Anomaly Agent

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Anomaly Agent review
Jack Carter


A Platformer For Action Fans

A Platformer For Action Fans

In Park Chan-wook's 2003 film, Oldboy, Choi Min-sik's character, Dae-su, enters a corridor filled with armed men ready to kill him. The rest is cinematic history. If you haven't seen the film, or its Hollywood remake starring Thanos himself, Josh Brolin, and if you don't mind spoilers for one of the best fight scenes in media, then let me give you the rundown. With one long unbroken sequence, filmed from the side of the corridor, Dae-su fights his way through the mob, using everything he can to survive. Few games have given me fleeting moments reminiscent of said scene. Sifu was the last one I can recall, and now Anomaly Agent.

Side-Scrolling Mayhem

When firing on all cylinders, Anomaly Agent feels like an action movie. There's a dozen enemies, all with different abilities, trying to kill you, while you're stuck in a room with them. In typical video game fashion, you need to make sure all of them are "retired" to progress to the next level. Towards the end of the game when most of your skills are unlocked, you become a veritable John Wick with a double jump, busting in heads with your bat, blocking bullets with your briefcase, and kicking ninja stars into bad guys' throats. The only thing holding you back is yourself and how well you memorize the game’s controls... or if your inputs register. This happened infrequently, but a few times while playing, pressing inputs would sometimes do absolutely nothing. I wasn't charging up an action, I wasn't getting knocked back by a hit, and still – nothing. At one point, I had 2 bullets left in my handgun with a single enemy in front of me - I press the button to shoot and... nothing, I press it again and still nothing. It only lasted a second but with how fast the action moves, that second can be a matter of life or death.

Similarly, the controls can be a bit too convoluted. There are a lot of skills that you learn over your time with Anomaly Agent, and it can sometimes be a chore to remember which is which, especially mid fight. These are all minor gripes in an overall stellar game, and as mentioned previously, the game moves so fast that these minor speed bumps are barely a problem.

It's easier to list what Anomaly Agent does right than to list what it does wrong. The game's characters are all defined well enough to grasp who they are, the world is interesting and vibrant, and the gameplay is fun and challenging. Even the boss fights are deceptively entertaining. At first they feel like an arduous chore as you realize your attack barely whittles any life away from the bosses health bar, but then it switches things up by introducing new gameplay like anti-gravity, moving platforms with teleportation, or air dropped in weapons. Each boss encounter plays out in stages, making sure it doesn't get stale.

All of this is woven together in a story that doesn't take itself too seriously, but takes itself seriously enough to give some interesting stakes. On your last day before your big promotion, a rogue anomaly is causing trouble, and you have to shut it down. Anomalies are humans that have been granted super human power, like the ability to change gravity or disrupt time. Who these Anomalies are and how they got their power is part of the mystery that I won't spoil here, but I will say my favorite is an Ultimate Warrior inspired wrestler

Clone Wars

With its minimalist pixel art aesthetic, Anomaly Agent crafts a cyberpunk dystopian world with neon lights and flying cars. It is reminiscent of films like Blade Runner, even to the point where your character is an agent hunting down replicant-like clones. Much like other games in the genre, Anomaly Agent is only as good as you make it. Its catchy synthwave beats and blood splattered chunky pixel violence are akin to other indie darling Hotline Miami, but Anomaly Agent isn't just a, pun intended, clone of previous media, but an intriguing anomaly with a lot of heart that is worth the journey, however brief. If you're looking for a fun action platformer, with a sci-fi story that has fun with the genre, then do yourself a favour and check out this little gem.

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fun score


Interesting story and characters, Great platforming and exciting fights


Minor bugs, Convoluted controls