'Anthem' is the definition of a blockbuster video game, but that doesn't make it fun
- "Anthem" is a multiplayer third-person shooting game developed by BioWare, the creators of "Mass Effect."
- Players pilot a mechanized suit of armor resembling something out of Marvel's "Iron Man."
- "Anthem" is designed to be an ongoing service with daily updates to keep players engaged after the main story ends.
- The game is officially out on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One today; the game is also available with through the Origin Access Premiere and EA Access monthly subscription programs.
When I consider the standards of a blockbuster, AAA video game, "Anthem" checks all the boxes.
It has the impressive budget and production value you expect from Electronic Arts, a major publisher. It's a brand-new franchise with ongoing support from BioWare, the celebrated creators of the "Mass Effect" series. "Anthem's" most important hook, the mechanized "javelins" that let players fly and explore the game's massive open world, are awesome in design and amazing to see in motion.And yet, I'm not sure if all of that makes "Anthem" a fun game. While I've mostly enjoyed the 10 hours I've spent with Anthem so far, I couldn't fight the feeling that parts of the new third-person shooter felt more like work than play.
"Anthem" successfully executes BioWare's vision of an open-world third-person shooter, but the game's exciting concept feels bogged down by stale mechanics and poor optimization. With any luck, it will be improved over time as BioWare updates the game.
The game celebrated its official launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on Friday, but I've been playing the full version of "Anthem" with players who pre-ordered on PC since February 15th. Here's what it's like.