“…if you consider it simply in its own right, the game has a lot to offer.”
Anno 2205 is Ubisoft’s representation of how we might be living in the future once resources become more scarce. It recognises the struggles of humanity and the likelihood that we will need to rely on mega-corporations to help us survive. The answer to our struggles, it poses, may be to colonise our moon, and thus a new space race of sorts begins. Your mission, as the head of one of these corporations, is to stay ahead of the competition in helping humanity to get there.
Strategy games are arguably an aside from Ubisoft’s more recognised AAA productions, but Anno 2205 has plenty of depth and decision making to give it credibility nonetheless. This is certainly not a half-baked effort from its development team, and it has as much to offer as many others at the top of the market. In terms of style, it plays like a less comedic version of Tropico, but naturally with a futuristic overtone. What is difficult in Anno 2205 however is that it feels as though it requires previous knowledge of the series in order to fully appreciate or understand it.
The main reason for this is that there is no clear tutorial process. The game does give you instruction early on, but not in a formulated style which offers any real form of guidance. It is more of a helping hand than an instructional introduction, but with so much going on, the latter is what you really need. Unless you are a series fan, you may also feel a bit left out of the loop, as there are a lot on names and bits of lore thrown about that make little sense out of context. Beefy though the game is in terms of content, it could do with a little more attention paid to newbies.
Gameplay itself is pretty easy to figure out, with a to-the-point interface and clearly defined objectives. It is not always 100% clear how to achieve said objectives, and you are left to figure a lot out for yourself, but at the very least you know what you are shooting for. The game is immersive too, with a relatable plot playing out and events occurring which are equally recognisable from our real world. Most notable perhaps is the regular interventions by extremists and environmentalists who disagree with your corporation’s actions. Unfortunately the game does not have the best way of incorporating these into its structure…
Combat does not fit the style of Anno 2205, and plays out with little depth or value. What is has over many games is that it does explain why there is fighting happening, and does not send you into a fight “because reasons”. When you reach that fight however, the experience is fruitless, and feels as though it is taking up time that could be more interestingly spent playing the in-depth strategy parts of the game. Fighting in this game is boring, and could easily be seen to by cutscenes or skipped over entirely and the situation simply explained to you later.
Fortunately there is not too much time taken up by Anno 2205’s more aggressive side. What you do have plenty of time to do with greater pleasure however is appreciate the view. Anno 2205 must be one of the best looking strategy titles on the market, if not the best. To get the most out of it you do need high-end hardware, but even on lower settings it trumps many of its rivals.
One final criticism can be made of Anno 2205, and that is that it doesn’t offer a huge amount of freedom for a strategy game, and has less for you to do than others. It chooses to opt for a well-told story in place of tonnes of content, which in fairness it pulls off well. If you are a fan of more traditional strategy titles however, you may find it difficult at first to adapt to the alternative focus, and so it is worthy of mention.
When pulling together final thoughts on Anno, it is important to keep in mind that it is not a conventional strategy game. It has less for you to do, it doesn’t handle combat situations all that well, and it leads you in a pretty linear direction. At the same time, if you consider it simply in its own right, the game has a lot to offer. A strong storyline, a relatable setting and an interesting take on the potential future of the human race make it an interesting game to play, and well worth spending some time with. Whilst I can’t recommend it to all strategy gaming fans then, some will appreciate Anno 2205 for its unique style. For those people, the game will likely be very enjoyable indeed.
- A strong storyline based on a relatable setting; the future of the human race.
- Realistic and informed in its approach to telling its story.
- A unique style of strategy game with a lot to offer the right kind of gamer.
- A fantastic looking strategy title, pushing the limits of the genre in this area.
- Pretty easy to get to grips with the basics if you are new to the Anno world.
- The level of unique ideas and methods in the game cannot be overstated.
- Not a huge amount of traditional strategy game things to do, with a focus placed on the core objectives which come together to form the game’s story.
- Combat situations are not handled overly well, and don’t suit the style.
- Quite linear for a strategy title, with little option for free and open play.
- No clear cut tutorial, and some objectives are a little confusing to complete.
- Some prior knowledge of the Anno world is assumed, leaving holes in the plot and a level of confusion for new players to try and work their way around.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.