Parents need to know that “Anthem” is a sci-fi based online action role-playing game available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows-based PCs. Players pilot flying exosuits and team up to complete a variety of mission-based quests, earning reputation while helping to rebuild their outpost community after a major cataclysm. The game features a heavy focus on teamwork, encouraging players to team as a squad with friends or with strangers in online matchmaking. Violence is standard fare here, but even with all the explosions, fighting, shooting, etc. going on, there’s very little blood and no gore shown. The game does feature some profanity in the dialogue, as well as references to and visuals of characters drinking and smoking. Parents should also be aware that, due to the game’s online nature and matchmaking with strangers, there’s a risk of kids being exposed to offensive language and conversations in voice chat.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
The world of “Anthem” is one in chaos. Thousands of years ago, the planet was brought into existence by the Shapers, beings able to harness a primal power known as the “Anthem of Creation. But before they completed their task, the Shapers disappeared, leaving behind an unfinished world ravaged by cataclysms caused by the Anthem-fueled technology they left running rampant. As humanity grew and adapted, it fell to a brave group of warriors known as Freelancers to explore this ever-changing environment. Piloting unique powered exosuits called Javelins, it’s been the duty of all Freelancers to recover and silence the remaining Shaper relics while protecting the people from those who would try to use the Anthem to their own end. As a Freelancer in the walled settlement of Fort Tarsis, you’re at the edge of civilization when you discover an old enemy has returned with a new plot to seize control of the Anthem. Now the fate of the world lies with you and your fellow Freelancers to put a stop to their scheme and keep the world from unmaking itself in the process. It’s time to prove your mettle, Freelancer. And never forget, “Strong alone, stronger together.”
IS IT ANY GOOD?
Right off the bat, it’s got to be said that “Anthem” is visually stunning. It’s easy to get lost taking in the sights as you soar over mountains, through forests, and even deep underwater. It’s a living, breathing world that’s absolutely breathtaking. The action in the game is fantastic too. Whether you want to charge headlong into fray as a battle-worn battering ram of destruction or if you want to float on the sidelines dropping a storm of ice and lightning on foes from a distance, the game has you covered. And when you team up with others, your one-man army suddenly becomes an epic force to be reckoned with … which is what you’ll need to survive the challenge the endgame content serves up.
“Anthem” may be a great game when it’s running on all its sci-fi cylinders, but it has suffered from some stability issues, making the game difficult to play at times. As with many online-only games, “Anthem” has had its share of launch issues. Matchmaking can be a bit awkward as well, with players sometimes joining key missions mid-progress. “Anthem” has had its share of initial growing pains, but is constantly growing into its full potential and building a solid framework for the future of the franchise.
RATING AND CONTENT
Recommended for ages 15 and older
Quality: 4 out of 5
Positive messages: 3 out of 5
Positive role models: 3 out of 5
Ease of paly: 3 out of 5
Violence: 3 out of 5
Sex: 0 out of 5
Language: 3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, and smoking: 3 out of 5
Consumerism: 1 out of 5
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
Developer: Electronic Arts
Release date: February 22, 2019
ESRB rating: T for alcohol reference, language, mild blood, use of tobacco, violence