BioWare's anthem needs a lot of work


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It's been a decade since BioWare launched a new franchise, not for lack of effort. Shadow Realms was announced and canceled quickly, important team came and went repeatedly, and Anthem took the best part of the years 2010 to send. But after all these complications, a brand new BioWare game is finally ready for prime time. Now comes the big question: Does it hold up to the likes of Dragon Age and Mass Effect?

James Duggan, the reviewer of our sister site IGN, gave the game an Ok score of 6.5 / 10 – at least in its current state. Mission design, balance, storytelling and overall stability prevent the game from reaching all cylinders. However, the central combat and variety of exosuits are to be commended. There is a bit of fun, but it takes a lot of work to soften the inconsistencies.

Metacritical counts 52 reviews of the PC version with an average score of 60/100. At the lower end of the scale, The Guardian found it appropriate to rank only 2/5. The problem rhythm, the heavy indebtedness of Destiny's structure, and the lackluster gameplay loop left the reviewer with a bad taste in his mouth.

The highest score was 80/100 on GamingTrend. Unfortunately, even a relatively positive analysis like this comes with many warnings about the user interface, loading times and a certain degree of monotony inherent in this type of game.

I spent over a dozen hours playing with the cast-focused Storm Javelin, and I have mixed feelings about my experience. Non-player characters fall, dialogue options are barely there, and individual chats have the feel of the 1990s FMV games. As a long-time fan of BioWare, these flaws are profound. this does benefit from being the prettiest and most enjoyable game in this studio, but absences and errors mostly outweigh these improvements.

Worst of all, bugs can quickly burn your reserve of patience. Anthem has already dropped into the PS4 main menu several times, and once it has locked the console. Add some really complicated server issues, and players face some serious frustration.

Some early versions of the game were particularly difficult in terms of performance, but DigitalFoundry found that corrected play works best. Unfortunately, the 30fps goal is still hard to maintain on Xbox consoles – especially on low-end models. With the Xbox One S spinning around 900p and the Xbox One X reaching 2160p, it's not hard to reduce the game to the 20s.

The PS4 Pro seems to run mostly at 1800p, but this lower resolution achieves a slightly more consistent performance than the X in 4K. The PS4 also approaches 30fps, but DigitalFoundry recommends manually dropping the PS4 Pro to 1080p mode for a softer console experience. In person? I do not think the loyalty exchange is worth it if you're using a 4K set. Full HD players will definitely want to give up supersampling.

On the PC, the game is very demanding. For those with a mid-road graphics card, getting a solid 60fps can be a real challenge. And if you expected 2160p30 to be easy to reach, you're disappointed. DigitalFoundry recommends a fairly expensive Vega 56 RX for solid 1080p60 performance, but still not perfect. Unless you have a very powerful gaming PC, you'll need to make some concessions.

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