Anthem Review Roundup: Here's What Critics Think

Reviews take flight.

130 Comments
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Now Playing: Anthem Late Game Contracts, Farming for Masterworks And More

Anthem is BioWare's latest game, but fans of the studio's massive RPGs like Mass Effect and Dragon Age will find a very different experience waiting for them. Anthem is a loot shooter, more akin to Destiny or The Division, consisting of a campaign followed by an extensive post-game with bigger and better rewards to collect and more difficult bosses to take on.

Anthem differentiates itself from the competition with extensive use of a flying mechanic, letting you zoom above the battlefield like Iron Man. It also lets you swap between classes more easily, as your character is a pilot called a "Freelancer" who can take the controls of the various suit types at will.

After a week-long early access period, Anthem has now released broadly for everyone. The consensus seems to be that while flying through the battlefield is enjoyable, the story is lackluster--especially compared to BioWare's best--and many say the game feels unfinished in its current state. Read on for impressions from around the industry, and check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic for more details.

GameSpot -- 6/10

"Anthem has good ideas, but it struggles significantly with the execution. It's a co-op game that works best with no one talking; it buries genuinely interesting character moments and puts its most incomprehensible story bits at the forefront; its combat is exciting until you get to the boss fights and find your wings have been clipped. Even the simple, exhilarating act of flying is frequently interrupted by the limitations of your javelin, and you never quite shake that feeling of disappointment--of knowing, throughout the good parts of Anthem, that you'll inevitably come crashing back down." -- Kallie Plagge [Full review]

Destructoid -- 7/10

"I wish some things were different but I find myself wanting to play Anthem beyond the scope of this review. It isn't changing the way the genre operates, not by a long shot, and if you've struggled with a few of them before and tossed them in the gutter, you'll probably do the same here. BioWare will need to build quickly on top of its shimmering jet-fueled foundation to hold people's interest, but folks looking for a new neighborhood to move into might want to give Anthem a try--either now or after fixes and updates." -- Chris Carter [Full review]

Ars Technica -- No Score

"This game is freaking rad at its best, but it's just not done. It's not fun to have sessions with friends so constantly interrupted. It's not fun to keep quitting out of the main map just to check my loot and quest beats. It's not fun to fight these boring bad guys in these boring missions, again and again and again. It's not fun to feel confused by a lack of information all over the place. Anthem has flashes of being a really good game, but what's the point if it's not fun?" -- Sam Machkovech [Full review]

Polygon -- No Score

"BioWare has already done a lot of the hard work. A satisfying core gameplay loop is difficult to create, but the studio has managed it. Playing makes me feel like a true sci-fi superhero, 10 seconds at a time. But in order for Anthem to survive, BioWare will need to clarify its identity and prioritize the right elements of it. I’d love for the story, the interface, the experience of playing Anthem to service that loop, rather than fight it. I’d love for unique quests and activities to not just keep me occupied, but give me something to strive for. Playing Anthem, I can sense where this game is going. I just worry about how long it will take to get there." -- Russ Frushtick [Full review]

GamesRadar -- 2.5/5

"But there's nowhere near enough of the stuff that makes BioWare games distinctly BioWare. That's the content that Anthem needs sooner rather than later because, at the moment, it's existing solely in the shadow of Destiny. Not Destiny 2, which has steadily grown and evolved with the community, mind – but the Destiny of five years ago. Anthem is designed to grow and evolve over time, but unless that happens sooner rather than later it'll be dead on arrival." -- Sam Loveridge [Full review]

USGamer -- 2.5/5

"It's a beautiful game where the movement is unique and freeing. The story is throwing a lot at the players and some of the characters feel like living mannequins, but there are standouts as well. And the overall mission loop feels like it has too many operations and too much downtime. It feels like the first Destiny: it's an intriguing start, but there are several problems that need to be ironed out. What's frustrating is that many of these problems have already been solved by other MMOs. It's baffling to me that Anthem seems to be starting from scratch, even if I'm sure BioWare is going to do whatever it takes to improve post-launch." -- Mike Williams [Full review]

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Avatar image for playstationzone
PlaystationZone

Just face fact fallout 76 flop because of online only , The division was downgraded so as 2nd , crackdown 3 online And know Anthem flop because of buggy mess and downgrade. The only online kings are GTA5, Fornite and new EA free to play game.

Avatar image for Torvar72
Torvar72

@playstationzone: fortnight sux Anthem is a blast to play and its a 9/10

Avatar image for gotrekfabian
gotrekfabian

@Torvar72: I wouldn't even try to pledge any logic where this guy is concerned, he's just another Generation Z who can't see past the hate/hype train and make up his own mind on things. The usual analogy from people like these is: "If I don't like it then it's sh1t". I almost feel sorry for them.

Avatar image for Torvar72
Torvar72

@gotrekfabian: I've been playing Anthem on Orginis and its a great game. and I'm not a gen Z junior

Avatar image for gotrekfabian
gotrekfabian

@Torvar72: I haven't played since the VIP demo but I had a great time with it when I hooked up with a good group. I shall be playing this on day one and am looking forward to it even if it isn't the perfect experience just now.

The 72 gave away the fact that you probably weren't Gen Z btw. ;)

Avatar image for Ippongi_Ryuta
Ippongi_Ryuta

lmao

Avatar image for cboye18
cboye18

This and the upcoming The Division 2 needs to be the end of this "games as a service" crap. It's been going for long enough and it just doesn't work long-term.

In the end, both gamers and developers will be at each other's throats while stockholders and executives sip their margarita's on their private yacht.

Avatar image for justthetip
JustTheTip

This game is dead already. Very few people have been dumb enough to think it looks good. Most don’t want it.

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santinegrete

@justthetip: don't want it? didn't!

Avatar image for justthetip
JustTheTip

@santinegrete: Huh? I meant what I said. Most people don’t want it. Don’t and didn’t are both usable here. I didn’t make a mistake.

Avatar image for brazzo09
brazzo09

@justthetip: Santine was just building on your point saying most people "didn't" want this game to begin with. I think people would've preferred Dragon Age or an improved Mass Effect game over this.

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Zero0010

I think reviewer don't want to put their review out because of backlash from the fan base

They think the day one patch will give them a better experience

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CottonFly

Bullshit review roundup from all the bullshit game journalists. Nice.

Avatar image for Mogan
Mogan

@cottonfly: “There no numbers and read make head hurt!”

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Pongman1975

@Mogan: lol good one

Avatar image for videogameninja
videogameninja

Hmm… sounds worrisome.

Haven’t seen many definitive review scores as of yet but the general consensus from all the “reviews in progress” would seem to indicate that Anthem is a huge let down from what many were hoping would be in some way a revival of Bio-ware.

We will all have to wait for the final verdicts to pile in but if these early impressions are anything to go off of I think it’s fair to say that the feeling gamers had way back when the game was first revealed may have been right.

:/

-TAKING A KNEE NINJA APPROVED-

Avatar image for ssrbvegeta
SSRBVegeta

“Review round up” it says, then “no score in progress, no score in progress, no score in progress” couldnt this article have waited until the scores come out?

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@ssrbvegeta: But then some other site might put out such an article first! THEY MIGHT GET THE CLICKS INSTEAD!

Avatar image for snugglebear
snugglebear

Early access or no, the game was released. If you ask for the $60 + dollars then thats the game, right there. Yes it may change, but i keep seeing "games as a service should be graded differently" and thats BS. People pump even more money into games like these.

Avatar image for gotrekfabian
gotrekfabian

@snugglebear: Not yet, the official release date is this Friday (22/02/19) and anything prior to that likely won't include the day one patch. I wouldn't take any review seriously that was made prior to that date.

Avatar image for igroku
IgrokU

@gotrekfabianThe problem is they can't fix the gameplay loop which is horrible.

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PlaystationZone

@gotrekfabian: don’t like true I see because game like this flop and that was fallout 76 and know Anthem unfinished game . I knew it ever since said only online game and it’s coming from me who like online games gta5 . it’s a cash grab Anthem

Avatar image for gotrekfabian
gotrekfabian

@playstationzone: Dont like the truth? OMFG The truth is that you are just another hater and can't see that this is still an incomplete game which doesn't yet justify a review. It requires 30+ hours (and maybe more) post day one patch before a review would merit any justice to the game. You are just hating on a game you haven't even played or just don't like and don't even try to deny it as you have been seen many, many times on GS citing zealotry. Come back when you comprehend that flaw in yourself.

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aross2004

@gotrekfabian: Go easy on Tarzan!

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gotrekfabian

@aross2004: lolz

I doubt he even understood much of what I said there but he needed someone to retort. He must be one of the worst fanboys on the site now that 7tizz has been banned. 🤣

Avatar image for kagatoac
KagatoAC

@gotrekfabian: I have to agree, what the Origin people got was more of an Extended version of the demo than the full game. I do appreciate that they tested all the things for the rest of us so it could all be patched in time for launch :)

Avatar image for gotrekfabian
gotrekfabian

@kagatoac: I just wish that more could see that instead of spouting hatred and other injustices on a game which most haven't even played due to not enjoying the genre.

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MisterTech

Lol... why?

Avatar image for mistervulpes
MisterVulpes

@mistertech:

If we have a few more misters, we can do a bank robbery with well written dialogue.

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MisterTech

@mistervulpes: lul