Anthem was…a bit of a letdown. It showed well as a proof-of-concept for a game where players fly around and shoot things, but everything else about it felt half-baked. Every mission featured the exact same structure and your in-game actions did little to tie into the game’s larger narrative.
Life at BioWare has been pretty rocky. Despite being a great game overall, the fallout over Mass Effect 3‘s disappointing endings was one of the biggest news stories of that year. Then, Mass Effect: Andromeda was released a few years later to much criticism. Falling well short of expectations in terms of critical acclaim and sales, I’m concerned that we might never see Mass Effect again after that debacle.
This time, the studio left Shepard behind to tell an all-new adventure in Anthem. It’s also a very different type of game. Leaving much of the choose-your-own-adventure elements behind, this game is a looter shooter in the style of Destiny.
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 know Anthem has been roasted by the press and the gaming public, but is it ACTUALLY as bad as people make it out to be? I’m enjoying my time with it so far and we played through a few early missions together on stream in this video!
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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.
The Boss Rush crew took a detour and played Codenames the last time we got together. This time, we’re back with the latest episode of the show! We cover our experiences with Apex Legends, Anthem, Tetris 99, God of War, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Starlink: Battle for Atlas, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and more! Also, does Jon have what it takes to retain the Boss Rush championship belt by competing in a round of Video Game Pictionary?
Best known for making meaty single-player RPGs with a heavy emphasis on storytelling, BioWare is trying something different with Anthem. They don’t completely leave the RPG genre behind, but this is an action game to the core. So much so, that it’s heavily recommended you play the experience online with friends or strangers through matchmaking. Does BioWare have the chops to create a game this far out of their comfort zone? And for fans of their previous works, does Anthem provide enough reasons for you to join them on this journey? The full game isn’t out yet, but I tried out the demo to get a taste of what’s to come.