EA and Bioware’s highly-anticipated third-person shooter RPG hybrid has finally been released on EA Access.
This is just ahead of the official release of Anthem on the 22nd February.
Putting the somewhat confusing staggered release dates aside for the time being, players have been getting to grips with the multiplayer mech shoot-em-up over the weekend and have had a lot of things to say.
Here are six things you need to know before deciding whether you want to buy EA’s brand new IP.
What is Anthem?
Anthem takes place on an alien planet that was created by a group of gods who left before they had finished their work.
This left the world hostile and unfinished – with freak storms and hordes of monsters that roam the wild.
On this premise, the world of Anthem truly comes to life, as it allows for the map to change constantly shifting on the whims of the environment.
You play a Freelancer – a soldier from an elite squadron who have left their civilisation in order to explore the world, ridding it of monsters.
Graphically it’s beautiful
Anthem is built on EA’s Frostbite engine, the game looks brilliant in 1080p as well as in 4k resolution.
When flying around the map with your team, discovering wildlife and battling monsters, the game feels bright, colourful and, most importantly, alive.
The level of detail on your exo-suit (Javelin) is perhaps the biggest highlight, especially with the levels of customisation available through Anthem’s in-game store.
Fans of customising their characters will be able to spend hours fine-tuning their Javelins – for example, adding different coloured metal plates.
When first jumping into Anthem, make sure to spend a good few hours exploring the game and appreciating it visually.
Flying and combat are the best parts
Ever wanted to be a superhero? This is the closest thing you will get to it in gaming.
Flying around in your Javelin feels and looks brilliant. Due to the clever motion capturing of professional skydivers, Bioware was able to effectively capture how it feels to ‘fall with style’.
Although a lot of the guns feel very similar, the combat is for the most part fun and engaging, especially when coupled with your Freelancers’ special abilities and ability to fly.
Fan of Destiny? This is EA’s shot at a living world title
For months, people have been comparing Anthem to Destiny.
The loot system, the customisation options and the team-based adventuring are all things we have come to associate with Bungie’s Destiny series.
Yes, Anthem does take elements from Destiny – if you had fun playing the original Destiny or still crunch out the hours in Destiny 2 it is 100% worth checking this game out.
And like the first Destiny game, which got off to a shaky start, it would be good to see Bioware release regular updates and communicate effectively with their player base.
A somewhat short campaign
The development team seemed to be tight-lipped around the topic of the campaign and how long it would last – well now we know why.
All in all, excluding side missions, you can complete the main storyline in about 12 hours.
From the company that gave us Dragon Age and Mass Effect, two series’ that have EPIC storylines, it may come as somewhat of a disappointment to players who were hoping for a longer story.
Bioware has tried to drag the campaign out with plenty of ‘collect this’, ‘follow this’ and ‘kill this’ quests, however, it feels very unimaginative and quickly becomes monotonous after a few hours.
Boss battles are badass
One of the best redeeming features of the short campaign is the boss battles.
Here is where Anthem really shines – each boss is unique requiring the whole squad working together to take them down.
It’s a shame the game doesn’t feature more moments where you really get to experience this.
As Anthem producer, Thomas Singleton, said when speaking with Official PlayStation Magazine: “Where the product shines is playing as that squad, you’re working together as a unit to go and conquer various missions.
“If you want to play the experience solo that’s your option, it probably won’t be as rewarding, you won’t have that team dynamic.”
There is a plethora of bugs and glitches that will more than likely be ironed out soon
Disappointingly, there seems to be a whole host of small bugs and glitches in Anthem.
A huge day one patch was pushed out to try and rectify this but, worryingly, it seems to be becoming the norm to ‘release a game’ and ‘fix it later’ when it comes to triple-A-titles.
Even the cutscenes aren’t safe!
Anthem is out the 22nd February on PS4, Xbox One and PC.