It’s the year 2205, Earth has a pending an energy crisis and you are recruited by Global Union to participate in the Lunar Licensing Program. Your goal: Colonize the moon and help in the development of a fusion energy reactor to avert the pending crisis. Your corporation will need to establish itself on earth and get ready for launch into space! This is what Anno 2205 is about.
This is troubling premise, but Earth overall still looks fabulous. The game already informs you a bit on what happened, since the events in Anno 2070. A.I. are now lacking personality and is rather boring. You’ll also find remnants of the previous game during your gameplay but there’s a lot more to discover. First, while the game looks similar, there’s quite a few differences from the previous title. Production based building can all be expanded with modules to help with the production itself or reduce cost in energy, maintenance and others. Building for the population also can be upgraded when they meet the requirements, and you’ll have special buildings only available with certain projects that will provide you bonus resources or simply cosmetics. There’s also a complete trade system and you can build across several regions. The game does feature naval combat once more however, they are separated in missions that you need to access individually. You also do not build a fleet but you must rather use the one provided. You unlock this as your corporation grows and as you gain experience as a military commander. There’s a few more things that you can discover while playing that I will let you discover for yourself.
Anno 2205 in itself is good. It’s what I expect and like of the Anno series. However it’s missing something that you had in previous titles; The story doesn’t have the same depth. You create a corporation, you build up and gather to research space launch and you go to the moon to construct a reactor. It’s just basic. Once you’ve done all that, you’re left to your own device and then you can try to do all the achievements which amounts to quite a lot. Another option is to just buy additional sectors to construct more cities for your corporation. Unlike Anno 2070, you do not have to restart every time because it’s a world map; however I would have preferred restarting to the lack of story. The mechanics are good, the balance is there and it’s overall a good simulation. The music and the graphics are great and the voice acting is as usual welcomed but nothing spectacular. The cut scenes are great and well done, you’d almost wish the game was all like the initial cut scene but it is not. The new features make sense, but there is a lack of explanation on the way things evolved in the universe and how you reached that point. Don’t misunderstand me, there’s a bit of a background to a few things but it’s missing the overall history of the 135 years in between both titles.
With any simulation games, it also means you’ll probably spend close to a hundred hours in Anno 2205. That is if it doesn’t bug on you and you have to restart. Particularly when it blocks the main mission which is the only reason why you go through all the trouble of the different regions. Yes the arctic sector provides a challenge with the heat requirement to bring the population in, and yes the moon has a shield requirement for the same reason but in the end, it’s the same gimmick and it’s just a restriction that is easily circumvent when you know city management games. If you happen to go further than the initial game, everything you’ve unlocked will follow you so you can do better planning as you will be able to use things you were struggling for before that. But is it worth it? Is it worth it to spend close to a hundred hours in a game that deceivingly lacks in story? I have to say maybe. I like this type of game and I liked Anno 2070. I came into this game knowing what Anno 2070 was like but I felt disappointed by this missing element. I’m glad I played it, I’ll probably go back to Anno 2205 if there’s expansions but otherwise, it is now shelved in my steam library and I doubt I will go back to it anytime soon. Maybe in a few years when I want to re-explore a few games here and there. So can I recommend this? My answer, not if you don’t know the series. Go play Anno 2070 instead; you’ll get more out of it than you will with Anno 2205.