'Anthem' Vs. 'The Division 2': Which Loot Shooter Is Worth Your Time?

Loot shooters, where players murder thousands of NPC enemies in the search for more powerful upgrades, armor and abilities, are part of a genre of games that's exploded over the last few years. From the Guardians of Destiny 2 to the free-to-play adventure of Warframe , there are dozens of options for players to grind in. Anthem and The Division 2 are two of the latest contenders for gear superiority, hoping to sap as many hours from players as physically possible.

the division 2 anthem which one is better review
Anthem or The Division 2? Ubisoft

Anthem has been out for a couple of weeks, while The Division 2 has its official release tomorrow. After playing them for eight to 10 hours each, I've amassed quite a few opinions on both. I do have to mention that I am not the biggest fan of the grind. My favorite games have stories that pull you into memorable adventures, like God of War or Undertale. Getting an awesome-looking avatar is a plus, but it won't keep me glued to a game for more than a week or so. I played Destiny 2 on launch as much as possible, until I hit the max power level (at the time) and forgot the game ever existed.

Keeping that in mind, I do have to say both Anthem and The Division 2 have unique merits. The flying and combat in Anthem can't be matched, with your Javelin controlling exactly how you'd want it to. Traversing the green, mossy map for the first time is a sight to behold and learning how to maneuver your jetpacks in combat is still rewarding after my play time.

Unfortunately, all of that fun gets washed away by the game's highly publicized lag issues. I originally started playing on my PC before the day one patch, where the loading screens could take minutes just to pass through. When I did finally load into the game, my computer would have a heart attack (even set on the lowest settings), causing my Freelancer to glitch out when flying through the air. It was like I was playing a game of "red light/ green light" full of elementary school kids in flight suits. Nobody was having fun. When the Xbox version was flipped on, I switched over, but still had problems enjoying it. Going through the missions wasn't fun and the story wasn't engaging; everything was a slog until I could tell myself it was okay to stop.

anthem the division 2
Anthem is an Iron Man simulator and less of a fleshed out game EA

The Division 2, on the other hand, has been an absolute blast so far. Ubisoft's post-apocalyptic shooter has a level of polish that Anthem just can't match. I encountered one bug during my entire time playing, where my soldier hovered three feet above the landing where he was supposed to be taking cover. Collecting loot feels way more rewarding than in Anthem because each piece of gear physically changes your character. A new face mask or vest can really make your character stand out from the rest, giving you a real sense of progression.

The combat of The Division 2 is a bit harder for me, since my FPS experience consists largely of my brief time in Destiny 2, but I managed to get the hang of it fairly quickly. Anthem abilities only require you to aim in the general direction of mobs to make them explode, which did make the game feel a bit easier. Still, the challenge of going into a mission by yourself to rescue a hostage and planning your route and cover ahead of time just feels right.

Both games are very different and appeal to vastly different fan bases. Personally, I had fun with both but only see myself sticking with The Division 2. The thought of trying to complete the four Tomb missions of Anthem , that force you to complete mundane public quests and objectives just to move the lackluster story forward, is not something I see myself doing willingly. Meanwhile, The Division 2 has a much more grounded (no pun intended) world that is worth traveling through. Seeing the White House boarded up or the Washington Monument staring off into the distance makes it feel like there real, meaningful stakes to the action.

Do you prefer Anthem or The Division 2? Tell us in the comments.