BioWare’s latest game or should I rather say EA’s “Destiny clone” released a while back on all major platforms to a not so positive reception. It suffered a massive backlash from fans before as well as after release, with most complains claiming it to be one of EA’s latest money-minting schemes. After putting in more than a hundred hours into the game, I’ve developed a fair opinion on what to expect from Anthem, regardless of whether you are a BioWare fan or from the cult of Destiny.
It’s Really Fun at First But…
One of the core mechanics of BioWare’s latest game involve the javelins that allow the player to fly and blitz across Anthem’s gorgeous world. When you first fire up the game, you are greeted by a rather spectacular world filled with extraterrestrial creatures and ruins, remnants of a civilization long gone. These shaper ruins as they’re called lie at the heart of the game’s plot and lore.
However, that’s when the cracks begin to show. The lore just feels forced, like BioWare has smushed together two different stories that don’t quite go well. You’ve got ciphers who are like Jedi- force-sensitive and can feel and interact with something called the Anthem which itself is the entity that binds the universe together (a lot like Star Wars yeah). Then instead of Jedi-like protagonists, you’ve got “Freelancers” who wear Ironman-ish suits and fly around helping the common folks outside the safety of the walls of Fort Tarsis (which btw is the main game hub where you can customize your character, the javelins as well as take up new quests and activities).
If Looks Could Kill
Flying around the picturesque landscape of Anthem is a real treat at first, but as the novelty wears off, it starts to feel like a chore. Most of the quests follow a story or plot, but in the end, the main design is the same- eliminate a group of enemies, find some artifacts and then hold the area against enemy reinforcements-rinse, repeat. Almost 75% of the quests, main as well as the side are based on these three tasks and despite the extensive game world, it really does get boring after a while.
One of my main issues with Anthem is that it takes everything BioWare is good at sends it to EA for breakfast. The main questline barely takes 12 hours to complete, even less if you’re good at it. The entire story can be surmised in a few minutes. The ending is also quite underwhelming with a giant robot-thingy that you’ve got to beat which by the way is the manifestation of a very mediocre antagonist.
The only good things about Anthem can be chalked down to the visuals, the javelin control
Anthem was a Mistake
In the end, Anthem has got all the staples of a AAA EA game, but that doesn’t say much. It’s also not really an RPG. Just a shooter with some dialogs thrown in between. Sure, the customization is there, but it lacks the lore, one of the core pillars of BioWare games, doesn’t have many well-written characters and neither does the story make up of any of it. It almost feels like all the BioWare veterans went to take a nap and left the development of Anthem to interns or beginners who have never actually been part of a successful project or franchise. That or EA just wanted the game to be trash. So yeah that is my two cents on Anthem.
Say what you will about Anthem though, the game certainly looks breath-taking. Now, if only that were enough to make a game worth playing:
For uncompressed 4K shots go here.