Console Corner: Anthem review
An Anthem with a boring chorus.
Like most action, role-playing shooters expectation and hype weighed heavy on Anthem ahead of its recent release but could it withstand the pressure?
In short. No.
Anthem combines third-person shooter and action role-playing game elements in a “contiguous open world” shared with up to three other players.
You play the role of a Freelancer donning fully customisable exosuits called Javelins which have unique weapons and superhuman abilities.
You soon find out why they are called Javelins as you launch skywards and fly around a beautifully crafted sci-fi world.
This is the first of two major triumphs in Anthem. Because flying is simply exhilarating, even breathtaking at times.
Combat too is absolutely excellent for the most part. When fighting bosses it feels like you are doing so with one arm tied behind your back. That is a microcosm of the overarching problem with Anthem, a lack of balance and consistency.
Your loadouts and changing them for each mission keeps things interesting. And it plays a big role in making said combat fun while the characters and their individual story arks are engrossing, perhaps more so than the main story itself.
But Anthem is another much hyped title that almost feels unfinished and rushed.
Flying is a wonderful experience but as you jet around the su,ptuous landscape you often find yourself forced to land or or even grounded. It is maddening.
As I touched on the main story is incredibly difficult to follow which is puzzling given how good the individual characters’ storylines are.
Anthem is at its best in co-op mode but from my experience playing with friends caused pacing issues which spoiled the enjoyable moments like flying and combat.
Conversely playing on your own can be boring and a bit of a grind.
Boss fights are naff for want of a better word and it is remarkable to me that regular combat can be so good yet the crescendo of a boss fight hits such a bum note hence my overriding feeling that Anthem feels rushed and unfinished.
The attempt to make Anthem an all signing all dancing shooter, action, RPG story driven game doesn’t coem off for BioWare and EA. And what good elements there undoubtedly are can be ruined by the lack of consistency and the level of grind.
There is however hope. There are some solid foundations here and with a great deal of honing and fine-tuning Anthem could yet become something worth our time and effort in the future.