For as much as I’ve enjoyed Anthem up to this point, mission design has not been its strong suit. The game goes a long way to dress up its rigid approach with cutscenes and tons of dialogue, but the facade isn’t enough to hide the fact that you’re doing the same handful of tasks repeatedly. If the combat and flying wasn’t as great as it is, I may have dropped this game by now.
Having said all that, I’ve finally hit a point where the mission structure has changed. But now the game is worse?
I’m at the point in the game where you must complete the Tomb challenges in order to progress the story. Unlike the previous main story quests, you must play them in the Freeplay mode. Spread across the world are four different temples, all of which require you to complete different tasks in order to open them. These include tasks like defeating a certain number of opponents with your melee attacks, defeating a certain number of enemies with your Ultimate, collecting a certain number of chests, and so on. As you complete the set of tasks required for each tomb, the door opens and you collect the item within it. Once you get all four, you’re done and can move on.
For a game that was already struggling with immersing players in its narrative, this is a real punch to the gut. Did Yvenia really need me to open 15 treasure chests to prove my worth as a hero? Also, how the heck is she even tracking that from beyond the grave? You’re essentially served with a laundry list of to-do items that feel like some of the most blatant campaign padding I’ve seen in quite some time.
And speaking of Yvenia, getting 15 treasure chests through world events or other natural means is a pain. You don’t encounter them fast enough, making the process a real slog. Your best bet is to follow a guide online to get the chests that drop into the world quickly just to be done with it.
This part of the game is the first time where its deficiencies really got to me. Even if it gave me more opportunities to fight and fly, its blatant attempt at lengthening the campaign are too hard to ignore. Really hoping the ship rights itself after I get through this crummy mission.
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