Anthem isn't in the best shape right now. It's playable, and it can be enjoyable, but it's not something I'd recommend you play for the long term. Yes, Anthem is gratifying in small doses, and yes, it's an explosively chaotic shooter that adds a flavorful twist on the action genre.
But the problem is that flavor doesn't last. Once you get sucked into the loot grind, Anthem has a particularly bad taste and gamers shouldn't keep chewing on it.
BioWare has created something different with Anthem. They've departed from their well-worn path to try something new, something wildly ambitious. They didn't meet their goal yet--I'm confident they will eventually--but we can't review a future game. We can only judge what we see now. The studio's ambitions for a constantly-shifting experience that can be monetized over time ultimately failed to manifest, and as it stands now, Anthem is something of a spectacle in the industry.
Anthem does have its redeeming qualities, though. Features like immaculate flight, an incredibly vibrant open world, unique lore, and chaotic action are the high water marks to remind us BioWare can and will deliver impressive experiences. These can't stand on their own, though, and only serve as benchmarks to illuminate the weak, frustrating points the game suffers from.
BioWare proves it's still adept with its magic wand, but Anthem's spell wears off quite fast.
Can BioWare save Anthem? Yes, they can. Will they? I hope so. Should you buy Anthem? It depends on what you're looking for. Want to play it casually? Go ahead. But if you want a hardcore loot grind with meaningful gameplay and a sprawling experience you can enjoy for 100+ hours...you may want to reconsider.
+ Combat is tons of fun with friends or solo
+ World is enchanting and beautiful
+ Lore is interesting and unique
+ Graphics are impressive, lighting and atmospheric effects are fantastic
+ Flying is immaculate
- Loot grind is tedious and boring
- Lukewarm story arc
- Lack of endgame content
- Core gameplay seems meaningless
- UI, navigation are confusing
- Can't swap out weapons on-the-fly
- No RPG level stats
- Loading screens are irksome
Last updated: Sep 24, 2019 at 12:28 am CDT
|Game Mechanics & Combat||90%|
|Engagement Value & Replayability||45%|
The Bottom Line: Anthem is a casualization of BioWare's best strengths, but can be explosively fun. Best enjoyed in small doses.
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