Review – Masters of Anima
Masters of Anima is a strategy action game that has you controlling dozens of minions known as Golems to take down giant monsters. The story is rather simple, and boring. Masters of Anima takes place in Spark, a fantasy world. You play as Otto on a quest to save his wife and the world of Spark from the villanous Zahr, but like with most cookie cutter plots, I just couldn’t get invested in the world of Spark.
Visually, Masters of Anima isn’t anything special. The art style looks fine but the world often looks dull and lifeless. Frame rates will occasionally take a dive, and whilst never ending up in the realms of being unplayable it does become distracting. Sound is also just serviceable, there’s nothing really to note. The voice acting is fine enough and moves the story along with a certain charm. That’s about it for those departments though.
Gameplay is an interesting mix between action and strategy, usually you will be fighting only 1 or 2 enemies at a set time and balancing your Golems. It’s all about positioning the right unit in the right place and commanding them at the right time. The controls can be tricky to get used to but once you get into it, it becomes easy to quickly command your units. Speaking of your Golems, there’s a surprisingly large variety at play. From the basic melee known as protectors, to archers, casters and support troops. Almost every single one of the Golems have their place and can be significantly important.
Masters of Anima is at its best when you are frantically commanding your Golems by moving their positions, changing targets or triggering special attacks in quick succession. Otto can perform a battle cry, which gives each unit in range a special attack. Protectors are able to stun the enemy, archers will fire explosive arrows and more.
Unfortunately the combat can feel very repetitive when you’re dealing with the same enemy type multiple times in a chapter. Even some of the different enemies can feel identical due to the strategies being almost identical.
There is some light puzzle solving forcing you to use your units in different way. The casters can create a ring of light that can protect you from corruption, whereas the protectors can move larger objects. The puzzles are simple and don’t require much in the way of thinking but it’s a decent change of pace.
The few bosses in Anima are disappointing and don’t really provide a unique challenge. Some of them even throw a couple of other enemies into the mix which doesn’t help matters.
The game is split into 10 chapters, each with their own unique challenges and gimmicks to try and mix things up. In one chapter you will be trying to escape corruption and solve puzzles on the fly and in others you will be controlling other characters to help Otto progress.
Progression is basic, as you kill more enemies and complete small side objectives you will get XP to level up. Leveling up will give you skill points to spend on Otto and your Golems. However, the problem is that leveling isn’t exciting and doesn’t change up the gameplay much.
Masters of Anima is a decent game that doesn’t get close to fulfilling its potential, as the dull story and repetitive fights bring down an otherwise good game.
Nothing remarkable to see here. Nice art style, but not a lot more than that.
There is a surprising amount of variety at play.
The sound department is mostly serviceable: you won’t notice anything bad but you won’t notice anything good either.
Fun Factor: 7.0
The story is dull and the world isn’t interesting but Masters of Anima is still fun enough to play.
Final Verdict: 7.0
Reviewed on Xbox One.
Masters of Anima is available now on Xbox One, PS4, PC and Switch .
A copy of Masters of Anima was provided by the publisher.