Anomaly Agent Review

Pixel platformers are a common feature of the gaming landscape, so it takes a lot to stand out from the crowded market. You need style, a catchy soundtrack, and smooth, fast-flowing action from the get-go. A mind-bending story doesn’t hurt either. Anomaly Agent has all of these ingredients, and it all comes together incredibly well the majority of the time.

Anomaly Agent puts you in the shoes of Agent 70, an agent who works for the organisation known as TDAY, which monitors and stops anomalies that spring up which could impact the world in unexpected ways. What starts as a simple story of an agent stopping a gravity anomaly creature, soon spirals into a time-travelling tale full of fast-paced action sequences and puzzles. The story is really entertaining, taking the tropes of time travel and delivering a solid, well written, and funny sequence of events.

The gameplay of Anomaly Agent mixes combat and platforming alike, and it does require some quick reflexes on your part. Agent 70 will be fighting an army of clones, of which there are some variations. You have your basic melee combat clones through to the more powerful shotgun-toting clones. The clones can become more dangerous by merging, essentially levelling up. For example, two melee types can merge to become a bigger and faster clone. You can, thankfully, interrupt this merge with your own attacks.

Agent 70’s primary combat style is getting up close and personal with melee attacks, but you can get a throwable item that can stun enemies, as well as pick up enemy’s guns when they are defeated. These give you a couple of rounds and you can then throw the empty gun at an enemy to deal some extra damage. Parrying attacks is incredibly important in Anomaly Agent, as this allows you to send back bullets to enemies or break down an enemy’s defence to give you the opportunity to fight back.

As you make progress through Anomaly Agent you will have a lot of conversations, and earn coins too. Conversations feed into the upgrade system of the game as you gain happy and sad upgrade points, as well as the coins. Gain enough happy upgrade points and you can unlock an upgrade that will go towards increasing health. Spend sad upgrade points and you will get more points to spend on new skills. These skills include more damage from ranged weapons, and faster recharge times for abilities. The amount of coins awarded is generous anyway, and by the end of my five hour playthrough I had unlocked the majority of upgrades.

The platforming is solid with environmental puzzles to solve to make progress. Most of these puzzles are very easy to solve, as Anomaly Agent relies on moving through the action at speed. There were instances where my controller input seemed to lag, leading to death. The checkpoint system is lenient though, and never sends you that far back from where you died. When it occurs, the lag does hinder the experience because enemies will swarm you quickly and you’ll be dealing with multiple attacks from in front and behind a lot of the time, while trying to anticipate environment hazards on occasion, but hopefully this is something that can be improved with a patch.

The soundtrack for Anomaly Agent is up there as one of the best I’ve heard in a while. The thumping dance music, some bass, and the action all merge to create a stylish action game. The visual design is decent and shows a cyberpunk kind of world, but while it’s characterful it’s not the best in class for the genre. The fantastic music definitely sets the atmosphere more than the visuals do.

Summary
Anomaly Agent is a fun and furious action platformer, mixing fast-paced combat with an awesome soundtrack.
Good
  • An excellent, fast paced, action platformer
  • The soundtrack is brilliant
  • The writing and story is fun
Bad
  • There can be some input lag
  • Enemies can swarm a bit too quickly in certain situations
8
Written by
From the heady days of the Mega Drive up until the modern day gaming has been my main hobby. I'll give almost any game a go.