I see a lot of “common” complaints about Anthem and there is a lot of legitimacy to many of them – the challenge is defining how “bad” they actually are – which is entirely subjective by the user.
There is, however, some common themes I have noticed – and have even complained about them myself about in the loot based games. These three common ones aren’t anything new. These are the same complaints I have had while playing Looter Shooters of the past decade or so. Give or take.
Gameplay is repetitive
It’s a staple of the genre. Destiny (and Destiny 2) have you going to the exact same spots performing the exact same actions on the exact same planets/areas you have been to time and time again. The Division was the same city, and the season didn’t change in three years. Anthem has a lush, gorgeous jungle – but not much else. All of these limited backdrops in all of these games are just to kill…
The exact same enemy types
Over, and over, and over. Sure, they get creative sometimes and make small changes to the mob types but overall there are just a handful of enemy prototypes for each enemy “faction” in different skins. (The Fallen in Destiny is just a different recolour of the same enemies). Heck, Destiny 2 didn’t add anything new at all from Destiny 1 that way. And as you kill your 10,000th Corpus Crewman in Warframe you start to realize this is what you get to face for as long as you play. It all feels the same – familiar. And I wonder if that is part of the mindset to…
Get the same, but different, loot
It’s just guns, gears and mods with different attributes. Destiny did a great job here with their art creation (which is separate in Anthem, style vs substance – will see how that difference plays out) but in the end there is a complete list of what is available in look and feel – and you grind out things to try and get a better version of it.
It isn’t a terribly complex formula but looking at the limitations the ones I have played extensively (Division 1, Warframe, Destiny 1 & 2, and now Anthem) the devs either realize there is no need to be exceptional in any of these areas or there are hard limits preventing them from doing anything else. Or they know that people care less about the backdrop of things while looting and shooting as long as the process of shooting feels good.
When people complain that Anthem doesn’t do the above things well, they need to look and see that neither does Warframe. Or Destiny. or The Division. They are common design elements in all of them. This doesn’t excuse Anthem from having these same problems but doesn’t make them the poster child for them either. It’s part of the genre and expectation now – rightly or wrongly.