Dive into your space suit and fire up those engines, the long-awaited Anthem is finally here. BioWare has tried its hand at a looter-shooter for the first time, all whilst implementing their way of telling a story. Ever since the E3 presentation back in 2017 we have been looking forward to don our iron suit and take back this fallen world. Does the game deliver on its grand promise or does it have the rocky launch most games in this genre experience?
The world of Anthem is one fallen from its former grace. When the god-like beings who ruled this planet left, the system collapsed. This makes for a lush landscape littered with the remains of an ancient civilisation, inciting the immediate urge to get to know more about the history of this planet. Contrary to most games in this genre, the game at launch has a great story which will take you about 15 hours to complete. Along the way, there is plenty of lore to be found, a strong incentive to keep playing. Another is the world you explore. It is simply beautiful and makes you want to delve deeper into it each time you boot up the game.
The main story always seems to be building up to some amazing climax, but time and time again the mission falls short. We would have loved to have one grand-scale battle, defending one of the other remaining cities of this world against some foreign hordes. Giving us access to ballistas and mounted crossbows, having all players in your session group up in some kind of overworld event. Perhaps this is us dreaming a little too much, but we still would have liked to see some more memorable grand-scale moments during the main storyline. Most missions involve protecting something or fetching something else whilst holding off waves of enemies. If it wasn’t for the flat-out most addictive combat mechanics ever created in a looter-shooter, we aren’t sure we would have liked the game quite as much.
The end-game content mostly involves breaching three major fortresses, killing what’s inside and we love it. These feel great and are a lot of fun to take down with a squad, especially with your friends. Sadly enough, the rewards for most end-game tasks aren’t equal to the amount of effort it takes. Master weaponry takes an absurd amount of grinding even after the credits have rolled and the content just isn’t engaging enough for use to repeat the same things time and time again. The enemies in this world are all well thought out, but there aren’t enough different ones to keep us enticed for long after the main storyline.
The last thing we would like to talk about before we reach our final verdict is the loot and the future of the game. First of all, there is nowhere near enough weapon variety and this is true as well for javelin customisation (your Iron Man suit) or even something as small as emotes. The normal and legendary variant of a gun look pretty much the game, which makes one of the biggest reasons to keep playing fall short. Javelins do not change appearance along with the strength of your armour, which means most players look exactly alike, aside from a simple palette swap. The state the game is currently in lacks the content to keep players engaged, but we believe the title will look a lot different a year from now.
Anthem is one hell of a fun game and we can’t but feel compelled to head back into its beautiful world. Alas the lack of different loot, enemies and the plethora of loading screens and minor bugs makes us refrain ourselves. Anthem has the perfect recipe to become amazing and we believe that it will be in a year from now. New content is rapidly being developed for us to enjoy and whenever something big launches, you can make sure we will be standing besides you.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC