Anthem, Review Scores, and Evaluating a Game on My Own Terms

Will be the first to admit that review scores play a heavy role in my game purchasing decisions. From the moment I got my first GamePro magazine in 1994, checking the opinions of critics before plunking down the funds on a game is a must. It sucks to spend so much on a game and not have it meet your expectations. Most recently, I cancelled my Crackdown 3 preorder after reading the reviews and watching its Metacritic score crash to a 60 out of 100.

Having said that, Anthem came out not long after and also was smacked with a 60 out of 100 Metacritic score. With the BioWare pedigree behind it, this seems like an even bigger disappointment than Microsoft’s exclusive offering. Yet, here I am, playing Anthem and generally having a good time with it.

As much as I value the word of the critics, the opinion that matters the most is ultimately my own. I use reviews to give me a better idea of what to expect, but it won’t be the final call on what I buy or won’t buy. Red Dead Redemption 2 has a ridiculously high Metacritic score and that’s a game I have zero interest in playing because I wasn’t particularly fond of the last one.

In spite of the mediocre scores for Anthem, I’m willing to give this one a shot for a few reasons. For one, I still want to believe that BioWare, the makers of the Mass Effect trilogy that I adore, are still capable of making a great game. Even with the sour taste of Andromeda on my tongue, I’m willing to give them another shot. Also, though I raised my concerns about the game after playing the demo, I liked enough of what I saw to try out the full game.

Nowhere near close enough to pass a final judgment on Anthem, but I’m enjoying the game so far. Being able to play as a Javelin other than the Ranger has definitely made the combat more exciting, while I find that the overall stability of the game to be much better than what I experienced in the demo. Wishing I had a team of friends to play with to get the most out of it, but playing with randoms on normal is working out okay thus far.

Even if the game falls apart later on and I end up despising it, at least I’ll come away from my time with the game knowing for sure how I feel about it. Third party opinions are great, but they’re not as valuable to me as my own. Fingers crossed that Anthem holds up to my generally-positive impressions so far!

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2 thoughts on “Anthem, Review Scores, and Evaluating a Game on My Own Terms

  1. Pete Davison March 4, 2019 / 3:58 AM

    Review scores have been useless to me for a long time now, specifically ever since a friend recommended a game to me with a Metascore of 45, and that game ended up being the start of a long relationship with a favourite series and developer of all time. I haven’t looked back since.

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