't played This War of Mine? Take a look at at GameSkinny contributor Kate Reynolds' first impressions review and Stephanie Tang's full review of the game.

This War of Mine Review: Are You a Sociopath? https://www.gameskinny.com/zrf0c/this-war-of-mine-review-are-you-a-sociopath https://www.gameskinny.com/zrf0c/this-war-of-mine-review-are-you-a-sociopath Sat, 29 Nov 2014 19:40:46 -0500 Stephanie Tang

In this latest game from 11 Bit Studios, the story of war is writ small - through the eyes of a small band of civilians simply trying to survive in a besieged city. In this dreary, wartorn landscape, the snipers outside prevent you from leaving your shelter during the day, and at night you are forced out into the streets and other people's homes to scavenge for items that will help you stay alive.

"What's mine is mine. ...And what's yours is also mine."
-- A friend

Presented in a manner not unlike the jaded lens of Papers, Please, This War of Mine hits you with a series of life-and-death decisions driven by your own conscience. Do you protect everyone in your shelter to your utmost or do you sacrifice some of them for the good of others in order to endure?

This game helps to underline the blurring of ethical lines that happens when civilization is pulled into war. As per 11 Bit Studios:

"There are no good or bad decisions; there is only survival. The sooner you realize that, the better." 

"Not gonna lie, I would probably kill everyone else too."
-- Another friend

As far as This War of Mine is concerned, winning means staying alive to see the dawn of the last day, whereupon you're faced with a recap of all the highlights of your journey - when you killed someone for the first time (often brutally, with makeshift weapons), or when you first helped someone who comes to your door.

How you do this is up to your own conscience.

I did my best to keep my people healthy - although on the outset I didn't realize how difficult that would be, and how many ways it meant looking out for them. A few bad choices on my part in one playthrough made all of my characters horribly depressed and lose all hope in living - they killed themselves. In another, I lost one to sickness and hunger. And in another my characters became ravaging animals - silently creeping into other shelters and murdering the homeowners in their sleep for the few things they'd managed to scrounge together and which my little family desperately needed.

These decisions had an effect on me - and they were meant to. In much the same way Spec Ops: The Line made me question my position as The Good Guy, This War of Mine made me question just how far off the reservation I was willing to go to preserve life.

Nuts and Bolts

Presented as a side-scrolling point-and-click adventure, the background story is only nominally fleshed out - a war may be happening, but you are not a part of it. Your world is shrunk down to the subsistent life of a scavenger, and that's all you need to know. In the context of this game, the lack of information works well, because it mimics the limited knowledge that a real civilian would have.

It's probable that the advent of Telltale's The Walking Dead and its take on morality ("Clementine will remember that.") influenced the making of this game. When you make a decision, it cannot be changed. Devoid of quicksave options, an auto-save function is built into the day-night cycle. The upshot of this is that there is no going back - if your scavenger dies while foraging at night, that's for keeps.

(Unless you Alt+F4 and try again, but that'd be pixying out of the spirit of the game. And I would never do that. Honest.)

Furthermore, the game doesn't make the choices easy for you. In order to make a point, and to effect any real playability, it couldn't possibly do so. This game was made to be hard. You may not finish it, but you certainly won't forget it.

In accordance with its may-the-consequences-be-upon-thy-head approach to play, very little is spelled out in the tutorial. You learn by doing, and it can be frustrating to learn that some of the actions you make on the first day while still figuring everything out will grossly affect you in the future (e.g. the placement of appliances and upgrades). The point-and-click system fails somewhat, but only during combat against other bandits - where clicking a tiny circle over an opponent's head can feel clumsy and inaccurate.

What ultimately ties the game together, however, is a positively wonderful soundtrack that follows you through the tense moments of fire, blood, nighttime violence, and the cold, hopeless nothingness that pervades your days. You listen and you feel.

(Authored by Piotr Musial, you can buy the soundtrack exclusively on Games Republic for $2.99.)

The Final

This is an experience that requires a certain state of mind - that is, mindfulness of a slow start, openness to a bit of self-reliance, and willingness to be immersed in something depressing and thought-provoking all at once. There is very little to find wrong with this game - combat is not a star feature of this survival game, nor does it feel like it should be - and the lackluster story is more than made up for by the fact that its minimal narrative puts all the power of decision-making into your own, often incompetent, hands.

People have been throwing around the words "Game of the Year" in association with this game. I am hard-pressed to find anything to prove they're wrong. A definite staple for my recommendations list, it can be found on Steam for 10% off right now ($17.99 USD).

First Impressions Review: This War of Mine https://www.gameskinny.com/d3c3p/first-impressions-review-this-war-of-mine https://www.gameskinny.com/d3c3p/first-impressions-review-this-war-of-mine Thu, 16 Oct 2014 19:39:57 -0400 Kate Reynolds

When Grzegorz Miechowski, the founder and managing director of 11 bit studios brought an article to the office entitled, "One Year in Hell" it sparked a creative storm within the dev team. The article, about a man surviving a military blitz in Bosnia during the '90s, served as the impetus to do further research into modern siege survival stories which fuel their game This War of Mine

Unlike your typical AAA game that focuses on war, This War of Mine ignores the military combatants and instead focuses on the non-combatants, the civilians just trying to get by in battered war-zones. Since the closest I've been to a military siege was the last time I watched Red Dawn (the original) I went into the This War of Mine beta build with no idea what to expect. 

The first thing that hit me as the game began were the stark graphics. In order to make the game feel as real as possible, all characters involved are based off of photo-real people and that bleak realness shines against the murky backdrop of the abandoned building your characters call home. 

There is no tutorial for war

- and therefore there was no tutorial to explain the game to me after the first screen opened. Considering how tedious tutorial sections can be these days, I found the lack of direction to be a blessing. Without too much trouble I discovered how to loot, clear rubble, and use my workbench. All of this while counting down the hours until darkness, when my characters would be free to explore the outside world more safely. 

Scavenging at night is one of the most important aspects of the game. Without wood, parts, or food the scope of your daytime activities is severely limited and your characters will die quickly. So at the beginning of each night, you can choose which character you want to scavenge, based on their special talents and item storage capabilities. 

Though the game gives you a brief description of each location available to visit, you never quite know what kind of opposition you'll meet in the dark - or what you'll be willing to do to get the items you need. 

Like most games where I'm able to control multiple characters and slowly build up a base, my goal was to win. To me winning meant that all of my characters survived, and that I was able to keep them warm and fed each day. I looted a house while a girl was being raped in another room, I stole all the food from an elderly couple, and once I obtained weapons no one was safe. 

In its current state, the This War of Mine lacks a real connection to main characters

Despite the very realness of the characters (have I mentioned they're modeled off of real people? It's uncanny) I had a difficult time taking their plight seriously. I took their care very seriously -- murdering multiple NPCs for my characters' well-being -- but was unable to connect with them or their situation from my godly station. 

With little narrative and not quite yet fleshed out bio's, I couldn't connect with Marko, Bruno, or Pavle. The mechanics of taking care of my characters were difficult, but only mattered to me insofar as I wanted to "win" the game. When I accidentally got Bruno killed while scavenging a dangerous location, I was only sad to lose him because he could carry the most items. In short, I never had one of those "OMG WHAT WOULD I DO IF THIS WERE ME???" moments. 

However, my lack of emotional connection to the game wasn't an absolute deal-breaker. I was playing the beta version of This War of Mine which didn't come with a full cast of characters, locations, or descriptions. Plus, looting locations truly forces you to weigh all your options - in a fun way. Which would you need more, a bed or a way to make moonshine?   

When it comes down to it, This War of Mine plays as an excellent survival game replete with resources management, exploration, and combat. Yet as a game which aspires to offer a serious glimpse into the lives of besieged people, it comes up short. Not all games can be all things, and I'm still incredibly thankful that this one was just fun. 

If the game interests you, be sure to follow 11 bit studios on Facebook, follow the game's store page on Steam or even pre-order it through Games Republics. 

Programmer to Priest: Bringing Real People to This War of Mine https://www.gameskinny.com/0tm4v/programmer-to-priest-bringing-real-people-to-this-war-of-mine https://www.gameskinny.com/0tm4v/programmer-to-priest-bringing-real-people-to-this-war-of-mine Fri, 03 Oct 2014 06:41:21 -0400 Amanda Wallace

This War of Mine is a game about conflict unlike any you've seen before. The focus in this game is not on the guns or the conflict, but rather on the civilians trying to survive day to day. 

To really focus on the reality of the situation and to highlight the struggles civilians go through on a regular basis, the developers chose to incorporate themselves, their families and friends into the game. 3D models in games are usually from actors or other professionals, but 11 bit wanted This War of Mine to feel more authentic and so they chose to 3D scan themselves into their game. 

In the video above, you can watch as programmer Olek is transformed into a priest in the game. It's worth a watch if you're interested in-game development or This War of Mine. 

Currently the release date is set for Q4 for PC, Mac & Linux, with the open possibility of mobile applications in the future. 

Reveal Trailer for Jameson the Pilot https://www.gameskinny.com/nums9/reveal-trailer-for-jameson-the-pilot https://www.gameskinny.com/nums9/reveal-trailer-for-jameson-the-pilot Tue, 02 Sep 2014 18:22:53 -0400 Amanda Wallace

From the folks behind Anomaly and This War of Mine, comes a new game: Jameson The Pilot. Developed by Rezoner, James The Pilot is a space simulation game that promises to allow players to do anything space-related. With customizable ships, guilds and quests ...the universe is your oyster. Players can be explorers, miners, traders, pirates, or other wide variety of space-themed jobs. 

The game brings the now-traditional indie aesthetic of pixel art graphics and chip-tune music to the open world nature of a space simulation. 

Anomaly 2 Out! Go Save Our Species Before It's Too Late! https://www.gameskinny.com/qj1cq/anomaly-2-out-go-save-our-species-before-its-too-late https://www.gameskinny.com/qj1cq/anomaly-2-out-go-save-our-species-before-its-too-late Wed, 15 May 2013 15:50:48 -0400 Jamie K

11 bit studios finally unleashes Anomaly 2 today. The story continues from the award winning Anomaly Warzone Earth, a RTS game where Earth is invaded in 2018 by alien machines.The game, although criticized by GamesBeat for being hard to control, has had a lot of success due to its unique style of game play often referred to as "tower offense" or "reverse tower defense".

In the first Anomaly, players would control a convoy that was sent to investigate the wreckage created by downed alien spaceships which were causing anomalies. They were also tasked with getting rid of any threats that may appear within the sphere of these anomalies. Players couldn't directly navigate the convoys themselves, but instead had to rely on setting paths and the control of a foot soldier entitled Commander.

In Anomaly 2, the planet is now almost completely overrun with aliens, and humans will have to do everything they can in order to defend their remaining numbers. According to 11 bit studios:

“Since the war, the roles have been reversed: now our species seems to be the Anomaly on a machine-controlled planet”.

Many of the original elements were retained - such as tactical planning and the command of the foot soldier Yukon - but it boasts a lot of new additions. In particular the developers are pushing a new multiplayer experience, which they say is unique to the game called Tower Defense vs Tower Offense. Now, you can choose to become an enemy of the human race and destroy their kind, or continue in your fight for survival.

The sequel also adds the ability to morph your troops using war mechs (which will affect specific combat situations), a new single player campaign, and upgraded graphics which Polygon's Samit Sarkar has described as "...gorgeous, colorful..." Your experience as a player will also be more individualized as they have included alternative endings hinging on how you tackle enemies.

The game will be available for PC, Mac and Linux and as of right now is on sale for six days only for $13.49 (originally $14.99).

Anomaly 2 Review - Taking Something Good and Making it Better https://www.gameskinny.com/6pj3r/anomaly-2-review-taking-something-good-and-making-it-better https://www.gameskinny.com/6pj3r/anomaly-2-review-taking-something-good-and-making-it-better Wed, 15 May 2013 00:42:23 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Anomaly: Warzone Earth was one of the many games I've purchased on Steam over the years on a whim, but it has always stood as one of the better impulse purchases I've made. The RTS/tower offense hybrid was just as good in action 11 bit studios had conceptualized it to be.

Handling the challenge of investigating the anomalies with the Commander and his combat-ready squad was a treat in Warzone Earth.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Anomaly 2 improves on the formula that made the original unique in just about every way.

Instead of building towers to defend against waves of enemies, the Anomaly games put the player in the place of the "baddies" trying to make their way to their goal. The player must choose the route and squad units as they traverse the alien machine-riddled streets terrain and protect their squad mates.

You must be willing to adjust your strategy as the situation changes as Anomaly 2 does not pull any punches even in Normal Mode. The tactical map, which players of the first game will be familiar with, allows you to see the routes available as well as the machines along the way. You can pause the game at any time and adjust your route accordingly, which becomes an absolute requirement later on in the campaign.

Perhaps what surprised me most about the core of the game was the difficulty and variety of missions found in Anomaly 2. While those in Warzone Earth did vary, the sequel adds more memorable and interesting tasks to take on. I won't spoil this bit for you -- but veterans and newcomers alike are sure to be surprised more than once during their efforts to take the Earth back from the machines.

Graphically, 11 bit studios has completely outdone Warzone Earth and Anomaly: Korea in every way.

The game boasts a new engine that, frankly, looks pretty great in action. The team's use of distortion graphical effects, especially in the beginning missions of the game, is a nice touch to an otherwise primarily gameplay-focused experience. The ending to the prologue is perhaps one of the best uses of graphical distortion I've seen in a game; though sadly the game's story does not live up to the high standards the gameplay and visuals have set.

The story of Anomaly 2 follows Commander Lynx as he and his squad attempt to eradicate the alien forces once and for all. While the means of dealing with the alien menace varies greatly from one mission to the next, the storyline itself is nothing to remember.

Simply playing the game is entertaining enough on its own, but at least some characterization or twists would spice things up a bit.

Making my way through the game, I didn't care about how much I wanted to eradicate the machines and take the Earth back. I thought about how I was going to progress with the most ease.

The lack of plot-focus is acceptable in this type of title because it's all about the gameplay, but having at least one character to connect with would have been a huge bonus. When I think about the game, I think about the units and machines; the people behind it all don't even cross my mind. Giving the Commander a little personality would have helped tremendously with giving the game some personality, and in egging players to push on.

Perhaps the only true disappointment I found in Anomaly 2 was the short campaign. 11 bit studios really came up with some great mission concepts and pulled them off masterfully; but with so many unique and challenging tasks to take on, I can't help but feel like the game could have been stretched out longer.

The campaign includes 15 missions, which only take four to five hours to beat on Normal Mode. Perhaps six or seven hours if you're having difficulty. I would love to have more missions where the Commander has to go off on his own, or where I have to defend a building from impending waves of machines! Unfortunately, those new facets of the game are not used enough.

The short campaign is partnered with a new multiplayer mode which puts one player in command of marching squads a la campaign mode, and the other player is tasked with setting up machine towers along their opponent's route. This is labeled as tower defense vs. tower offense, and that label fits fairly well. Players can learn to be on the offensive simply by playing through campaign mode, and there are three tutorial missions to train players in the fine art of machine placement.

In many ways, Anomaly 2 took all of my expectations of the series and made them a reality.

The new units (and their ability to morph) make squad customization even better than before, and the new tasks to take on along with the impressive visuals more than validate this as an improvement over the original, even if a single run through the campaign can be a little short. Going for medals and achievements, and duking it out against other players in multiplayer can more than make up for the game's initially short single player offerings.

GameSkinny Exclusive: Anomaly 2 at Pax East 2013 https://www.gameskinny.com/z306o/gameskinny-exclusive-anomaly-2-at-pax-east-2013 https://www.gameskinny.com/z306o/gameskinny-exclusive-anomaly-2-at-pax-east-2013 Tue, 02 Apr 2013 13:02:17 -0400 Rothalack

Interview by Mark Taylor (AKA Lord Hammer from Guild UMBRA)
Filmed and Edited by Brian Schaaf (AKA Rothalack from GameSkinny)