• Anomaly Warzone Earth recently hit Xbox Live Arcade finally bringing one of 2011’s most enjoyable PC titles to console gamers.  This game is similar to other tower defense titles you might have played in the past, however, rather than play defense, Anomaly Warzone Earth puts you on the offensive.  The world is being invaded by an alien force and you need to figure out what is going on.

    In Anomaly Warzone Earth you are in control of a squad that has been sent to try and deal with the alien threat.  You directly control the commander who is running around on the ground next to a convoy of vehicles.  You start off with only one vehicle but as you progress you will earn the ability to add to your convoy or upgrade your existing units.  You will also have the ability to strategically place your units where you want within the convoy insuring that you have maximum protection while simultaneously being able to eliminate your opposition.  At the start of each mission you are tasked with configuring your squad how you see fit and then plotting out the most effective course to reach your objective.  Once you do that the mission begins and you have to begin paying attention to your surroundings.  You will frequently receive air support in the form of supplies so you need to pay attention to where those land so you can collect them.  You will also need to pay attention to the overall health of your unit so that you can heal them at the appropriate time.  As you progress in the game the challenges get more intense and you will need to be able to think on your feet if you are going to survive.  You can change your route at a moment’s notice or utilize a smoke screen so that the enemy won’t see you coming.  As you gather more money you can upgrade on the fly giving your arsenal more potency or your armor better protection.  I would always pay close attention to the map as it gave me enemy locations and, if possible, I would try and stay away from the bigger enemies that could easily wipe me out.  Strategy is key here and if you try and go through a mission recklessly you will suffer the consequences, especially in the later stages of the game.

    In addition to the story mode you also have “Baghdad Mayhem,” “Tokyo Raid” and Tactical Trials.  Both of the “Baghdad Mayhem” and “Tokyo Raid” modes seem to be basic survival modes.  You have to basically engage the enemy and see how long you can last.  In the Tactical Trials mode you have six different missions in the VR-style.  These are goal oriented missions and offer a nice addition to the main campaign.

    These types of games haven’t always fared well on consoles due chiefly to control issues, however, the development team has done an exceptional job in this area.  Playing this game with the Xbox 360 controller is really comfortable and really intuitive.  Everything works as you think it should which is important in those tense situations where you need to be able to accomplish your goal on the fly.  Graphically speaking it isn’t the prettiest game on XBLA but it really doesn’t need to be.  I would much rather play something that was fun and had great controls instead of a game where the only thing going for it is that it looks pretty.  I’m sure we have all played those types of games.

    Anomaly Warzone Earth was a fun game when it came out last year for the PC and the development team has done an exceptional job bringing it over to the Xbox 360.  I do enjoy the strategy/tower defense genre, however, this title is a nice breath of fresh air.  The storyline is a bit generic, however, the gameplay is great and the campaign is pretty challenging.  I highly recommend this title to anyone who even has a passing interest in this genre and there is always the free demo if you want to try before you buy.  Anomaly Warzone Earth is a great title and one that really shouldn’t be missed.

    Score: 8/10

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