Anthem – Review

Anthem is Biowares latest IP and comes to us in the looter-shooter genre. I have decided to wait with my review until I had managed to play enough of the game to get a good insight into it. This isn’t the type of game that you can review overnight, there are so many different mechanics and things to it, that it couldn’t possibly be reviewed base on pre-release review copies (my copy is a digital copy I purchased myself) or the beta, alphas and EA Access trial.

I played the private and open betas, I did use up most of my 10-hour trial and I have since sunk around 40 hours into the game. This review isn’t based on those Alpha or Beta hours I played, but from the final release I played. The game played as Bioware intended on release.

The first thing that I noticed from the game when I got into the world was how beautiful it was, how dynamic the world seemed, the lighting looked beautiful, watching the rays of light leak through the trees or the massive canyons was a joy to behold.

Titans take some beating!

Going through that opening sign at the heart of rage and learning the mechanics was a brilliant way to open the game. You had a fairly epic opening and one that helped you get to grips with the game, but one that was also not too overwhelming, it introduced you nicely to the story. A story which can be completed in around 12 hours if you’re focused enough on some of the collecting and finding missions that it introduces you too. Until these are done you can’t progress the story, it is a good way to get you to do some contracts or go and get side missions from other characters. It introduces you then to the other aspects of the game such as the archanists and the sentinals. I really enjoyed this way of doing it, it allows you to be able to explore different areas of the game and set a pace to the story, to try and spread it out further, obviously if you don’t want too, you don’t have to, you can power through missions and try and get what you need from freeplay to get through some of the collecting missions.

Each mission I found didn’t really take that long, you can do most missions within 15-20 minutes on normal, and strongholds, if you had a good team can take around half an hour to 40 minutes on normal and anything up to an hour on hard.

Strongholds are harder tests for teams to take on which come in several stages, kind of like the raids in Destiny, and I have only done the Tyrant Mine Stronghold so far, albeit several times through and I found it really fun, they’re not as difficult as the raids on Destiny but do require you to work as a team to get through the onslaught that happens.

One thing that I did question was the world events that occur, these are genuinely random and will just turn up whenever, however I found that when flying round the world that there wasn’t a lot of these to be had. It was a little threadbare and I expected that there would be more as I was flying around to different regions of the world, but there seemed to be a long time between them showing up.

One thing that really surprised me was the smoothness of the gameplay and how well the flight mechanics worked. Flying to a location was flawless for me, having to land when the javelin overheated or when I would crash into a wall that I didn’t see coming. There are 4 different Javelins within the game which are Storm, Ranger, Colossus and Interceptor. The storm is a more elemental javelin which can use Lightning, Ice or Fire power, the Ranger is more of a scout with the use of grenades, seeking missiles amongst others, you then have the colossus which is just a brute and I’ve seen people ramming others down with shields and smash landing them, looked very satisfactory, and then the interceptor is the most agile of the Javelins, but comes with the disadvantage of light armour.

My favourite so far is the Storm, I started my crusade with the Ranger and enjoyed using him for a while, but when I tried the storm with his elemental attacks and saw how awesome he got when levelled up, I was in heaven. He is quick, his attacks are fast and they look amazing and feel awesome to pull off. I’ve gotten to a point where I can float up high and reign fire down on the enemies below and I barely use my guns anymore.

The world is such a beautiful one to roam around in freeplay!

The gameplay loop can be a bit repetitive with the missions taking on similar type of styles such as go here, shoot this, protect that, kill big thing, but I have to admit that when you’re playing with randoms or your friends, the game is a lot of fun, with a massive world to investigate, caves and tombs a plenty to check out with lots of challenges to complete there is enough to keep anyone busy in the game for a while, especially when grinding for new weapons and armour.

I personally have been having loads of fun with the game and will continue to by going through the contracts and other missions within it, there is going to be more content coming to the game over time. I think one thing people expect when a game releases is everything, but with a game like this there was always going to be new things coming to it over time, just look at Destiny 1 & 2 how things have been added to that over the years and what it is today, I honestly believe that with the right support there is going to be so much more to do in this game and in hopefully the next 6 months we will start to see that coming to fruition.

If you’re into your looter shooters, then I would highly recommend you giving this game a go. It has a beautiful world to discover, fantastic flight and movement mechanics and enough content to keep you going.

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