Summary: Flying in Anthem's beautiful world is an exhilarating experience. Unfortunately, that's about all there is to it. Between repetitive gameplay, unsatisfying endgame, and a dull narrative, Anthem fails to deliver what "looter shooter" fans have come to expect.
Top Critic Average
Even if the content is improved, something we take for granted, it is the structure of Anthem that does not allow it look complete, condemning it to look like a test title compared to other games of the genre.
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Anthem is pretty to look at but its bad game design, game-breaking bugs and server issues ruin the little it has going for it.
Anthem is one of my favorite games in a long time. Yes, there are some design and technical problems with Anthem but absolutely nothing that can’t be fixed.
Anthem mimes shoot-and-loot games, but doesn't do enough to stand apart from the competition. Plus, bugs and tedious level design mar a potentially entertaining title.
The world and setting of Anthem are amazing, the gameplay is super fun, but the mission structure and loot system let the game down.
Anthem isn't a terrible game. The core mechanics alone make it something worth at least trying, with the fluid Javelin control movement system and combat options offering up an interesting take on the modern shooter. The problem is that Anthem just isn't a complete package. It's buggy, boring and feels unfinished. It had potential to be another Bioware triumph, and it still could with updates and DLC, but for now, it's a bit like a shiny collectable that looks pretty but really doesn't really do much.
I didn’t anticipate that Anthem would launch as poorly as it has. I use the word “launch” because I know a majority of the game’s current issues can and will be fixed if EA and BioWare stick with it. However, the game currently isn’t worth it in its current state. It’s a technically inconsistent mess of a looter shooter that can’t seem to nail down the fundamentals of the genre. The most diehard fans of The Division and Destiny might find something enjoyable in Anthem, but you’ll quickly discover there’s nothing to keep players from returning to those other games because they do it so much better. Anthem has a lot of potential that I hope it can tap into it, but it’ll be some time before it reaches a state that’s worth investing in.
I am sorry to say that Anthem has fallen short in pretty much every way.
I will probably fire up Anthem more than a few times again, if only to experience the joyous nature of plopping down a Colossus in the middle of a firefight and unfurling fiery, shelled death upon the landscape. It's a wonderful distraction. But unfortunately, Anthem doesn't look like anything more than that. I can't recommend it.
Here’s the kicker, though; despite its myriad problems I actually kind of like Anthem. I found myself sinking into its simple gameplay loops. But there are too many basic design problems holding Anthem back. As a live service game it’s hard to know what the future holds for BioWare’s looter-shooter, but right now I’d recommend you wait a while before picking Anthem up. In its current state it has okay combat, poor enemy design, boring missions, dull loot and enough loading screens to let you catch up on your reading.