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Anthem: video game Marmite

Ok, cards on the table… Brace yourselves… Here it comes… Confession time: I like Anthem.

I get the criticism, I really do. The lore is opaque, the loot is dull, the systems for tracking quests and equipping gear are clunky at best and the loading screens… oh god, the loading screens are awful.

I also agree that underneath all the rubbish is, potentially, a real gem. A diamond in the rough. Why? Because the actual gameplay is superb. Flying your Javelin (think Iron Man armour) through the world is a thrill, the combat is excellent and the game looks gorgeous. Hovering about the battlefield in my Storm Javelin (Mage), I get a glorious view of the Colossus (Tank) and Interceptor (Rogue) working their way around at ground level, as the Ranger adds support at close quarters or range. Once you get your head around the combat it’s a treat. Each mission lasts around ten or twenty minutes and it’s done. Alternatively you can explore the world at your leisure.

Then it’s back to Fort Tarsis where you switch to first person mode to speak to characters and accept quests. Here it’s a completely different pace. Hectic combat replaced by slow exploration and in depth reading of the lore. It’s the complete opposite of what’s gone before.

And that, for me, is why it works.

I have limited time to game and so I need something that will work with both my time and what I want to play. Some days I’m in the mood for a few short missions, other days I might want to zone out and fly around to explore. There are also days when I want to immerse myself in the world and its characters. Anthem allows me to do it all and as a result we really suit each other.

Despite all that, I’m not going to recommend people jump in and buy it. I just can’t. Yes, it works for me but taking a step back I know it’s not a good game overall. There are so many things that need work, and if you want a mission-upgrade-mission-repeat scenario you’re going to lose your mind over the loading screens and inaccessibility of it all. It’s a game that the majority will lose patience with very quickly unless BioWare and EA address it.

It’s something I take no pleasure in saying either. It feels so much like it wants to be The Division or Destiny and yet hasn’t learned from any of their mistakes.

So, Anthem. Do you love it or hate it?

Ben View All

Dad, Gent, Geek. Occasional grumpy old man. Console Peasant. Should know better.

10 thoughts on “Anthem: video game Marmite Leave a comment

  1. I haven’t played it but my Destiny buddies all like it and keep trying to get me on there 😅 If I hadn’t just bought Rune Factory 4, I’d probably have gotten that instead. Maybe in the future 🙂

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  2. I acquired it today after being away from home since it launched… Gonna take a few days to download haha. I enjoyed Destiny and The Division so I’m expected to like it. Does putting it on an SSD help with the constant loading screens I wonder?

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    • It’s installed on an external SSD drive and I’m playing on Xbox One X, so… nope! At least not as far as I can tell.

      I hope you enjoy it. It’s got plenty of quirks but the opening stages are phenomenal.

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      • My Xbox One X is just getting full (1TB) but I just don’t have enough games on the go to justify additional drives.

        I’ve managed to squeeze Anthem onto my 256GB nvme SSD, on PC.. if that doesn’t keep the load times down I’ll be surprised haha. I experienced long load times with Fallout 4 until I moved it over to that drive. They’re still annoyingly long though. That’s one thing that does bother me, I can cope with 30fps and all that stuff, but several minutes to load? Frequent loading necessary as well? I don’t want my game time taken up with loading screens!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Popular opinions are not facts, even if the internet seems to think so, haha. At the end of the day, we all see different things in different games. What others hate, others will love and vice versa. Play what you enjoy! That’s what’s important.

    Have fun with Anthem. I’m not playing it because it reminds me of Destiny’s gameplay model, which I didn’t care for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! I’ve never understood people who go out of their way to say all because someone likes a game they’re wrong. Such a waste of time and energy.

      I’ve finished the story, which was fun but nowhere near as nuanced as their other stuff. Now the endgame grind begins which will see how much I really enjoy it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Cool! Destiny’s amazing.

      In my view though it’s a difficult comparison to make at this stage. Destiny has had 5 ish years to evolve and develop. Destiny day one was a very, very different experience to the Forsaken. Who knows how Anthem will evolve?

      The thing I’ve struggled with is that BioWare and EA had five years to watch and learn from the errors Destiny made but it feels like they didn’t. I sense had they taken some of the best bits of Destiny, The Division And Diablo they could have made a much more (dare I say) critic and internet-fanbase friendly game.

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  4. I totally agree with this and so happy to find someone who does haha. I love the game. I understand the critism and it is frustrating getting near the end of a stronghold and crashing out but I am enjoying the game and the grind. I think it’s going to be a big game and I can’t wait for the updates but I’m worried people aren’t going to give it a chance.

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