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Anthem review: BioWare’s sky-high gaming ambition crashes back to Earth

Tuesday February 19, 2019. 06:30 PM , from Ars Technica
Enlarge (credit: EA / Bioware)
BioWare, the developer responsible for Mass Effect and Dragon Age, has returned with its first new series in over a decade, Anthem. It's a pretty big departure for the RPG-heavy studio: a jetpack-fueled, action-first online 'looter-shooter.' And after a disastrous demo launched weeks ago, we wondered whether we'd even get a playable game.
The good news is that we did, and at its best, Anthem feels brilliant, beautiful, and thrilling. At its worst, though, this is a stuttering, confusing, heartbreaking mess of an action game.
The good stuff Anthem ultimately offers—artistic design, BioWare-caliber plot, and that freakin' Iron Man feeling—fails to coalesce. Players are expected to log in again and again for missions with friends in true 'online shared shooter' style (à la Destiny and Warframe), but the game's inherent structure makes this basic loop difficult to pull off.
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