ANNO: Mutationem Preview – Don’t Let It Fly Under Your Radar
If you asked me if there was a game that I’d hate to fly under someone’s radar next year, I’d definitely say ANNO: Mutationem. After covering it for some time, I’ve enjoyed learning more about the many gameplay elements featured in this futuristic action title. Now, I was finally able to play a brief portion of the adventure, which has me completely on board to play more.
ANNO: Mutationem opens up with Ann, a human with a few cybernetic enhancements. It seems Ann is suffering from an illness that she is completely sure how to cure, but luckily she has a virtual assistant named Ayane around to help keep her tasks in order. Ann seems to be an eager protagonist who goes with the flow during each encounter or change of plan. She adapts to the situation instantly, which I’m curious to understand what caused her to be this way.
Following the 30 minute demo, it’s tough to gauge her as a main protagonist, but she can hold her own in a fight. When it comes to her illness, I’m not sure what will come of it and how it will play into the narrative. However, through a few flashbacks, we can see that Ann has a backstory that she isn’t ready to come to terms with yet.
Gameplay revolves around adventure and battles. During the adventure segments, you’re free to explore wherever you are allowed and interact with NPCs. They typically have something funny to say, but nothing really helped me understand the world too much.
While exploring, Ann will have conversations with others through text that appears at the bottom of the screen. Sadly, this is on auto, so if you’re busy looking at something, you’ll probably miss what they say. I think this is the downfall of a lack of voiced dialogue. However, even if the game doesn’t feature that, a sound that the text is showing up at the bottom would be appreciated as sometimes it started playing without my knowledge.
The objective was clearly marked on screen as I made my way through the world. The demo came to a head after a chase scene full of battles. Bettle revolves around melee and shooting attacks. Right now, it seems Ann’s skills are fairly basic, but I think being able to dodge roll out of a combo easier would help the flow of combat. You’re also able to execute a final blow to enemies, but this animation was always the same.
The animation work and design of ANNO: Mutationem is simply gorgeous. I love the city and the various characters you encounter, making it fun just to look around. Inspiration seems to have been drawn from The Matrix and Bladerunner, but some unique elements about the world are a product of the graphical direction the game took. To make a long story short, Ann and Ayane are looking like capable contenders for the 2021 waifu choice awards.
After playing ANNO: Mutationem, I have a better understanding of the world that ThinkStars is trying to create, and I’m all about it. The movement is a little stiff, but this is also early in the game where Ann doesn’t seem to understand her power fully, so I’m hoping to see that evolve over development. I’m looking forward to playing more when the developer is ready to share.
ANNO: Mutationem is in development for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC-via Steam.
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