Good graphics and audio don't make up for a lack in innovation and a few very poor design choices.

User Rating: 2 | Anno 2070 PC
It's been a while since I reviewed a game. Usually I just keep my mouth shut and mind my own business but Ubisoft left me with little choice except to type in the gamespot url, login to my account and review the game I was finally able to play--Anno 2070.

THE GOOD
* I'm just playing this now because the hardware requirements were pretty steep and I upgraded my PC recently. I was surprised to see just how beautiful the graphics looked. The hardware requirements looked pretty steep to me but it does use my hardware nicely. I was able to push the graphics settings up to HIGH and turn up some settings even higher than the default for HIGH graphics to make the textures look spectacular without losing any frames at all. It's nice to see some good programmers out there in the game development world that still know how to design a great engine like this. The UI is great, the overhead map looks awesome, everything looks just dandy.

* The audio is nice and the voice actors for the various NPC characters are great too. I think it's worth mentioning because usually the voice actors are really terrible--especially lately as it seemed like it was only getting worse. It's nice to see some voice audio that actually fits the look of the NPCs.

THE DECENT
* Gameplay is exactly same thing as Sim City or Rollercoaster Tycoon. What more is there to say about it? It's the same exact thing in every minor detail. No innovation to be found here what so ever.

THE BAD
Unfortunately that's where the puppies and bunny rabbitness ends.

* The learning curve on this game is absolutely massive. The campaign is supposedly meant to act as a tutorial but doesn't actually teach you anything. There is a database type section that has a list of things that are described to you but it's not detailed at all and it really only describes things. You click on the button to learn about the thing and it pretty much just confirms this thing's existence. What was the reason for this intentional learning curve? Apparently that should be plural because previous Anno games have also had a massive learning curve but to be honest I haven't played them and if they are anything like this then I'm glad I didn't waste my time and money. I would really like an explanation from Ubisoft but I don't think I'm going to get one because it's probably something like, "We don't like people so we thought we might troll our development and make them complain more." My assumption there seems somewhat silly but I really wouldn't put it past them.

* This game requires an active internet connection even when you are not playing multiplayer. To push the knee in the balls to the customers even further, you are punished for playing in "offline mode" and the game only works at 100% when you are connected to the servers at Ubisoft. We can only hope they have stable servers because if you can't connect somehow, or if you live in an area known for fierce thunderstorms and power outages, then guess what? You're screwed.


THE CONCLUSION
The last 2 things in I listed here pretty much scaled my rating down something fierce. But to be perfectly honest there really isn't much to scale it back up. The graphics look outstanding and the audio is great, but the gameplay is copied directly from other games and there is no innovation what so ever, so when it comes down to listing these 2 annoying factors ... that's pretty much all there is to it. Few points up for the good, a point or two lost for the decent, and more points lost for the bad.

In my opinion there just isn't really much reason to play this game for more than a day or two. Why spend money testing out my hardware when I can get a program off the internet designed to test my hardware and pay a lot less for it or nothing at all?
Why, indeed.
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