Anno 2070 is a stunning real-time strategy game that blends city-building elements with complex combat mechanics. Set in a futuristic world where global warming has melted the Arctic ice cap, the game provides fascinating commentary on competitive aspects that drive growth, industry and environmentalism, all through deep and intricate gameplay features. Engaging and highly challenging, Anno 2070 is a superb strategy title.
A complicated and detailed world – Anno 2070 eases you into the complexities of creating and developing a thriving city. Your responsibilities are severely limited early, with the game’s AI providing detailed information and tips to help you progress. Your own control over the game’s universe is positively countered by the in-game guide, and it’s extremely relieving to have such detailed direction considering how intimidating the game’s interface can be.
Different factions, diverse gameplay – The game’s fascinating trading system challenges your own political agenda. As Captain of an ‘Ark’ — which acts as your resource center to help colonise islands — you will deal directly with two different factions: Ecos, an environmentalist party that relies and invests in sustainable resources but expands slowly, and the Tycoons, who are aggressive industrialists but die young due to over-population and pollution.
Interestingly, both sides have their benefits. The effectiveness of the Ecos is lower than the of the Tycoons, but they also last longer thanks to sustainable resources that are better for the environment. You will need to build relationships and form bonds with both sides in order to help build the most successful colony.
Continuous Play keeps the gameplay fresh – Anno 2070’s great sandbox mode allows you to choose a faction and building, form and grow at will. While this mode can be played with or against friends in order to complete objectives, its freedom allows you to experience everything the game has to offer away from the restrictions of its campaign.
Great U-Play implementation – Ubisoft’s ‘U-Play’ online platform is implemented better in Anno 2070 than in any other Ubisoft game to date. For one, it doesn’t cut you out of a game if you randomly lose internet connectivity. It also allows you to access multi-scenario mini-campaign expansions knows as ‘New World Events’, as well as vote for Senate and World Council for each particular faction. It adds a fantastic sense of realism to the game’s strategy element, and truly is a great community implementation.
Changing political and visual landscapes – The world that is Anno 2070 is forever changing around you. Political agendas, elections, major events and catastrophes all have on affect on your progression. Your choices in the past will ultimately be critiqued by these instances, so your relationships certainly aren’t unbreakable bonds. In previous Anno games you had no choice but to sit back and watch as natural disasters and social issues threatened your society, but in 2070, things are different: the game gives you the ability to use science to help reduce and/or repair damage as it takes place, which adds a further level of development to an already deep God-like experience.
Mission variety – You’ll face many a problem in Anno 2070, a game that throws everything at you in order to compromise your growth. Pirates, bears, thieves. You’ll be encountering a number of different challenges throughout, and it mixes up the gameplay enough to add depth alongside the game’s city-building features. Real-time strategy plays a big part in this regard, opening up the landscape for lengthy and challenging sequences that truly test your skills as a leader.
UI needs work – With building tabs for absolutely every level of your population, the UI takes quite a bit to getting used to. You’ll find that particular types of buildings, despite all constructing the same unit, will move and appear in different tabs for different factions, which can be frustrating just as you think you’ve gotten used to the placement of each thing. It also doesn’t help that the game isn’t especially noob-friendly, and there’s certainly a level of patience and dedication to the experience to get beyond its initial hurdles, issues only a veteran Anno player might be able to easily move past.
Lacking sense of consequence – Anno 2070’s campaign mode does an admirable job of introducing each faction and the agendas tied to these groups. With every design decision you make in a mission, these elements are brought over to the next mission, even if you’re made an obvious error of judgment. The game allows you to carry over buildings from one mission to the next, which is a rather unorthodox implementation for this genre. Hardly a deal-breaker, but certainly somewhat perplexing, especially when you make a bad decision in preceding missions that ultimately aren’t rectified by the game’s AI.
While Anno 2070’s campaign might be lacking in the story department when compared to previous entries in the series, its deep gameplay mechanics and fascinating factions more than make up any lacking narrative. It might still be too complex an experience for newcomers to the franchise, but beyond the game’s steep learning curve is a deep, detailed and fascinatingly addictive strategy experience.