It seemed like we were waiting ages for the release of "Anthem" a game that was being teased over and over as major competition for games like Destiny.
The beta was released and the hype died down a bit. Then the game proper was released and met with some pretty average responses from critics.
"Boring loot, disjointed story line, Pretty but mediocre" were just some of the thing's written about the game but were they justified? I mean these days nearly every game is a potential victim of an internet hate campaign for one main reason, negative articles seem to gather more clicks and likes to a social media page.
After playing Anthem I strongly believe that although the game isn't perfect it's not in the least bit boring, I've found the story to be engaging and yes it is very pretty but certainly not mediocre.
I also believe that although it has some similarities to "Destiny" it should never have been compared to it.
Yes it's a looter/shooter MMO with roleplaying qualities and if you squint your eyes you could be forgiven for thinking that the characters look a little bit like Guardians. But the overall feel of the game is very different.
Destiny is a game with brilliant 1st person gunplay. Anthem is a 3rd person game with a battle mechanic that feels more "mechanical". I mean that in a good way as well. I like the difference and it's meant to be mechanical because you are in an Iron Man type suit of armour with rockets and grenades.
In some respects it has more in common with Gears of War than it does Destiny.
The game is beautiful, it's stunning backdrops are immersive and the sandbox world feels whole. Even using that environment to help cool your suit when you are flying long distances is a very unique and important element that ties you to the world.
The guns are plentiful and designed well although lack character. They can at times feel more like a Call of Duty loadout rather than your trusty sidearm that you've taken to battle so many times you've given it a name. For me that's an important part of an RPG.
The style of Javelin suits are each unique enough to make those initial decisions of which one to go with very difficult. I did notice that most times I went into battle it was with groups of Rangers which seems to be the obvious all rounder choice for most players.
The enemies are various and feel like they either come from the "Diablo" playbook or at times the bugs from the "Starship Troopers" movies.
Teamwork is a big part of the game, although the earlier missions are easy enough, it's when you get those big-bads that you really want a team around you, whittling one of them down on your own would be a lengthy task, not even one worth the bother of attempting.
So are there issues? Yes there are, and I heard someone say the other day "I'll get it in 6 months when it's good". That's ok, but it's likely in 6 months we've all moved on to other things.
Anthem is not the game we thought we were getting a year ago, but it's also not a bad game at all, it's actually a lot of fun and feels like Bioware doing what they do best, good story, great characters and plenty of action.
Jump in and give it a go if you can and if there is something you don't like then post about it on the Bioware forums.
Bioware are super active in the online community and listen to all feedback on the game, so there's a good chance they'll be tweaking it in further updates. Just look at the response of the super long load times in the beta compared to the day one patch. A dramatic improvement brought on by fan feedback and a clever developer.