If you're feeling nostalgic for those 16-bit brawlers, Agent 70 is here to deliver the digital beatdown
Man, Anomaly Agent really took me back to the 16-bit era of side-scrolling brawlers. As soon as I started playing, I was transported to the arcade games of my childhood like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Simpsons. Developer Phew Phew Games clearly took inspiration from those classics and modernized the gameplay delivering a really satisfying game.
You play as Agent 70, who stands out from the other agents with his flashy all-white suit and sassy nature. You are given an important mission - to take down the Anomalies that not only have been terrorizing the city, but also reality itself. With my trusty sidearms in hand, I plunged into the neon-soaked rooftops, office building and nightclubs, ready to bring the pain.
I really love how smoothly Anomaly Agent controls. Once the movement and combat click, you will be able to unleash a can of whoop-ass onto the armies of clones that the world has never seen before. Merging heavy melee attacks with quick dash kicks and projectiles feels so satisfying once you really get a feel for the flow of combat. Each new enemy type forces you to learn and adapt on the fly, and some of the later bosses had me sweating as I danced around, looking for an opening. Boss fights are fairly unique and I would say they are the hightlight of the entire game.
One thing that surprised me, in a good way, was the whole combo system. It's quite deep and there are a lot of cool combinations you can try. For example, if you immediately hit attack after you dodge roll, you can attack enemies from the back. But if attack first a couple of times with the light attack and then pull off the dodge roll/attack, the combo changes. Add in also the ability to parry attacks, shoot different firearms and a heavy attack with a shapeshifting bat, there's a lot of possibilty within this combat system.
I also appreciated the "alternative" options always available for taking a baddie down. If I was running low on ammo, I could always send them flying off cliffs or electrocute them against live wires. Environmental takedowns never got old. It's clear that the devs have put some thoughts into the level design as each encounter area had these cool fun possibilities.
There's also a whole upgrade system where you can use the earned coins to unlock new skills and buffs that will make your life way easier, cause Anomaly Agent is a challenging action-platformer. During dialogue with other characters, you can choose how to reply back, one is the "Good Agent" and the other one is "Bad/Sassy Agent". Sometimes these choices will earn you special "currencies" that you can use to buy health shards, that increase your overall health bar, or you can convert them directly to coins. Be nice and you get more health, be naughty and you get more coins which in turn can make you stronger... it's win-win either way.
It's not a perfect game by any means - the visuals, while beautiful, are simple and they get a bit repetitive especially since the game reuses the same levels over and over as part of the story. The music, I adore synthwave, but it too gets repetitive. But man, that arcade-style brawling just feels so good that I was willing to look past those flaws. If you're feeling nostalgic for those 16-bit brawlers, Agent 70 is here to deliver the digital beatdown. I do recommend this game. Thanks for reading!
The game was reviewed on a Series X using a review copy provided by the PR.Anomaly Agent is available now on Xbox, PC and Switch.