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What The Critics Are Saying About Anthem

It's time. After Anthem's anticipated "day one" patch dropped two days early, bringing a bit of relief to Origin Access Premier subscribers and other early-access players, gaming websites finally felt they had enough to piece together their reviews. So what's the consensus thus far? How is Anthem performing with critics?


Not that well, unfortunately. It appears that Anthem came out of the oven a little too quickly.

Here are some thoughts from around the industry.

IGN's James Duggan: "Anthem comes closer to succeeding as a co-op action RPG than it does as a story-focused game, but only does so after a trying grind through its repetitive main quests. And even at that, its standout elements like the flashy combat and mechanically rich bosses still have a long way to go in terms of polish, variety, and balance. I have hope that with time BioWare can capitalize on its strengths and turn Anthem into something worth investing all these hours into, but all indications are there's a lot of work to be done to reach that point." Score: 6.5/10


GameSpot's Kallie Plagge: "Anthem has good ideas, but it struggles significantly with the execution. It's a co-op game that works best with no one talking; it buries genuinely interesting character moments and puts its most incomprehensible story bits at the forefront; its combat is exciting until you get to the boss fights and find your wings have been clipped. Even the simple, exhilarating act of flying is frequently interrupted by the limitations of your javelin, and you never quite shake the feeling of disappointment–of knowing, throughout the good parts of Anthem, that you'll inevitably come crashing back down." Score: 6/10

PC Gamer's Steven Messner: "[Anthem] coasts entirely on the momentum of its stunning first impression. Once that new game smell began to fade, I started to see Anthem as a derivative, buggy, and at times exasperatingly soulless world that fails to weave BioWare's unique storytelling with a co-op RPG shooter." Score: 55/100

The Guardian's Rick Lane: "Anthem has been built to serve its audience long-term, so it is probable that the game will improve in the coming months. An exhaustive list of technical hitches are due to be fixed imminently, for instance. But even where it is strongest, Anthem rarely stretches beyond the derivative. The combat, while well-designed, is little more than Gears of War with jetpacks, and narratively it veers between inconsequential and downright irritating. This anthem is, sadly, a tedious and conservative dirge that we've all heard before." Score: 2/5


Windows Central's Brendan Lowry: "Anthem offers amazing combat, astounding visuals, and excellent all-around production value, but suffers from baffling design choices and awful writing that hold it back from being something truly special." Score: 3/5

Destructoid's Chris Carter: "I wish some things were different but I find myself wanting to play Anthem beyond the scope of this review. It isn't changing the way the genre operates, not by a long shot, and if you've struggled with a few of them before and tossed them in the gutter, you'll probably do the same here. BioWare will need to build quickly on top of its shimmering jet-fueled foundation to hold people's interest, but folks looking for a new neighborhood to move into might want to give Anthem a try — either now or after fixes and updates." Score: 7/10

Tech Advisor's Dominic Preston and Lewis Painter: "Anthem is the complete opposite of a traditional BioWare game; it boasts a flawless combat and movement systems, but lacks in the story department. It's a lot of fun to play and there's a great foundation for the company to build on in future content updates, of which there should be quite a few." Score: 4/5

As you can see, Anthem is a game that seems to have fallen short of the high expectations many had for it. Its current Metacritic score — a 62 — is almost unbelievable when you consider that this same studio put out three fantastic Mass Effect games, as well as the well-regarded Dragon Age series. Those were more single-player focused, though. Those experiences stuck to what BioWare knew and did well.


Anthem, as a shared-world shooteris a new undertaking for BioWare. And its one the company will have to keep working on, and keep improving over time.

Right now — according to all of the critics above – Anthem isn't there yet.