Anomoly Warzone Earth


7 cert, 11 bit studios, Xbox Live ****

First things first: Is there a more awkward title for a game this year? To paraphrase Lisa Simpson, those words make sense individually, but not in sequence. Thankfully, that clunky name is the greatest problem facing Anomaly Warzone Earth. Aliens vs soldiers is hardly an original idea, but the mix of earthy English accents and high-tech weaponry creates a strange tone: think War of the Worlds meets Ross Kemp in Afghanistan. Viewing a convoy from above, you must choose the best route, scout for power- ups and maintain the best formation of vehicles. Your platoon is made up of tanks, mobile cannons and futuristic shielding machines, and the basic goal is to position these rolling vehicles to inflict the most damage on alien headquarters, weapons and buildings. Fancy power-ups include decoys and smokescreens. Initially, AWE is finicky and unusual, as you switch from map to playable scout to weapon menus, but once you get into the groove, it’s an engaging and distinctive real-time strategy game.