Despite being relatively new to gaming and having a few champions in the form of League of Legends or Fieldrunners, tower defense games are getting a little old. People have tried to change them up, add different units, change the perspective, mod them into games, and put them on every platform possible, but the tower defense design is only so expandable. So what do you do? You flip it on its head, just like Anomoly: Warzone Earth has. It debuted on the PC a little over a year ago, but only recently landed on the shores of PSN, so how does the port handle? Really well, actually.
In the near future, an alien craft has crash landed in the middle of Baghdad, conveniently where you and your military forces happen to be posted, creating a large sphere around the city. You infiltrate the dome and over the course of fourteen missions, pursue strategic actions in trying to understand and defeat the new alien foes before, y’know, the world blows up or whatever.
Traditional tower defense games place you in a grid-based environment and require you to place the aforementioned towers to repel waves of foes, upgrading and building your defense through each match. Anomaly takes the opposite approach in that the enemy is the array of turrets and you’re the one guiding an armed convoy past them. Each map is laid with paths to direct your convoy, playing on risk and reward as you start each match. Blow up more turrets and you get access to specific power-ups or more currency to build or upgrade the vehicles in your convoy, which you can then rearrange for optimal performance. Some missions can be a little annoying in regards to scripted events in that you’ll need to change your convoy’s path to react to new threats, but since these aren’t random, you’ll know your precise path each time. You’ll receive more units as you progress through the campaign and it never feels overwhelming, even when you return to the game after a time – I found the game played best when played a level at a time, rather than marathoned, which can be done in about six hours.
The game is pretty despite its drab, Baghdad setting. Dusty roads and fields of sand are only enticing for so long, but you’ll encounter night missions and alien incursions carry a Tiberian Sun look that was pretty refreshing. Each mission has various difficulties and score metrics, encouraging multiple playthroughs. Multiplayer was slight, so the campaign is your content. Even if you’re tired of tower defense games, Anomaly is a clever title worthy of a look.