Prosperity & Cool Sci-Fi Tech: Anno 2070

By Lewie Procter on September 16th, 2011 at 9:23 am.

Half of these building are used for storing DRM servers.
The surprise futuristic entry in the Anno citybuilding series – Anno 2070 – has got a new video, showing off 3 minutes of mostly game footage. I hope you don’t think I’m crazy when I say I’m picking up a vague (very vague) Alpha Centauri vibe from this trailer. Sure, there’s no mind worms or nerve-staples on display, but it’s still pushing some of the same buttons.

Beautiful Sci-Fi cityscapes, fiddling with numbers, and two factions with opposing ideologies. What a treat. Let’s hope Fox news don’t get wind of “The Ecos” environmentalist ideals.

Ubisoft haven’t yet shared their plans for DRM on Anno 2070, so lets hope it’s not going to be using any of there rubbish always online “solutions”.

Hookedgamers have got some new screenshots, too. That was where I got the one at the top of the page from.

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64 Comments »

  1. Davie says:

    Apparently the video isn’t available in here in ‘Murica. Shame, everything I’ve seen of this looks pretty interesting.

    • shoptroll says:

      I haven’t paid any attention to Anno before, but this looks interesting. I hope the region lock on the video doesn’t imply it’s not heading across the Atlantic.

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      God I’m a bad person…. My very first reaction was “Hah! Now the shoe’s on the other foot Mr.Region-Locked-American!” and I should probably apologise for that.

      Anyway, there’s always the proxies if you’ve never had to mess around with region-locking before.

    • dontnormally says:

      What in whoever’s name would prompt them to region-lock their game trailer…?
      “No, we can’t have all those gamers watching our trailer. That would be… bad.”

    • Mauss says:

      I wonder if it has to do with the whole “Anno 1701 in Europe/elsewhere, Dawn of Discovery in the United States” thing. Maybe there will soon be a US-only trailer called… ‘Twilight of Discovery’? ‘Really Quite Late of Discovery’?

  2. Sheng-ji says:

    Looking forward to this game a lot

  3. Gunsmith says:

    I never got into the Anno series until I saw a friend playing 1404, I am looking forward to this very much.

  4. UnravThreads says:

    You know, even if it has Online DRM, SecuROM, an anal probe and UPlay for DRM, I’m still getting it. That’s probably because I’m not paying for it (Hopefully getting the CE as a birthday present), but even if I was? I’d still get it regardless of DRM.

    It’s Anno. Those games, even the now-old Anno 1701/1701 A.D. look and play fantastic.

    • Azhrarn says:

      The always on DRM really doesn’t bother me that much, I am lucky enough to have a rock solid connection at home, but it certainly reduces the appeal, since that would mean that I couldn’t play it on my laptop when I’m travelling. UPlay is the umpteenth service that you’re forced to be a part of as a PC gamer, so I long since stopped caring about those.

      Although with UPlay I like that you can use those points you earn from the achievements to unlock fun “mini-DLC” packs like aircraft skins, maps and such for your games. It’s not much, but it makes achievements a bit more useful and the points from one game can be used on any game you have on UPlay. :)

    • Khemm says:

      Ditto. Love me some Anno.
      Chances are it won’t have always-online, HoMM VI won’t force you to be constantly connected, so maybe Anno 2070 will use the same copy protection.

    • ulix says:

      I got a gift coupon for this game for my birthday, so yes, I’m getting it regardless of DRM. WIll download a pirated version though, if it has “Always On”.

  5. arrjayjee says:

    I love sci-fi and I’ve been hankering for a new strategy game. Don’t fuck this up with your DRM, Ubisoft.

  6. Bluerps says:

    Heh. I don’t know why, but the screenshot at the top looks to me like a photograph of a sci-fi diorama, or an elaborate wargaming table.

    Anyway, I’m excited by this game. I haven’t played a game like this in a long time.

    • Davie says:

      Best Warhammer 40k tabletop ever? I think so.

    • Azhrarn says:

      @Davie: It’s nowhere near Grimdark enough, it looks very nice as an Infinity table though, which is a game with a somewhat more positive outlook on the universe. :)

      As for the picture itself, that’s a lovely bit of Depth of Field work. :)

    • KillahMate says:

      It’s because of the focus blur (depth-of-field blur) – in that image it’s imitating a short lens on a near object (like a model) instead of a long lens on a distant object (like a city), where the image would have been entirely sharp with no blur. Google “tilt-shift”.

    • mejoff says:

      “an elaborate wargaming table”

      The genre neatly summed up! (Which is why I love it.)

    • Bluerps says:

      @KillahMate: Aah, that explains it. Interesting! Thank you.

    • mejoff says:

      It may also be that the blob shadows under the tiny figures look a little bit like slot-bases?

  7. HexagonalBolts says:

    Does seem like a bit of a massively simplified approach to a really complicated issue. The undersea part looks extremely cool though.

  8. Makariel says:

    It’s Ubi, as long as they’re not announcing how the drm works I expect the worst and won’t get my hopes up high

  9. Njordsk says:

    Boredom always catches on me after a few play of anno. I liked 1404, but couldn’t play it more than 30H

    • ulix says:

      So you only played one game? Or maybe two? Play arround with the start parameters, man, you’l have hundreds of hours of fun.

  10. GoliathBro says:

    Their.

    ARGH

    I EXPECT A HIGHER LEVEL OF JURNALISM

  11. Wang Tang says:

    According to this German site, Anno 2070 should be out on 17.11. Can hardly wait :D

  12. Tom De Roeck says:

    Theres only two sides to this: green and industrial? How annoying. Though I bet theyll put something in the DLCs and expansions though.

    • Napalm Sushi says:

      Yeah; I wonder which side will get access to thorium breeder reactors? Or genetically modified crops? And do people really still consider large scale hydroelectric power to be objectively “green” after the construction of the Three Gorges Dam? This looks like an interesting game that I’ll be keeping an eye on, but I’m not expecting any serious commentary from a basis this cartoonish.

  13. KillahMate says:

    Looks freaking amazing.

  14. MrEvilGuy says:

    What is with the infomercial drone-announcer? I like him.

    • Malcolm says:

      He makes the game sound about as exciting as one of those low-rent multimedia educational titles you used to be able to pick up in shops for £2.99

  15. Kollega says:

    And here i thought that when i complained about Alpha Centauri fans reciting “mind worms” and “neural stapling” like some sort of holy mantra every time the game is mentioned, i wasn’t entirely right. Guess i was after all. OR the author of this article wanted to troll me personally – but there’s no way that could possibly happen, right?

    As for the game, i might get it, but not before trying a demo to see if it’s the kind of city sim i want and making sure it’s free of the Ubi-DRM nonsense, since i don’t feel like supporting it commercially.

    • UnravThreads says:

      Anno games aren’t city sims. They’re economical strategy games. City building is a part, but nothing like, say, SimCity.

      Chances are there won’t be a demo, too.

    • Lazaruso says:

      It’s not just Lewie Proctor, the whole world wants to troll you. Personally.

    • mejoff says:

      … with mind worms.

    • IDtenT says:

      I bet it’s because you refuse to capitalise your ‘I’s. Nobody likes the guy who doesn’t approve of the inherent narcissism in the English language.

    • Kollega says:

      @UnravThreads: Well, this is all too bad. I really, really want a modern replacement for ye olde SimCity 4. Who’s with me on this?

      @IDtenT: And i thought if anyone would notice that anytime soon. I don’t know why don’t i capitalize my ‘i’s. Probably because my self-esteem is rather low WAAAAAAAAAAH.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Unrav: Well, there was a demo for the previous ANNO game, so why shouldn’t there be one?

    • UnravThreads says:

      Hmm-Hmm;
      Because this is Ubisoft?

  16. saladin says:

    My heart always sinks when I see combat in Anno games.

    • Ginger Yellow says:

      Likewise. And in any city-builder to be honest. But at least the Anno series is pretty good about letting you ignore combat entirely if you want to.

  17. ASBO says:

    I may be alone in thinking Ubisoft DRM doesn’t go far enough. For example, I think there needs to be a way to ensure it’s actually a human playing the game and not a bot. The best solution in this regard as far as I’m concerned would be to make every input from the user be validated by a subsequent CAPTCHA.

  18. JYzer says:

    “I hope you don’t think I’m crazy when I say I’m picking up a vague (very vague) Alpha Centauri vibe from this trailer.”
    Alpha Centauri? Oh, you mean that exciting new cover-based FPS/RPG from EA, due for release next year?

  19. Rii says:

    Looks to have all the ideological nuance of Captain Planet.

    It’s probably for the best; I’m not looking forward to having to wade through the torrents when Ubisoft releases a game I actually want to play.

  20. Cerzi says:

    inb4 anti-ubisoft reaction
    oh wait

  21. feda says:

    I can already tell you I won’t be buying this game, because they’ll use the dreaded DRM.

  22. Pijama says:

    “Very, very vague Alpha Centauri vibe” is the perfect description I was looking for with this. Thanks!

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      I enjoy the Anno series, and am looking forward to this, but unless the trailer (which YT wont let me view in my country) shows some radical departure in gameplay from the Anno series, I wouldn’t pin my hopes on a SMAC feel for anything other than the futuristic setting. Anno games are:

      *not 4x like Civ .They are economic games about establishing complex supply chains, and favor building one or two huge cities with satellite industrial ports, rather than many cities.

      *100% Real Time, not turn-based. You cannot “pause and issue orders” .

      *Not really designed with military strategy in mind. Combat is underdeveloped and unwieldy, and the most practical warfare, like everything else in the game, is economic.

      Still, Im looking forward to it. I enjoyed the last Anno game, though I wish some things would be more developed than they were. Perhaps this will be the series entry to do it.

    • Pijama says:

      That is why is a very vague alpha centauri vibe. Not in terms of gameplay, of course, but in feel. :)

  23. Derpentine says:

    Somewhat looking forward to this, tho the clutter of the cities and such makes it look rather automagic gameplay. Hey at least they can say they have the worst faction names ever.

    • ulix says:

      Believe me, if there was a “build-stuff”-sim with the least automatic gameplay, it would be Anno.

      You’re always doing something, tweaking supply chains, and so on. The hardest part is to stop.

      “Oh, its 2 a.m. already, I should stop. Well, let’s just build a bread production before going to bed. Ok, 3 a.m., done. Oh no, now my people don’t have enough coffee anymore, so lets build more coffee platations…” Etc. And when the sun comes up you realize how long you’ve played.

      There is a reason why the announce in these games tells you how long you’ve played in a single sitting: “You have already played 3 hours. Don’t you think its time for a coffee break?”

  24. Coins says:

    I’m really looking foward to this game, but I do fear that the two sides are very simple. Either ‘green’ or ‘industrial’ is a very narrow perspective. I liked 1404 because you could, if you so desired, mix and match the different aspects of your island empire. I still hope that it’ll be possible, but the trailer seems to indicate it doesn’t.

    • ulix says:

      The German walkthrough trailer I watched yesterday indicated you HAVE TO mix the two approaches. We’ll see how it turns out.

  25. takfar says:

    Sounds nice… too bad the cities look so… uninspiring. Everything is very samey, not an urban landscape I’d like to live in the future. Where’s the culture, the variety, the color? Everything looks very sterile and dead, even in the Eco cities.

  26. Vinraith says:

    Ubisoft haven’t yet shared their plans for DRM on Anno 2070, so lets hope it’s not going to be using any of there rubbish always online “solutions”.

    This is my concern. This thing is a day 1 purchase if they don’t saddle it with unacceptable DRM. If it IS saddled with unacceptable DRM, it’ll wait for a nice, steep sale (or possible forever).

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      Does the DRM become less problematic, restrictive, intrusive, or come with extra activations if it’s on sale? Usually, for people with DRM objections, it’s an either/or proposition. Securom can cause problems on your machine and impact performance if you put it there for full price, or you put it there for free.

      I didn’t have any problems with the Tages on the last Anno game, though I’ve not put the activation limits to the test yet. But price of the game had nothing to do with my decision to suffer it.

    • Vinraith says:

      Games I own are worth more money than games I’m renting. Rentals are worth no more than $5. Some DRM schemes, those that pose a threat to the hardware or are just completely horrible (Ubi’s always-on nonsense) are so bad they don’t even qualify as “rentals,” and indeed put the game in the do-not-purchase category.

  27. Dozer says:

    Fox News are going to go berserk over this one.

  28. jimjonescult says:

    @unrav

    I’m going to get this game as well without paying for it, regardless of whether it has always on DRM or not. This is to make up for the last Anno game I purchased and never could activate no matter how many activation codes I got from GamersGate and no matter how many emails I sent to UbiSupport (which mostly went unanswered, the one answer I got was basically “That code is legit, if it doesn’t activate, OH WELL.”). I actually had to download the crack to allow me to play the game I purchased legally. The support guys at GamersGate laughed and said “Yeah, that is the common solution.” Really? I had the same problem with The Settlers 7. I won’t buy any of their shit from now on but I have no qualms taking it after how they treated me. Anything to hurt them is good in my eyes. If they go out of business and/or lose developers, so be it. Developers should be punished for teaming up with assholes who push bullshit DRM just as much as the publisher who pushes it. A company should NOT be allowed to take your money, then tell you to fuck off if the product doesn’t work or they don’t try their hardest to make it work. FUCK Ubisoft.

  29. Ricemanu says:

    Don´t get me wrong, i love the Anno games. Loved them since i was a little boy. And i have nothing against the new setting, if done right. (I still would have preferred something more… vintage)
    But the whole eco-thing is really bad. It looks like this is a propaganda game. The only country that would produce such games clearly is Germany.

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