PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4; BioWare, EA
BioWare’s shooter jets promisingly into battle on a stunning alien world, but what unfolds is patchy
Anthem seeks to infuse co-operative shooting with the nuanced storytelling that has made its developer, BioWare, one of the world’s most respected – and in doing so, it takes copious notes from Bungie’s colourful sci-fi shooter Destiny. It’s an intriguing gamble, but sadly, Anthem proves to be depressingly hollow.
Initially all seems well, as Anthem sensibly front-loads its strongest features. The game takes place on an alien planet subject to perpetual cataclysms, and players assume the role of heroic mercenaries, using their powerful Javelin mech suits to fight the dangerous creatures that appear in their wake. This world is visually stunning, beyond almost anything we’ve seen in the current generation of video games. The planet’s surface appears to have been shattered and then hastily cobbled back together, as if some divine baker has tried to rescue an enormous dropped meringue. It’s a place where lush rainforests cling to vertiginous rock formations and perch on towering white mesas, while sparkling waterfalls pour down cliff-faces hundreds of feet high.