Anthem – Review
Follow Genre: Shooter Action RPG
Developer: BioWare
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Tested on: PS4

Anthem – Review

Site Score
8.5
Good: Great gameplay, graphics, and music
Bad: Loading screens
User Score
7.3
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Anthem is the most recent BioWare title, published by EA Games. This game is an excellent action shooter RPG, set in an interesting universe. You’ll be able to fly around freely in your combat suit, both to travel around and in combat. You’ll be fighting several types of enemy within a unforgiving world, where the gods have left strange relics which can alter creation.

Story

In the world of Anthem, the gods who created the world have disappeared, and left behind powerful relics which can re-shape reality. These relics are impossible to control, and can be a great source of chaos and destruction. To be able to confront this dangerous world, powerful armored suits named Javelins were built by humanity. The warriors who wear these suits and fight to protect mankind against any sort of threat, are called Freelancers. Freelancers form a team with their Cypher: another human who will direct the freelancer in battle.

The story of the setting and the current state of the freelancers is told in a quite epic intro scene, which is combined with a tutorial on how to move and use your abilities. After this intro, you’ll experience the story through the missions, conversations with the many NPCs, and several items you’ll find when exploring.

Graphics

Anthem looks beautiful. The graphics are fantastic, photo-realistic, and colorful. The main hub is placed in a jungle environment, so you’ll be flying though a colorful lush jungle, explore gorgeous waterfalls, and mysterious caves with glowing lichens. The world is absolutely gorgeous. The design and animation of the Javelin suit is great as well: the movements look realistic, and you’ll feel powerful and agile at the same time when blasting around and fighting enemies. The UI design is very intuitive and clear.

Sound

The music is epic and heroic, mixed with interesting instruments (like a didgeridoo) which fit well in the setting.  The sounds of the guns are seriously impressive, especially if you have a sound system with a decent subwoofer: you might tune the subwoofer down a bit if you don’t want to shake from your chair. It does feel super epic to hear your guns with such a deep sound. The character you play has a lot of voice lines, and these really add personality. The narration of the NPCs has been done really well, too!

Gameplay

Anthem is a multiplayer action RPG shooter. Missions can be played with a fireteam, but also solo, if you prefer. You can also freely travel around the world, gathering crafting materials and completing world events for loot.

There are four different types of suits to choose from at the beginning, and later in the game you’ll unlock the other types. The colossus is a tank: it has a huge amount of armor and withstand quite a beating. The Ranger is a versatile suit which is both agile and armored. The Interceptor is super fast and agile, but it is pretty fragile, and the Storm is fragile as well, but can wield powerful elemental attacks.

When wearing your Javelin suit, you’ll be able to fly around at all times. The flying mechanic is quite awesome: you can fly until the suit overheats, but you’ll be able to cool your suit by flying through waterfalls, skim over water, fly through rain, or dive down steeply. You can even dive straight into water and use your suit as a speedy submarine! Fighting while flying is pretty cool, although you’ll quickly learn it is still useful to run around on the ground so you’ll be able to make use of cover. However, getting away quickly by just taking off and flying away proves to be handy in many occasions.

There are several types of missions. Most missions are instanced, and you can complete them either solo or with a fireteam consisting of other players. Up to four friends can join your team, and you’ll also be able to favorite random strangers you’ve played with before, and invite them to your team for another mission. Having a fireteam really helps to take down the bigger enemies, but you most likely won’t have a second to look around, explore, and enjoy the environment. However, when playing a more fragile class, a fireteam can really help. There are also missions which take place in the open world outside the stronghold which is your main quest hub. You will encounter other players here, but there are many different places to go, resources to gather, and world missions to complete.

The enemies you’ll encounter during the missions while leveling your character are pretty challenging, and have a lot of variety. Wildlife and random mobs die easily enough, but heavily armored units are pretty hard to take down, and are usually heavy hitters which you’ll need to avoid for quite some time. There are also units which carry a replenishable shield, and usually hit pretty hard at a long range. Whenever you’ll need to pull back to regenerate some health, their shield will regenerate, and you’ll have to start chipping away at their shield again before you can do some real damage, all the while avoiding their powerful attacks.

Luckily, you have a wide array of weapons to choose from, plus shields and other upgrades to either increase your damage or improve your survivability. There are many different types of guns to fit your play style: sniper rifles, shotguns, rocket launchers, and everything in between. Every type of gun as several sub-types, with different properties like magazine size, damage, or firing rate.

The main quest hub, an enclave named Fort Tarsis, is where most of the story takes place. Your character will walk around outside of their armor, and can talk to a great amount of NPCs here. You’ll be able to choose your answers from two options in most conversations, which can have real consequences regarding the NPC. There are also different factions you can earn reputation with; you’ll mostly do so by completing missions for them.

You will encounter a loading screen every now and then while playing. The loading screen to access the forge where you can customize your armor and select your weapons takes quite a while, and as you change areas during the missions you’ll encounter loading screens as well. However, while the loading screens are quite frequent, they don’t seem to last as long as the pre-mission loading times of some other games.

Conclusion

Anthem is a great game: it looks fantastic, the sounds are epic, the gameplay is absolutely awesome, and the story and characters are intriguing. Anthem seems to be getting a lot of negative reviews, which to us seems undeserved. It’s a lot of fun to be able to fly around freely in the beautifully designed world of Anthem, and the interaction with your character and the NPCs is a lot of fun. If you’re looking for a good shooter RPG to play with friends, then Anthem is the game for you!

 

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Rating: 7.3/10 (3 votes cast)
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Anthem - Review, 7.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Anmaja
Anmaja


I'm a LARP writer, freelance teacher and everlasting PhD student, and an avid gamer. Nowadays I game mostly on PC, but I love my retro playstation 1 & 2 as well :) I like watching anime, movies and series, and read books & comics whenever I have time!

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