Anthem E3 2017 Reception, Start of "A Ten-Year Journey"

While I'll be reserving judgment on the game until it's closer to launch, there are many people across the globe that have sounded off on BioWare's latest title and its accompanying E3 2017 announcement. And considering that EA wants it to be "a ten-year journey", it must be a little disheartening to see that most of the commentary is fairly negative.

Kotaku AU starts us off with a deep dive into fan reception since the announcement:
But one of the biggest reasons the reaction to Anthem has been so polarised is a sore spot for many Bioware fans: Mass Effect: Andromeda.

According to an investigation by Kotaku's Jason Schreier, the focus on Anthem (then 'Dylan') meant that many skilled devs were pulled off the Mass Effect title to work on the new IP. In the eyes of many fans, Anthem is 'the game that killed Mass Effect: Andromeda'.

Most were quick to notice that Anthem's showcased scenes wouldn't have looked out of place in a Mass Effect game, and reactions ranged from "why couldn't you have made this game Mass Effect?" to "I hope Anthem is worth it." Those who loved Mass Effect: Andromeda through its flaws are worried that 'their' game is going to be abandoned for Anthem. Others simply don't trust Bioware to put out a quality, polished game after their messy Mass Effect release.

PC Gamer's editorial staff shares why they have "mixed feelings":
James: With a decent amount of Guild Wars and Destiny experience to draw on, I’m really curious what kind of activities and functions BioWare will cram into the hub. Destiny’s hubs were pretty awful in terms of narrative, full of characters that worked mostly as merchants for one form of arcane currency or another. For Anthem to feel alive, and the trailer certainly indicates it will, characters can’t just double as people-shaped machines for progression purposes. Hello again Jane Tired-Offworld-Mechanic, mind recycling this gun for a new one? Cool. There should be a lot of hubs (see Guild Wars), some big, some small, all with unique and some recurring characters. It might force more fragmented out of the thing, but if done right, we could still get a strong current of character-driven storytelling through a co-op progression party.

Tyler: That’s my hope. I’m not enthused by the details of the setting as of yet, though, a looker as it is. ‘There’s a big wall and there are monsters outside of it’ is as much a sci-fi premise as it is a bland description of how one might design a co-op shooter. Nothing looked weird. I was reminded of Evolve, of Titanfall 2, of Destiny, of Mass Effect: Andromeda—which pretty clearly borrowed from this game along the way, what with the jetpacks and prehistoric-looking monsters. But then I think about PlaneScape, and Zeno Clash, and all the bizarre Warhammer lore—it doesn’t need to be this way! Why oh why do we have to have exosuits suits called ‘Javelins.’ You can’t walk five feet into sci-fi land without tripping over 30 future-tech things called Javelins.

And then Screen Critics talks about their "major concerns":
Anthem is a game that takes place seemingly in the future and in far reaches of space, centering around a group of freelancers who use cool-looking armor to go on missions. Nothing about that simple premise was original; there have literally been several well-establish franchises that use a similar premises and settings. A space adventure in videogames has never been new; it has been a common theme in videogames since the days of Space Invaders. Using armor to do a variety of abilities has also been an old videogame trope, arguably popularized with Master Chief’s armor from the original Halo: Combat Evolved.

It’s the armor that irks me the most, as many of the features present in the E3 showcase seem indicative of what I seen from other games. The jumping and shooting reminds me so much of the Halo and the Titanfall series, it makes me rather want to play those games now instead of waiting for this one. I have already played as an armor wearing badasses, flying around and shooting across the galaxy. The environment even looks a lot like the setting of Titanfall and even Evolve – the creatures designs especially appeared to be unremarkable in the short presentation. Since the video was so short, it is still unknown what kind of game it will end up being. However, with that said, there was nothing in the showcase that I felt I haven’t seen before.