A lot of games are hard to review – Anthem isn’t one of them. It is easy to identify the strengths it has – excellent graphical fidelity and wonderful flight mechanics – and even easier to identify the many, many flaws.
The narrative is a botched attempt at a traditional Bioware story, shoved inside a looter shooter. It fails dramatically pretty much immediately after the first cutscene. It’s not that the voice acting is bad – because it really isn’t – but the presentation of it means you don’t care what is happening, ever.
This isn’t helped by banal environments, which consists of forest ruin after forest ruin, non-stop, over and over again, interrupted by massive loading times. The game looks beautiful, but is boring to look at after an hour or so – that seems like a contradiction, but there’s only so long you can look at the same pretty picture before you want to look at something different. Anthem provides no visual diversity.
As everyone suspected before launch, this is Destiny Lite. The core combat is the familiar bullet-sponge looter shooter the market is now flooded with, but Anthem is a terrible example of it because, again, the gameplay loop lacks diversity. You do the same thing, over and over again, and when the flight mechanics stop being fun, the whole game stops being fun.
I know people will say there’s ‘potential’ here, but honestly this is a full price, AAA game that should be a lot better than this on release. We shouldn’t be paying to be glorified Beta testers for DLC down the line.
Ultimately, Anthem feels like the game Bioware had to make rather than the one they wanted to make. The lack of soul in this title is resoundingly obvious