Anno 1800: The Console Edition in the test – construction of the top class

Build menu for the bread chain.

One of the best games from German production in recent years, which also attracts international attention, is without a doubt Anno 1800 from Ubisoft Mainz. The title has been delighting fans of complex construction games for almost four years. Since then, the developers have continued to expand and improve the hit and let it grow to an enormous extent with various DLCs. This development only recently came to an end with a last major update. The Anno 1800 project is not quite finished for the makers. Just in time for the 25th anniversary of the Anno series, the game is now also appearing on Playstation 5 and Xbox Series. This means that for the first time a complete Anno can be played on consoles. Although there were earlier offshoots on Wii and Nintendo DS, they were massively slimmed down or specially developed games. We took a close look at the Console Edition of Anno 1800 to see whether the grandiose building fun in the age of industrialization also works so well on the console.

That’s how Anno works

Before we get into the console-specific aspects of the port, let’s take a quick look at the game itself. Anno has always been about building your own island kingdom. To do this, we land on an island and start building our first settlement. The central element is that we have to supply our residents with all kinds of goods. To do this, it is necessary to set up production chains, to optimize them and finally to ensure a sophisticated exchange of goods between different islands.

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The story campaign is well suited for first steps in familiarizing yourself with the complex mechanics behind it. Here we experience the story of the Goode siblings in a large number of assignments, who dare to make a new start on a deserted island after the collapse of their family business empire. The whole story isn’t particularly gripping, but it offers a good introduction to the various game mechanics of Anno 1800 with its increasingly challenging tasks (buy now / €53.99 ). After completing the story, a campaign game then automatically switches to endless mode.

Anno 1800 Console Edition review. (2)
Source: Ubisoft

One of the major novelties of Anno 1800 compared to its predecessors was the workforce system, which not only divides our inhabitants into different strata socially, but also with regard to their activities in our island kingdom. We start with simple farmers, whose labor we use on farms and plantations. These subjects are comparatively easy to please with fish, clothing and a marketplace. If we meet all the needs of a section of the population, we can upgrade their houses to the next level. Farmers become workers, workers become artisans, and so on. There are five different layers, the requirements of which are becoming increasingly complex and challenging.

So in the advanced game we don’t just have to provide goods from domestic production. On a separate map we establish colonies in South America where we accumulate coffee, cotton and gold to feed the high society at home. We also send some of our ships on expeditions to capture exotic animals and valuable artefacts. We then exhibit these in the zoo and a museum to increase the tourist attraction of our island. This is how we attract wealthy visitors who flush money into the state coffers. This is just a rough overview of the diverse and complex mechanics of the building game. We explain this in detail again in our test of the original version.

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