Whereas Anomaly Agent’s dazzling colors and far-future setting might trace at a recreation on the innovative, the reality is that it’s extra of a comfortable soup than a daring experiment. Taking over the sport’s controls is like lifting the lid on a pot stuffed with acquainted elements: Traditional 2D beat-’em-up gameplay; crunchy pixel artwork graphics; offbeat cyberpunk humour; an ever-evolving suite of combos and talents; the buying checklist goes on. And whereas the resultant aroma might not ship your thoughts to any thrilling new locations, like the very best of soups it is going to present a comforting feeling of heat, and a healthful gaming expertise for the top of a protracted day.
Anomaly Agent sees you slipping into the trendy footwear of Agent 70, an worker of the much-maligned TDAY company who serves as a fixer for issues within the recreation’s cyberpunk multiverse. You’ll comply with him as he jumps between dimensions by way of portals, sorting the anomalies he encounters in every new space like he’s the protagonist of a extra pixelated Physician Who. And a extra violent one too, may I add: The Physician would recoil in horror if he noticed the physique rely racked up by Agent 70 in a single stage alone, by no means thoughts the customarily brutal strategies by which he goes about attaining it. Maybe that’s to be anticipated thoughts you: he’s 23 ranks above infamous assassin Agent 47, in spite of everything.
Right here Comes The Beatdown
This wanton destruction, or beat-’em-up gameplay in additional normal parlance, is the meat within the Anomaly Agent soup, and it’s seasoned to perfection. You’ll begin off with a fundamental melee combo and an evasive roll, pulled straight out of the Darkish Souls college of fight design, however earlier than you realize it you’ll be juggling double-jumps, ranged weapons, parries, and particular strikes all throughout the similar assault chain, dodging forwards and backwards between foes to maintain these i-frames intact. It’s completely exhilarating while you’re within the zone, and the music does an excellent job of reinforcing the sensation of move that such complicated encounters convey.
The enemy choice within the recreation performs to this technique’s strengths. There are only some totally different enemy varieties, however every feels distinct sufficient to make you alter your strategy. Melee opponents can typically be parried for a simple stun, for instance, whereas these packing shotguns will should be dodged by and punished from behind. Regardless of which foe you’re dealing with, nevertheless, all of them have chunky well being bars, letting you take advantage of your expansive fight arsenal quite than taking place to a couple hits of a fundamental combo. Fundamental enemies may even merge with others to create extra highly effective variations, including an additional layer of depth to the sport’s frequent multi-enemy encounters.
A Tough State of affairs
Such battles may be thrilling, however they’re additionally the place among the recreation’s most notable cracks start to point out. Enemies prepared up and ship assaults extremely rapidly, which makes for tense fights in teams of 1 or two, however irritating messes in teams of three or extra. Attempting to take care of a number of melee foes directly whereas a ranged enemy takes pictures from throughout the room is a state of affairs that’s arduous to return away from unscathed, and a single mistake can rapidly spiral into an unfair loss of life given the sport’s lack of i-frames on harm.
It may be irritating to die nigh-immediately to a big group, with no clear indicators of what went incorrect and even what in the end killed you, however fortunately the sport is kind of lenient in the remainder of its problem design. Your well being is absolutely restored with every new room that you just enter, and dying will solely ever ship you again to the beginning of the room that you just’re in. Which means that, in contrast to the beat-’em-ups of outdated, Anomaly Agent just isn’t an endurance marathon however quite a collection of brief sprints. You don’t have to show you may survive a full 20-minute stage right here, simply the 2-minute part you’re in proper now. This can be a pretty concession to fashionable problem preferences and, mixed with an absence of a lives system or any actual penalty for loss of life, contributes drastically to the cosy really feel we mentioned earlier.
Story As Previous As Time Journey
One other main think about that is the sport’s story: the wealthy inventory in our more and more tortured soup metaphor. Whereas it will’ve been straightforward to lean into the edgy, cool-guy power-fantasy aspect of cyberpunk, Anomaly Agent as a substitute chooses to embrace the style’s potential for the offbeat and the weird, presenting a choice of characters that wouldn’t really feel misplaced in a sci-fi sitcom. You’ll meet a perm-sporting wrestler who longs to face you in honourable fight, a flatulent dwarf that may be kicked throughout rooftops, a seemingly omnipresent cybernetic bartender, and lots of extra apart from.
The situations wherein you meet these characters are glorious too. In a single mission you’ll be infiltrating a nightclub that took the time period ‘laser gentle’ somewhat too actually, whereas in one other you’ll be battling a military of hooded clones on hoverboards as you try to shoot down an enemy zeppelin, dodging bombs all of the whereas. As quickly as I discovered myself ducking and dodging down a tightly-packed hall whereas an enormous Monty Python hand adopted in pursuit, I knew I used to be in secure fingers. Fairly actually.
Discuss Of The City
There’s frequent banter between characters to get pleasure from as properly, and this, too, is powerful all through. Agent 70 serves as a wonderful viewers surrogate, continually questioning his weird circumstances in humorous vogue. You’re usually given a selection of dialogue choices for responding to characters, and a few of these truly play into one of many recreation’s most fascinating concepts: feelings as forex.
Sure dialogue decisions will grant you both constructive or unfavourable emotion factors, relying on whether or not you have been well mannered or impolite, respectively. These can then be exchanged for optimum well being batteries (assume Zelda’s Coronary heart Items) or additional cash on the recreation’s skill-selling robots. It’s not a very deep system, and also you’ll quickly study to be as well mannered as potential, since additional most well being is extra precious than additional cash, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a really cool sci-fi idea, and one that might possible be expanded in a future replace or sequel.
There are definitely extra complaints I may stage at Anomaly Agent. I may dive into the low-impact talent tree, or the janky platforming sections, or the brief total size of the sport, however to take action could be lacking the purpose. The sport’s simplicity, each mechanical and systemic, is a big a part of its enchantment. That is the online game equal of your favorite consolation meals; a tried-and-tested soup recipe that has remained unchanged whilst numerous generations have come and gone.
Anomaly wouldn’t suggest a beat-’em-up recreation, however Agent sands off the style’s tough edges whereas including a bucketload of coronary heart, offering a easy trip all through with out ever feeling patronisingly straightforward.
Should you’ve had a tricky day, and the soup on the range nonetheless has some time to go, then give Anomaly Agent a shot – and lose your self in a less complicated world. For a short while, a minimum of.
Substantial beat-’em-up gameplayExcellent pixel artworkBanging soundtrackClever and joke
May be irritating at timesCombat may do with being slowed downShort total run time