I’ve been playing anthem since last Friday when the disc arrived in the post. Aside from the occasional boot-outs, Anthem is a great game in all respects.
Reviewers with thousands, some tens of thousands of subscribers are being told the game sucks. These are people whose opinion I usually respect, people who I subscribe to because I enjoy their videos, commentary and opinions. These same people complain about the repetitious missions, the load times within missions, the glitches, the boring story, how it’s a rehash of Mass Effect: Andromeda, how there’s just one map. People question how six years of development can produce such a crappy game. I could go on But you’ve probably seen and heard the same criticisms.
But the thing is, I’m having so much fun with Anthem. I’m well into the story. I’ve unlocked all the Javelins and got my first epic weapon. I’ve been hit with the first twist of betrayal, met one half of a lesbian couple. The Lore of Anthem is smart, has been really well structured with enough internal logic to hold the sci-fi element together.
Fort Tarsis has characters with stories to tell and decisions to make. They ask for your advice and your engagement with these people adds depth and purpose to the characters, the story and to the kind of person you see yourself becoming in the game. This is Bioware at its best. All those critics who say the Bioware who created Anthem is a poor shadow of the original Bioware who made Mass Effects are, as we say in London, ‘talking out of their arses’.
So let’s get a few things straight. The game is so much more than a shooter looter. The one map is big, it has more than enough depth and variety. The missions may be samey but they form part of a rich and complex story – so if you just run from one mission to the other banging your way up the levels then it’s your loss and you will come away feeling it’s been a grind. But the grind is on you, not the game.
Of course there’s the inevitable ‘Destiny is better, Anthem is a wannabe.’ This opinion too is a load of bollox. I’ve been playing Destiny since Destiny 1 and all the DLC. But I’ll stop there. Grab yourself a copy of Anthem and enjoy. Don’t just dive in and fixate on the grind, immerse yourself in the story, talk to people, listen to the silly radio shows, read the emails, Have some fun. Remember, it’s a game, a damn good game.