This is a game that would have been better served with a few more months of development.
BioWare has given us their latest video game, Anthem.
Anthem is a third person looter shooter game that lets you play as a Freelancer. A Freelancer is a pilot that has access to mechanized suits known as Javelins.
There are four Javelins in total: you have the Ranger, the Storm, the Colossus, and the Interceptor. Each one has the ability to fly you across the world of Anthem, but they all play differently and have unique abilities. Where the Interceptor can fight with the enemy up close, the Storm hovers above the battlefield with hurling elements at foes.
Being able to combine different abilities and weapons to help supplement your Javelin is where this game shines. You can create yourself a nice set up to take out enemies with the combo system in the game. It’s always nice to hear and see the combo pop up on screen. This is what makes a solid looter shooter: being able to grind for gear to help you take on more endgame challenges.
Despite all this, you have to get through the many faults of Anthem just to get to that point. Gameplay of a looter shooter is bound to get repetitive eventually, but this game’s process has accelerated it. To get to the endgame you have to complete the story missions. Most of the missions in this game barely have any variety.
You go from one point to the next, either killing enemies, collecting fragments of some kind, or standing in a field to charge something up. That’s the basis of Anthem—granted, other games do this as well, but it’s so blatant in this game that it blows my mind. I think it stems from not having many enemy types, but also the environment they inhabit. Having a awesome looking world doesn’t do much of anything if you visit the same spots over and over again.
But if you manage to get pass that, the next thing you’ll have to get pass is the loading screens. There are so many loading screens it’s ridiculous.
To change your Javelin? There’s a loading screen.
To exit that? Loading screen.
Load up a mission? Loading screen.
Leaving mission? Loading screen.
Do you see where I’m going with this? Not only are there numerous loading screens, but they also can take forever to load. BioWare pushed a patch to the game that helps shorten the load time, but honestly it’s still too much.
There’s also Fort Tarsis which you go to when you’re not in a mission. If you remember me saying the world was bland, this takes the cake. You can walk around this area when you’re not in your suit, and it’s also in first person view. But when I mean walk… you literally can only walk. There’s barely a light jog when you press the sprint button. And since this is a big place where you have to go around talking to people and collecting missions to do, it’s annoying not being able to run.
The main issue this game has are the bugs that can hinder your experience—and possibly break your game. There’s been multiple times where my objective is to kill a creature, only for it to disappear and go into a zone that I can’t travel. I’ve had to restart my game just to hear game audio again because it clips in and out all the time. Enemies fall through the ground and respawn behind you, and good luck when that happens on the higher difficulties in the game, because enemies will one shot you.
On top of all that is the questionable menu interface. I barely want to open my menu and look for anything because of how many things I have to click through. When you get downed during a mission, you have to wait for someone on your team to revive you. Until then, all you get is a black and white screen of yourself and nothing else. You can’t see what your team is doing and you can’t access the menu.
All of this tells me that development was most likely rushed, and things couldn’t be executed properly. Most of the faults with this game are simple quality of life things that can be fixed.
Considering BioWare has already pushed out patches that have addressed multiple things, the developer is at least listening to its fan base. But BioWare even releasing the game in this state has left many with a sour taste in their mouths, and a lot of negative press. Even with all the fixes coming out now, the damage may have already been done.