Lazy winter Sundays, heavy rains and a nice chill in the air, all I want to do is follow up on my power fantasy like I have a greater purpose than just living a boring routine. Enter games that let you build cities, connect them and watch the tiny little people go on their tiny, insignificant lives. Wait. This is about feeling good, not evil.
Let’s back up a bit. Enter games that let you build and manage sprawling metropolises and then laugh maniacally as they’re totally flooded, or watch idly by during a deadly epidemic……. Okay, I’m losing track of the original goal, but the sole purpose of city building sandboxes is to be fooled around with. With Anno 1800 releasing in a few weeks, I thought I’d take a look at what is arguably the best Anno game so far, Anno 2070.
On sale, the entire Anno 2070 collection can be purchased for less than ₹200, which makes it a great bang for your schlong, especially considering that the included Deep Ocean expansion opens up the entire ocean floor for exploration. The need for the additional UPlay launcher used to be extremely annoying back when I started playing the game in early 2015, but since then, most of the bugs have been ironed out, and it’s only been mildly annoying with one failed launch as of February 2019. The always-online headache has also been turned off long ago. But, as always with Uplay, your mileage may vary.
On to the looks; for a game from 2012, the graphics hold up wonderfully by today’s standards. Unit models look crisp. The performance is on point too, with the game maintaining over 90 fps at 1080p, maxed out on a 1060. There’s a bit of stutter and frame drops in heavy cities, but nothing too detracting from the gameplay.
Set in the year 2070, this game forgoes the present day technology in favour of high tech laser weaponry. The gameplay loop is essentially focussed on your ‘Ark’, which is essentially like the mothership, from where a command ship is deployed and consists of collecting resources, growing your population and basically outlasting your opposition. The game has 3 major factions, two of which are the playable Eden initiative (Team Eco or Team Green, sustainable growth), or the tycoons of the Global Trust (Team Red, fast initial growth, causing a LOT of pollution) and a third Science-y support faction (called the SAAT). Game modes include a story campaign, which takes you through the game’s ins and outs. There’s also a bunch of single mission scenarios, and a continuously changing “radiant” mission, “The World Events”.
The game can either be played single-player or in 4 player co-op mode. Kudos to Ubisoft for still keeping the game interesting, by cycling the World Events, and conducting Elections for the Senate and the World President, which gives varying perks based on the winner. There are also daily challenge missions that give bonuses on completion. The game has combat, but it’s downplayed a lot and is unlikely you’ll even face it in a regular match. When you do engage in combat, however, the AI doesn’t hold back, and there is a decent amount of challenge, making the naval, aerial or underwater combat much more satisfying
The game’s core mechanics are solid and rewarding. Looking at a sprawling city from the perspective of the creator leaves you with a buzz. While you wait for Anno 1800, give this game a spin, ‘tis a good way to spend some time to understand the mechanics of the series, and is a good starting point before the next release. And remember: Go Green, both in-game and real life.
About The Author
Abhay Hervatte is a mechanical engineer who’s been gaming since the early 2000s. He loves to play all kinds of games, but especially loves sandbox games, simulators and strategy games. Maintains Total War Warhammer is the best Warhammer experience.