Anvil, the tried and true of a fast and very classic twin stick shooter

Anvil, the tried and true of a fast and very classic twin stick shooter


Many video games have by now renounced any experimental or expressive ambitions, to present themselves as machines designed to pass the time in total light-heartedness; basic experiences that offer themselves as simple and direct as possible, in which the only constant is the random reinforcements that transform the player into a kind of unaware rat, constantly chasing the lever to get his piece of cheese. As you can read in our Anvil trial, we are talking about one of these games


In Anvil you shoot from start to finish, all the time Anvil is a really simple game to explain : it is an extremely classic twin stick shooter in the setting, to be played in single player or in cooperative, in which waves upon waves of enemies are brought down in procedurally generated levels, collecting coins to spend to buy upgrades inside floating parallelepipeds. Don't be fooled by the official description of planets to explore, because there's really nothing to explore.

In fact, for the whole game you go from one arena to another and shoot continuously, massacring the innocent local fauna (after all, we are the predators, in this case). Planets only change the biome you fight in and the types of enemies you encounter. The order of the planets to be explored, six for each game, affects the proposed challenge. Basically the only moments of pause are those between a massacre and the other in which the aforementioned upgrades can be acquired.

In fact, the entire game experience is centered precisely on progression, which immediately becomes the core of the gameplay. Each parallelepiped, usually cubes, gives access to three possible bonuses that can be purchased (usually you have the resources to buy one, at most two), which retouch some aspects of the character and which, considered individually, make little sense (you know the classics MMO upgrades, like "+1 to shield when enemy howls" or something?).

Be that as it may, the more bonuses we accumulate, the stronger our character becomes. The quality of the bonuses and the way they intertwine depends a lot (perhaps too much) on chance, so much so that it can happen to advance in the maps with a build that is not exactly exceptional, finally finding yourself at the total mercy of one of the powerful bosses, who can kill us with a few well-aimed shots (sometimes even with just one). In other cases, however, it becomes so strong that normal clashes practically lose their meaning. Consider that there are many cubes around: at least one for each arena, so the influx of new powers is continuous until the end.

Bonus race

The bosses are the toughest opponents, and even the funniest moments In addition to the cubes you can find small floating monoliths that allow you to upgrade skills or buy new weapons. Skills are also tied to action. It basically consists of three special attacks (such as mines, or a missile attack or a powerful slash), plus a dodge. Skills, like weapons, vary depending on the selected character. Basically there are characters who specialize in melee and others in ranged weapons.

The variety from this point of view is discrete and the possibilities offered are high, despite the action being repetitive. Their enemies range from generic slaughter meat, that is very weak creatures that attack en masse and go down with very few hits, to bigger and leatherier alien beasts that require more effort to be killed, up to the bosses , who are very strong enemies with unique attack patterns and who often turn the action into a kind of bullet hell, so much so are they able to fill the screen with bullets.

Different biomes offer different enemies : the classic cannon fodder As we said, the action itself is quite repetitive, starting from the plot that is the background. The selectable science fiction warriors, mechanical bodies designed specifically for battles, are breakers who are part of Anvil, an institution that hunts for the Vaults, i.e. places where the remains of ancient alien civilizations are found. That's all? That's all. Vaults are always found at the end of the chain of random planets that matches are formed, so don't hope to find them lying around. Once opened, you get special bonuses that are maintained in the next game (where normal bonuses are almost completely lost). In total, for now, there are only three campaigns that can be tackled, of increasing difficulty, linked in turn to a season, which gives access to unlockable resources and which is completely free. Resources that are obtained by playing or by season unlocks can be spent to permanently upgrade the breaker in the starting hub area, where match stats are also found.

Live service missed

Anvil is not bad from a technical point of view As you may have understood we are dealing with a game set up as a live service. For now, it's not completely, but we imagine that developers need to evaluate its sales before making it so in all respects.

Unfortunately Anvil has several limitations that make it difficult to recommend. Meanwhile, only take it into consideration if you have a friend to share it with, because playing it alone quickly reaches saturation. This is because, and here we are forced to reiterate its main problem, it is really very repetitive and offers a very lackluster game structure. Consider that the larger levels are structured in an absurdly linear way: kill monsters, acquire upgrades, move on to the next arena. Repeat until nausea. Then there are small levels, where either you resist very large waves of enemies, protecting a certain structure, or you fight against bosses, the latter being the best part of the game. The rest is all a matter of calculating how it is best to enhance the breaker, turning into the usual accountants from video games focused on the accumulation of various objects and bonuses.

The game is all about the progression system. No secrets to search for, no special interactions, no choices as to where to go. Nothing at all. Just a frenzied race for accumulation and enhancement, which leaves no room for anything else, so much so that at a certain point one wonders if it is really worth playing just to see the characters become stronger, which is the only goal sensible proposed. We hope that with the continuation of development some elements will be added that make it a little more interesting, because as it is Anvil is really light, in the most deleterious sense of the term, so much so that it gets tired very soon. And it's a shame, because technically it's not bad at all, despite the very generic artistic direction and the constant references to already widely digested science fiction imaginaries.

At present, Anvil is a title that we recommend only to those who have a trusted friend to share it with, because alone it makes very little, focused as it is on pure and continuous action and on the enhancement of the characters. It doesn't cost a lot and has enormous room for improvement, still being in early access, so it may be worth the purchase if you're looking for something to spend your time with in total lightness. Those looking for a deeper experience, even among twin stick shooters, can instead look elsewhere.


The cooperative mode Technically it doesn't look bad, style aside. now offers little variety Have you noticed any errors?

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