BioWare’s new game launched yesterday (except for the Origin Access Premier subscribers on PC…), and it is going to have a rough start.
The team-based, third-person perspective looter-shooter (which could be played solo for the most part) with its exoskeletons called Javelins is far different from your usual BioWare game (Mass Effect or Dragon Age series), and a few analysts already think that due to competition, Anthem, which has been in development for six years, might not be able to pull in a lot of players, especially in the long run.
Anthem is set on another planet, which is filled with dangerous enemies, but humanity still managed to somewhat colonize it. We, as a Freelancer, can help humanity by hopping into our Javelins (which are able to fly!) that could be customized visually with microtransactions and with new weapons, to complete missions. „Anthem is for players who are looking for a strong social experience, who also want to be part of a greater story they get to be the hero of. We want it to be a social game with players to tell stories and experiences over a longer period of time. It’s not just „launch and here you go,” Zachary Beaudoin, one of the assistant producers, has told the BBC.
„Anthem is launching into a competitive landscape of unprecedented intensity. Never have there been so many large-scale, live-operation action games vying for player attention across console and PC,” Steve Bailey, IHS Markit’s game industry analyst, said. The issue is that the first reviews for Anthem are not that promising. „Anthem looks beautiful, its javelins are all fun to fly, and the fundamentals of its combat and character building are solid, But there’s little variety in its gameplay or mission design, which makes its campaign feel like a chore. Its endgame is based on repeating that chore on higher difficulties, which I doubt will keep a broad audience engaged for the long term. Hooking interest with a strong first impression is critical – Apex Legends has pulled it off – and Anthem is already looking shaky on this point,” PCGamesN’s Richard Scott-Jones says.
Let’s get back to the reviews for a bit – on Metacritic, Anthem’s PC version has 18 critic reviews, giving only an average of 62 out of 100 (!), and the 185 user reviews aren’t promising either: on a 1-10 scale, it stands at a 2.7. The console versions don’t fare better either, although we don’t see critical reviews on this site yet for them. The PlayStation 4 version‘s average user score is 3.1/10 with 54 user reviews, and the Xbox One sits on 1.7/10 with 36 reviews. We also hopped over to Opencriticas well. This site puts all platforms together, and with 29 critic reviews, Anthem sits on a measly 59/100, with only 14% of the critics recommending the game! (We’ll mention a few major sites’ scores: IGN – 6,5/10, PCGamer – 55/100, GameSpot – 6/10… we don’t see many 8s or 9s!)
After all this, it’s going to be difficult to see if Anthem can break the 5-6 million sales by the end of March as per expectations…