Review Anno 2205

Does this PC strategy game shoot for the moon or get stuck in the mud?

Liana Kerzner

Published

By Liana Kerzner @redlianak

City builders are a form of zen gaming for me. I like just enough challenge to keep me engaged, but I don't like it to be so punishing that I get frustrated. Anno 2205 lands right in that zone, and while it won't appease hardcores who want a competitive challenge, it's a great way to relax.

Anno 2205 is a massive, engaging city builder with real time strategy elements that gets off the ground fast and keeps you hustling. The game puts you in charge of a futuristic corporation that's part of the Lunar Licensing Program, and your goal is to find a colony on the moon, build massive cities, and make lots of money. The sheer amount of stuff to do in the game is overwhelming, and it looks gorgeous. It mostly sounds good too, although one character's audio came in a bit low to my ears. The music is great and the characters don't get in the way, but they're amusements when they do pop up.

In a builder, it doesn't matter how good it looks or sounds, however. What matters is how it plays. And overall Anno 2205 plays quickly, intuitively, and engagingly... and the next thing you know, four hours have passed and the game is telling you to take a break.

The best part about Anno 2205 is the sheer size of the cities you can build. They sprawl for screens, over mountains and bridges. As well as your traditional temperate regions, there's a unique mode in the Arctic with its own restrictions based on heat, and, of course, mining colonies in moon craters with energy shields to keep your equipment and people safe from space debris. That and get cumbersome when your cities get really big, so I'm hoping for a patch that allows you to locate specific types of buildings on the mini map.

You get started incredibly fast, laying down the basics for a new city in a matter of minutes, without worrying that some overpowered AI antagonist is going to sneak attack you. Combat is limited to crisis sectors, and while you need to win certain critical battles to progress, it's something you can do while you're waiting for resources to accumulate. Rare resources are also found in crisis sectors, which make them worth replaying. These zones are repetitive and not my favorite thing to do, but they're a good way to pass the time while waiting for resources to build.

Similarly, side missions with rudimentary plots are another nice change of pace from building and upgrading. They're a bit fetch-questy -- find six hidden objects using a probe, collect five of a certain random item, blow up three of something else -- but again, they're something to do while you're waiting, and the payouts are worth the tedium. The real joy is watching your cities grow to gargantuan proportions, and earning enough money to perform hostile takeovers of other corporations' regions.

Anno 2205 trade routes
Set up your trade routes between Earth and the moon.

Because it's a new PC game, there are a few bugs -- mostly nuisance level stuff, like a vote not registering or a ship temporarily disappearing. One of my ships disappeared for no apparent reason, which was weird. Overall the game is extremely stable, which is quite a feat based on the size of the maps and the number of unique objects involved. Everything saves as you go at any rate, so if you get crashes (I didn't), you don't lose much.

That being said, some people may really dislike the need for a Uplay account and an Internet connection to launch the game. The game would not launch if I was in offline mode, so if you don't have a constant Internet connection, you might be wasting your money. Regarding Uplay itself, I like it. I play a lot of Ubisoft games, and the way the rewards transfer no matter what platform I'm playing on is something I quite like. I also like the unique in-game items I can use earned points for. So it's not just another account on top of Steam, GoG, Beamdog, Origin, and whatever other clients you've been forced to download in the past.

Minimum System Requirements:

  • Operating System: Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 (64bit versions)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 750 @ 2.6 GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 @ 3.2 GHz
  • RAM: 4GB or more for Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
  • Video card: nVidia GeForce GTX460 or AMD Radeon HD5870 (1024MB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0)
  • DirectX: DirectX June 2010 Redistributable
  • Sound: DirectX Compatible Sound Card with latest drivers

Recommended System Requirements

  • Operating System: Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1, Windows10 (64bit versions)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 2400s @ 2.5 GHz or AMD FX 4100 @ 3.6 GHz
  • RAM: 8GB or more for Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
  • Video card: nVidia GeForce GTX 680 or AMD Radeon HD7970 or better (2048MB VRAM or more, with Shader Model 5.0)
  • DirectX: DirectX June 2010 Redistributable
  • Sound: DirectX Compatible Sound Card with latest drivers

Because there are so many features in the game, it's easy to nitpick things. However, at the end of the day, I had a great time playing Anno 2205. In fact, I stayed up until 7 AM playing it, and it wasn't just because I was on a schedule. City builders are a nice change of pace from action-adventure adrenaline fixes, and Anno 2205 isn't without thrills itself. Unlocking new types of buildings, levelling up, and sharking your competitors all adds up to a pretty great time, assuming your computer has the specs to run the game.

This game was reviewed on PC with a digital copy provided by Ubisoft.

Images courtesy of Ubisoft.

8.0

Great

The Rundown

A relaxing, fun, expansive turn-based strategy game that may not break a huge amount of new ground, but is enjoyable nonetheless.

What's good?

  • Great graphics
  • Huge cities
  • Lots to do

What's not?

  • Occasional odd bugs
  • Large cities get a bit cumbersome to manage
  • Combat is repetitive

For Fans of

  • Sid Meier's Alpha Centuri
  • Sid Meier's Beyond Earth
  • Cities XL