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.
I ultimately traded my copy away not long after experiencing the blatant padding that was its tomb missions. Not long after, Jason Schreier published an explosive expose on the development of BioWare’s most recent disaster, further solidifying the notion that it was best for me to walk away.
Many have long since abandoned Anthem, but EA and BioWare aren’t ready to let go. According to a recent post on BioWare’s blog, the game will be receiving a major rework in the future.
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.
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.
Starting at noon EST today and ending at 9pm EST on Monday, February 4th, the Anthem demo will be playable for all. As a huge BioWare fan whose had this game on pre-order for years, I’m really excited to give their next adventure a shot! Will have more to say on the demo soon, but for now, I’ll be anxiously awaiting for it to launch!
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Commander Shepard has the best of friends. While there are so many wonderful aspects to Mass Effect 2, from its great combat, to its wonderful story, this is a game that I feel is defined by the relationships you make with your crew.
The Earth is screwed. At least it appears that way when you first boot up Mass Effect 3. After your Shepard thwarted the Reapers plans in Mass Effect 1 and 2, they’re bringing the pain to your home world. While the temptation is strong to stay and protect your home world, Shepard knows the only way to victory involves him recruiting all the help he can get from across the galaxy.
Are you ready to suit up in hopes of ending the Reaper threat once and for all?
If you’ve been waiting for a Mass Effect 3 review, I’m sorry to keep you waiting. It’s a long game and I’m doing what I can to get through it at my own pace. Without spoiling anything, I can say that it’s a quality product, though I’m still debating in my head exactly how good it is and where it stacks up on the pantheon of Mass Effect games.
Having just finished playing through Mass Effect, I think this is one of the greatest video games I’ve ever played. When I played through that game, it is startling how big this game is, yet how awesome the experience is. When it comes to storytelling, scale, characterization and role-playing, I don’t think I’ve played anything better than Mass Effect.
I don’t play too many games that are squad-based. Off the top of my head, the only two I can think of are the Gears of War series and the Fire Emblem series. While both of these games are great for their own reasons, the stake you as a player emotionally have for your teammates is negligible. In Gears of War, they’re essentially there to make you not feel alone, even though they won’t die and they don’t really help you, either. The back-story of your squad is practically non-existent, with only Dom having one major plot point to his name, and the others are there to shout expletive-filled one-liners. In Fire Emblem, that series does try to make you care through some back-story, endings for each character and the permanence of death, though ultimately each person feels more like a piece in your intricate game of chess more than anything.
Mass Effect has made me feel really weird about my squad in a way that other games haven’t for me. The game has so much story and so many moments where you can interact with them that you can’t help but build a weirdly fascinating connection to them.