Anthem: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

With the news of a potential re-work of Anthem, I thought it might be a good idea to look back on what made Anthem such an awful gaming experience.

The Good:

First I’ll start with what made the game fun, just to start on a positive note. The game was gorgeous, the scenery and the world design was on the next level. Every area of the game left me in awe and the underwater exploration was fantastic. Unlike most games where the underwater experience is clunky and unenjoyable. The gameplay was unique and a ton of fun. The combat wasn’t the same stale bs that we deal with in other games. The flying was easily the best aspect of this game, without it, I would never have considered playing this game. Unfortunately, I don’t have much more positive things to say about Anthem, there just isn’t enough good aspects of the game.

The Bad:

Where to begin? There just were so many issues with this game I am finding it difficult to find a starting point.

We’ll talk about the stability of the game first, there were a plethora of issues with the game. Including crashing issues, whenever I tried to complete a mission or stronghold with friends one of us would have our game crash. This was frustrating as hell as it took forever for the game to load. There were also times where missions would lock because we needed to kill more enemies, but they wouldn’t spawn so we could not progress the mission. I even had one scenario where my team was fighting a boss and I was not able to see or hurt the boss, but the boss could see and kill me.

After that, there was the issue of loot, which is bad if your game is a looter shooter. The loot was bad, Masterworks were the second-highest tier of gear and Legendaries were the highest. Masterworks were good but were not anything truly special, and Legendaries were literally just higher scored pieces of Masterwork items with slight stat boosts. Legendaries were literally not worth using since Gear Score was essentially worthless. On top of that crap sandwich, the upper tiers of loot, Masterwork and Legendary, were nearly impossible to come across. The game had six difficulty settings, Easy, Normal, Hard, Grandmaster 1, Grandmaster 2, and Grandmaster 3. Once you got up to Grandmaster 2 or 3 missions and strongholds could take up to three or four hours to complete and you were not guaranteed high tier loot. I ran multiple missions on Grandmaster 2 and 3 difficulty without obtaining Masterworks or Legendaries. You were better off running Hard or Grandmaster 1 since they were much easier and had a similar drop rate.

The endgame content was also lackluster. There were only three activities that had any replay value, and that value was deplorably low. There was no reason to go back, it wasn’t fun and there was no reason to go for loot. Which, if you’re not going to make a game for the endgame, you want to make the story fun and engaging. Anthem did neither, the missions were stale and uneventful. The actual storyline was boring as hell and never held my interest for more than a few minutes at a time.

The Ugly:

On top of all of the issues that this game faced, the launch was a clusterfuck of a release. They had two or three different early access points, with different requirements. It was so confusing they had to create a chart to help people understand it. First, they had demo access to people that pre-ordered the game, ea access, and origin access members. They then gave full early access to the game to Origin Access Premier members which was only on PC. They then had a 10-hour trial for EA Access and Origin Access members. Then, finally, the game actually released.

The issue with how much early access they let players have is that in the week that people had access to the game they made it to the end game. They then realized that the end game was awful and stopped playing. This was most detrimental to the game in terms of streamers. Most of the streamers had reached endgame and had quit playing the game by the time it launched. Which meant not a lot of people were streaming it or watching it on launch day. Nowadays you need people to stream your game and watch your game if you want people to buy it. People tend to be on the fence about buying games, Twitch allows them to see the game before they buy it. Since nobody was streaming it on the launch, sales were more than likely affected.

What makes this so much harder to accept is the fact that Anthem’s launch window was PERFECT. There were no other major triple-A titles releasing with two or three weeks of the game. Thus giving them ample time to grab and hold players' attention. When launching a game around the time another big-name game launches can seriously affect sales and the longevity of your game. DOOM 2016 is a fantastic example of that. DOOM 2016 launched about the same time Blizzard launched Overwatch. This seriously affected the sales of DOOM and the interest around the game after launch. DOOM would have done so much better if they would have waited a month to launch. Anthem did not face this problem, yet they still managed to drop the ball HARD.

Conclusion:

I put a considerable amount of time into Anthem, with the hopes of making good money on it from the boosting company I work for. I was hoping that people would pay us to obtain loot for them and build their characters. But with the lack of endgame, loot, and builds nobody wanted to buy anything. This is the reason that when/if Anthem does relaunch as a better game I still won’t be playing it, they had their chance to keep my interest and failed. I don't believe that this game deserves any more of my time or anyone else’s.

I am an aspiring writer with a love for gaming, I hope that one day I may combine these passions into a career. I will be posting mock articles to hone my craft