Weekend Whammy: The Anthem Review

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Titans are used over and over, but are a chore to fight

Okay, okay, it’s not the weekend. I’m a little late with this Weekend Whammy, but in my defence the Internet went down over the weekend and seriously screwed things up. But I’m here now, dear sweet reader, to gently soothe your mind, cup your cheek and…wait, where was I going with this?

I kicked off the week with my review of Trials Rising, the latest entry in a series that means a lot to me personally.

Way back in the dark ages of time I picked up a serious infection related to my Cystic Fibrosis, and because of that I was placed on intravenous antibiotics. My mum learned how to perform the procedure so that I could go home, but the whole thing was a nightmare because my veins kept collapsing, so I had to go into hospital at 2am and daft stuff like that. Anyway, when I was getting the meds injected it was a painful experience – like a burning sensation travelling up my arm – so to distract me my older brother introduced me to Trials 2. I could play it with one hand, and to be good at it required concentration which in turn kept me from focusing on the feeling of the drugs running up my arm. From then on, Trials became a staple in my life, each new iteration resulting in hundreds of hours of playtime.

From my review of Trials Rising

But ultimately the grind to get to the extreme tracks frustrated me so much. Still, now that I’ve gotten past that I’m settling back into my old Trials routine of firing up the game for a quick blast every day.

Still, Ubisoft and RedLynx somehow managed to make the trim, fit Trials series fat and slobbish. There’s a bunch of stuff that’s been rammed in which slows the whole experience down for no reason.

My next review was a bit of a long one. Yup, I spent well over 3,000+ words rambling about Anthem, the looter-shooter from EA and BioWare. My the hair bear of Zeus, there’s a lot to talk about when it comes to Anthem. There’s good stuff, bad stuff, truly crap stuff and the overwhelming sensation that BioWare can and should be doing so much better.

Here’s the kicker, though; despite its myriad problems I actually kind of like Anthem. I found myself sinking into its simple gameplay loops. But there are too many basic design problems holding Anthem back. As a live service game it’s hard to know what the future holds for BioWare’s looter-shooter, but right now I’d recommend you wait a while before picking Anthem up. In its current state it has okay combat, poor enemy design, boring missions, dull loot and enough loading screens to let you catch up on your reading.

My review of Anthem

Maybe in a few months or even a year or two Anthem will be awesome. That’s a lot of ifs and maybes and buts, though. Companies need to start learning that launching a satisfying, complete feeling game is important, not just chucking it out the door and then promising to sort everything out later.

I grabbed Devil May Cry 5 this week so I could review it, and oh boy, oh boy is it bloody good. I’ve got some niggles with it, but so far the experience has been largely brilliant. Keep your eyes out for that review soonish.

I’m also planning on reviewing The Division 2, but at the moment that’s up in the air. This has been a really expensive month in terms of buying games to review, and my bank account is hurting. Review copies have been a bit slim because Ubisoft have simply stopped talking to me for reasons that I still haven’t discovered. Meanwhile, EA and me have a patchy relationship, while Capcom has always ignored my existence. In other words, I’ve bought three titles so far this month with a fourth coming in the form of The Division 2. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but for me that’s quite a bit of cash.

So, the big news this week was THQ Nordic went and held a Q&A session on 8Chan. If you weren’t aware 8Chan is a sort of spinoff of 4Chan, except considerably more horrible and depraved. 8Chan can’t even be found using Google as it was removed from being listed due to allegedly hosting child pornography. It’s also widely regarded as a cesspit, a hive of scum and villainy. Anyway, somehow THQ Nordic agreed to a Q&A session of the site, a move so inconceivably stupid that it literally hurts my soul to think about it.

THQ have since attempted to apologise for their blatantly idiotic PR move, but said apology comes across as hollow. It doesn’t help that they describe 8Chan as being controversial, which is like saying that Hitler was controversial. Sure, it’s sort of accurate, but it’s also a massive understatement.

I just…I don’t even. How do you do something like that? Jeez.

Anyway, I’m going to sign off for now. As always if you fancy supporting the site and helping ensure reviews for games from the likes of Ubisoft then click the button below to donate a few pennies via Paypal.

What have you been playing this week?

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