Online co-op multiplayer with a whole host of things to challenge you!
- Developer: Bioware
- Publisher: EA
- Genre: Action Role playing
- Release Date: 22/2/19
- Platforms: PC, PS4 and xbox One
- Reviewed on: Xbox One
- Game Supplied by: EA
What is Anthem?
A massive co-op world with you (a freelancer) fighting on an unfinished world to discover the power of the Anthem and save humanity against beast creatures and monsters.
Usually I would delve right into the story but for once I’m going to talk about graphics. The Xbox One X is a powerful piece of kit and displaying it all on a 4k HDR TV makes Anthem one of my top 5 games for beauty and detail, especially given its size.
Some of the water effects from the waterfalls and the trees are simply stunning and even in the darker reaches of the world there is still enough detail to make you gasp every now and again. Monsters when you get up close are cool too and some nearly got me killed as I was examining them but to be honest, getting up close and personal isn’t what Anthem is all about.
Yeah your suit can look cool and you can customise the armour and elemental abilities you wear (more on that later) but really for me it was the flying round, hovering and diving that had me completely in awe.
On the sound front I also exploited this with my surround sound and cranked up the bass and wow, when you’re in the thick of it there is noise coming from all around you and it’s really captivating in the moment. That being said, when flying round there is almost a sense of tranquility about it, until you hear the sounds of the world and have to check if it’s a part of the elements or a creature. I have been blown away by many games in the visual and sound department and whilst not the best it’s right up there.
Onto the campaign and multiplayer, I know many Destiny comparisons are being made and I can totally see why, however I want to take the game on it’s own merits rather than compare the two. For me Anthem has been great fun to play.
Starting out there isn’t too much to it; go on some missions, learn how to fly and practice using your guns and elemental powers. Powers can be changed as you progress through the game. I’m not sure how many there are in total but I was enjoying the storm javelin (your suit of armour) and it’s ice and fire abilities a lot. Gun wise it’s all the usual suspects; handguns, light machine guns and so on but the varied number of abilities has really made this enjoyable for me – drop an ice bomb, use an energy charge to take out 3 enemies, shoot a few more then use your ultimate ability to take out a huge number of enemies or bosses, not to mention the shield I’ve been using to repel the enemy weapons as well.
As you progress with your missions, whilst there are a lot of them, they are very similar (I know it’s a shooting game). In general they are quite simple with limited effort and requirement to level up and you can certainly get through normal difficulty on your own no problems, but I have enjoyed online matchmaking for missions and supporting lower level players. Once you hit a point though you will need to go into freeplay (more open world) and complete challenges to unlock the next parts of the game. This has been fun and frustrating as I have enjoyed completing challenges but some have been very specific. If I checked them all properly earlier, I could have completed them much easier, like reviving other freelancers. Then onto the Strongholds and there has been a lot of talk about these as the big end-game content, but for me it’s just the beginning really. Sure, for the super fast ‘I don’t have anything else to do but play games all day’ people, you will get to a point very quickly where you have got all the loot you can, as Strongholds do not offer exotic rewards beyond what you need but just look at the link below to what else is coming.
We are in an age now where games are not about the first 20 to 40 hours of gameplay but more the longevity and progressive nature of the game.
I’m sorry but Destiny has to be mentioned now, they have done both good and bad, Anthem has taken many of the good elements but not given it enough depth straight off the bat. Everything to do with loot systems seems very scripted and slow progress, i.e. the crafting not being able to level you up, events not being easy to find in freeplay. This is where frustrations are coming in for many. For me, Im happy with it for now, and look forward to what’s coming next.
As you progress you will unlock new weapons and materials which will enable you to craft new weapons different and burst rates, damage, clip sizes and reload times will offer you a more personalised experience, this thus far has not proved very fruitful as they have all been the same level that I am already on. Sure, if I didn’t have an LMG I could create one but using more of the games weapons is part of it, isn’t it?
As missions end you can go back to the forge, this is where you gear up your javelin and change the appearance, or you can go to Fort Tarsis (this is kind of your comfort zone), speak to other characters to learn more about the story, get new missions and challenges and pick up cortex (artifacts) but for me frankly, the lack of any abilities including jumping made this a laborious exercise, sure i picked up stuff and read bits but it didn’t do anything to enhance my gameplay experience.
It’s a hard one to judge really, it will be a few more weeks before I really know about the longevity of the game but if the link below is anything to go by, Anthem is going to be delivering lots more content over time. For now, it’s a solid game that’s fun to play on your own or with friends but lacks a bit of cutting edge excitement at times.
Visually excellent and very engrossing with the sound.