While the reviews  in progress, I waited for the day one patch for the final conclusion.

Anthem tells a very and broad story that master storyteller BioWare knows how to handle and tell. At least, you would expect that. Unfortunately, the story remains safe on the surface. Just like the gameplay, the characters and the amount of content. Anthem is not a bad game, but certainly not a good one either. Does this mean that you cannot enjoy it? Certainly not! But those looking for the complete looter-shooter experience must have a lot of patience or play a different game.

Rarely did a game give a more paradoxical feeling of freedom than Anthem. Your Javelin, your personal Iron-Man suit, lets you experience a wonderful feeling of freedom with minimal effort. At the push of a button you ascend and fly just over the treetops of the truly beautiful world that BioWare has created. You avoid enemy fire with a barrel roll and while floating, you approach special enemies while using your skills. Shooting at the pretty silly and suicidal enemies is wonderful. You fire or freeze a group of enemies, and then you throw a bomb on it for a huge damage bonus.

But just when you think you are one with the world of Anthem, when you think you are an iron killing machine, the game will blow you back. You can’t stay too long, you have to keep going. And if you don’t fly to the next point fast enough, you can expect a loading screen, even though this loading interrupts part of the story you’re trying to follow.

It is symptomatic for the whole of Anthem. The game has no continuity, no immersion. Anthem does not want you to do a whole lot in one go, but to break everything into pieces that are behind a loading screen. Take as an example the equipment and weapons to be found: this is hidden in a kind of box that only when you stop your playing session shows what is in it. Stopping playing is rewarded in a certain sense, which is a bizarre and unfortunate design choice.

You always have to return to the Forge, the place where you can customize your Javelin with your finds and change the looks. There’s nothing wrong with the Forge itself: it’s a handy screen in which you quickly switch between your ¬†weapons and equipment in the form of icons. In an instant you have changed your Javelin in terms of color and cosmetic parts. You can buy cosmetic parts with real money, but also for a reasonable sum of the ingame currency. The problem of the Forge is that this part is behind a loading screen and cannot be accessed while playing. Adjusting your weapons or equipment to a situation that you had not anticipated is not possible while playing. The result is that you sometimes feel Javelin useless, while you have the right equipment in your possession.

Fortunately there are still the challenges. These challenges, ranging from killing a certain number of monsters with only a specific weapon to completing a certain amount of events, do not offer really exciting rewards, but they do give you a lot to do. There are also daily, weekly and monthly goals to complete.

You can only start the endgame yourself when you are level 30, and then it is about content that you already know, but that can then be played at a higher level of difficulty. Anthem then scatters with a good loot and that is of course great, but it also ensures that players of level 30 have quickly brought in the best loot so that there is really little left to do, apart from the challenges.

Anthem’s biggest problem, however, is that it was developed by BioWare. You can expect more from BioWare than what Anthem is at the moment. That is not entirely fair. Because when you look objectively at the game itself, it is scanty, but certainly playable. If you are only looking for simple fun shooting in a beautiful world while you fly through the air like a bird, Anthem may be something for you, because the game is really excellent. But this will be the minority. Everyone who likes to play BioWare games expects more from the story and the world. This developer invariably offers the highlights of his games there.

In addition, Anthem is not really what it promises to be. Anyone who likes to play looter shooters will notice that Anthem is actually not with the strange loot system. Anyone who likes to play co-op in a close team can do this in Anthem, but then via a Discord server, because the game itself offers a kind of pseudo team game without functional means of communication. But even the people who only come for flying and shooting will be bothered by all the loading screens and the huge amounts of bugs that the game still knows.

Of course Anthem is not the first game of the last years that has been launched with many start-up problems. Many people make the comparison with Destiny 2 and The Division and rightly claim that those games got a lot better with a lot of attention and updates after they were released. The big difference is that Destiny 2 and The Division were already great games at that time. Both had too little content and were judged on that, but the developers were able to work on it: they could immediately start expanding the game.

Anthem not only has too few exciting endgame content, but is also a much lesser game. The game gets in the way of players, and that is difficult to correct with a few patches. BioWare not only has the task to add more content, but must first make the game more playable if it is to attract and retain players. That does not mean that it is impossible for Anthem to ever become very cool, but it does not happen quickly.

Score:

7,0

– No distinctive variation in the world.
– Loading screens.
– Story filled with holes and not really fascinating characters.

+ Flying in the game world is and feels great
+ Visual a stunning spectacle