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Anthem, BioWare's new co-operative action-RPG is now available across all supported platforms. The game gives you an opportunity to shoot a bunch of monsters and various unpleasant individuals from the safety of your personal Javelin exosuit, and if that sounds like something you might enjoy, the link above has a detailed quick start guide and instructions on how to purchase Anthem. There's also a launch trailer:
Anthem's disjointed story, boring loot, repetitive missions, and shallow endgame are all disappointing. At least it's pretty.
Anthem comes closer to succeeding as a co-op action RPG than it does as a story-focused game, but only does so after a trying grind through its repetitive main quests. And even at that, its standout elements like the flashy combat and mechanically rich bosses still have a long way to go in terms of polish, variety, and balance. I have hope that with time BioWare can capitalize on its strengths and turn Anthem into something worth investing all these hours into, but all indications are there’s a lot of work to be done to reach that point.
Is it grindy? Sure, that comes with the territory. The main map of Anthem is huge and I still haven't explored all of it, but the chief goal is to try to best existing content on higher difficulty settings and bag more impressive loot. Once I'm tired of it I'll stop, but I've been trying out all four Javelins sporadically and have been having a blast just...playing it. There's a lot more to say about Anthem's endgame in the coming weeks (and months, perhaps years), but right now I'm having fun.
I wish some things were different but I find myself wanting to play Anthem beyond the scope of this review. It isn't changing the way the genre operates, not by a long shot, and if you've struggled with a few of them before and tossed them in the gutter, you'll probably do the same here. BioWare will need to build quickly on top of its shimmering jet-fueled foundation to hold people's interest, but folks looking for a new neighborhood to move into might want to give Anthem a try -- either now or after fixes and updates.
That’s not to say that Anthem is unsalvageable. I think it can be saved, and I hoped that it will be. Because the good stuff is really good. There’s mounds of untapped potential here. It just needs work. Serious work, to fix the game’s core problems before BioWare begins the ceaseless content drip that defines games like this. That shouldn’t be their focus now. Getting this right should be. Right now, Anthem is the music of creation that inspired its name. Left alone, it’s unstable, flawed. But with the right hand to shape it, it could be something wonderful.
Windows Central 3/5:
Despite the countless issues I have with Anthem, I would be lying if I said I haven't enjoyed my time with it. That being said, I think it would be best to wait for a while before purchasing Anthem, at least until we see what this update in March entails. While the story and writing can't be fixed in the short term, most of the other problems can.
CG Magazine 7/10:
Despite its abundance of bugs, narrative shortcomings, and an overall small pool of content, I still enjoyed the fun gameplay of Anthem and plan to revisit it after the game has developed a larger suite of content and events for me to experience. In its current state though, the experience is one I would recommend waiting on for people on the fence because it doesn’t quite deliver yet on what Bioware envisioned for this game. Anthem reminds me in many ways of Warframe’s launch on PlayStation 4, where nothing clicked with me completely initially and I dropped the game after only a few hours of play. Once I made a third attempt to join into the fray with the release of “The Sacrifice” on PC, all of the pieces began to fit in place and I became addicted to both its fast gameplay and fleshed out lore. I fully believe Anthem can reach the same heights of Destiny and Warframe if, given the time to grow properly, I just hope EA doesn’t pull the plug too soon.