Anthem Load Screens

ANTHEM's load screens shouldn't be allowed. It's as simple as that. You get to a point where it starts to feel like you're spending more time look at load screens than you are actually playing the game, and it's beyond frustrating.

I've had ANTHEM on PS4 for a couple of days, and it's been a bit of a middling experience so far. After a solid opening hour or so, the game's tedious structure has revealed itself piece by piece, and it kind of feels like I'm just going through the motions right now. Talk to guy, get mission, go on mission, repeat. Let's just say I'm glad that I've been playing it with friends.

When you're in the thick of a firefight it's a decent game -- there's definitely fun to be had in blasting baddies. But the load screens are like a fun vacuum. They consistently suck away any momentum that ANTHEM has built, be it with a cutscene or an especially hectic quest. They're often lengthy, particularly when you're loading up the open world, and they're incredibly boring to look at.

But the real kicker is that they're so frequent. They're embedded within the core gameplay loop of ANTHEM, and because of this, playing the game honestly starts to feel like a chore.

Here's a breakdown of ANTHEM's gameplay flow as of right now:

(Times where you aren't actually playing the game are bolded)

  • Launch ANTHEM, game connects to servers
  • Long loading screen
  • Spawn in Fort Tarsis
  • Talk to NPCs/shop
  • Go to The Forge to prepare for mission
  • Shorter loading screen
  • Equip Javelin/weapons/abilities, quit The Forge
  • Shorter loading screen
  • Go to launch pad
  • Pick mission
  • Wait as you matchmake/wait for friends to join
  • Long loading screen
  • Spawn in mission
  • Play through mission
  • Potential in-mission loading screen if you have to go inside a cave/different location
  • Finish mission
  • Long loading screen
  • Mission results screen
  • Confirm loot
  • Choose next destination
  • Long loading screen
  • Repeat from Fort Tarsis/The Forge

What isn't detailed in that breakdown is that some missions are pretty short. I actually encountered an early mission that took all of five minutes to complete, meaning that the combined length of the load screens, the mission results screen, and the time it took to equip things in The Forge was greater than the time I spent playing through the mission itself. It's just unacceptable.

With this constant, boring waiting in between actual gameplay, it feels like ANTHEM is wasting your time. Even though freeplay -- in which you explore the open world at your leisure -- is rather dull, its lack of loading screens makes it a go-to option when you just want to play the bloody game.

I think the most disappointing thing about ANTHEM, based on what I've played so far, is that there's a good game buried in here somewhere. There are little sparks of something genuinely entertaining peppered through the experience, but getting to them is a real test of patience and willpower -- the kind of test where you can't help but think that you'd be better off just playing something else.

Are ANTHEM's load screens proving a pain in the arse for you as well? Let us know if you're enjoying the game in the comments section below.