The day is finally here. Anthem is on the shelves and the reviews are well in for the most part. Unfortunately for EA and BioWare's shooter, most of them seem pretty disappointed and wondering where the latter part of this union went.
Currently sporting a 62 score on Metacritic, most reviewers agree on Anthem's campaign being underwhelming. Particularly the free-roam tomb mission, which gives you a long list of menial tasks to complete before you progress.
Also, if you're taking EA's advice and playing with friends, all of you have to stay quiet if you want to hear about the mission. Which is, of course, not what playing with friends is ever about. Ever.
VG247 think that when it comes to visuals, the game is one of the best looking eye-candy offerings money can buy, but that it all came at the expense of the story and in turn - immersion.
"It looks phenomenal and the performance capture is some of the best I’ve seen. It’s also lacking any substance", they said before adding that "absurd levels of visual decadence aren't enough to mask over Anthem’s deep flaws."
Polygon, on the other hand, think that the story is still there, but that the "slow paced, dialogue-heavy, quasi-interactive character drama" got buried by the "speedy multiplayer action" part of the game.
Ultimately though, they thought the game is at odds with itself at times. "Anthem's campaign is a collision of competing ideas. Where it succeeds, in its combat and characters, it's sabotaged by load screens, clunky menus, and the glacial pace of Fort Tarsis", they wrote.
Eurogamer thought that Anthem's story is far from BioWare's best work as "the backstory has none of the nuance or drive of a Dragon Age or a Mass Effect, but it does have the benefit of clarity."
They were left disappointed with all the technical issues and bugs not weeded out from the demos, and while they saw the merits of Anthem's gunplay, they thought the weaponry felt "mostly anaemic".
Gamespot agreed as far as technical issues go, expressing hope that the day-one patch will fix them, but pointed out that it can't address "the poor structure and pacing". They scored it with a 6.
Even though the stories they found in their spare time spent in Fort Tarsis were reminiscent of BioWare, they required you to want to go out of your way, something that not many players will be compelled to do.
IGN also found traces of BioWare's storytelling in the game's cast but found them to be so "tonally out of sync" with the main storyline that they concluded how "Anthem's primarily single-player story combines with its persistent multiplayer world like water mixes with oil."
They were left wanting with a "disaster" of RPG mechanics, while weapons and ability balance was described as "total crapshoot".
Developed by BioWare and published by EA, Anthem officially launches today for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.