IGN recently uploaded a 15-minute gameplay demo of BioWare and EA’s upcoming Anthem. But, much like the rest of the title’s marketing, the footage is concerning rather than exciting. No matter what the publisher and developers show, it’s impossible to shake off the feeling that Anthem is a Destiny clone, and a massive disappointment compared to BioWare’s darling child, Mass Effect.
It’d be unfair to say that Anthem is another EA cash grab as a lot of passion and effort has clearly been put into it. Despite a lot of us being sick of self-proclaimed expansive worlds, the environments shown in the gameplay demo are visually stunning. There’s a lot of detail and beauty, and the landscape appears to be a fun playground to fly, shoot enemies and break things. However, like most open-world and sandbox video games, for now it seems as if BioWare were more focused on size and waterfalls, rather than fascinating lore and unique missions.
Much of the gameplay was designed to showcase the combat and flying, which are the areas in which Anthem mostly resembles Destiny and the online component to Mass Effect. Each of the classes are visibly unique in appearance and assigned powers, and the combat looks great with a lot of it featuring Biotic-like abilities. But, while the combat for Mass Effect: Andromeda and Online was hectic fun, it quickly became repetitive and boring thanks to every mission being the same. And this is precisely where Anthem looks bad.
The 15-minute gameplay demo stars faceless and constantly chitter-chattering soldiers pressing buttons and fending off waves of enemies. Rather than making BioWare’s newest project seem like a must-buy, it only increases the number of concerns surrounding its existence. The mission is merely a menial task where you press buttons and shoot hordes of doppelganger goons, which is identical to the recycled formula used for quests in Mass Effect: Andromeda and Online. If Anthem offers nothing more than this, then no matter how pretty its world is and how much the characters dish out cheesy lines, the game will be an intolerable dud.
Anthem is proving to be a ridiculously hard game for EA and BioWare to sell. Rather than worrying about the fact that it may not be as long as the Mass Effect games, potential buyers should be concerned about it appearing to be a grind that repeats recycled missions from Mass Effect: Andromeda and Mass Effect Online, with the poor storytelling that Destiny has become famous for.
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