All words presented in this blog are purely opinion, not fact - unless specifically stated otherwise in the post.

Monday, 18 February 2019

Throw the Javelin

I played the Anthem demos. both the VIP one and the open one. If you just want to know what I thought of the game without having to read everything; basically I really enjoyed the gameplay, but there were some massive issues with the VIP demo and a few issues with the open demo.

If you're still here, then I suppose you want a more in depth review of what I played. As always I have to start with the preface that I'm a massive Bioware Fanboy. That said, this is a very different type of game to the games they usually make. It’s still a role playing game to an extent but the focus has shifted away from the story or at least away from the human experience, the relationships you form to something more about gameplay and action.
For those who don’t know, Anthem is BioWare and EA’s upcoming multiplayer, 4-person-squad based shooter based around the mech-like ‘Javelins’ that the players will operate and pilot.
Not a lot is know about the story at this point, it seems to be a sort of post apocalypse where people live in forts and players known as ‘freelancers’ venture out to get whatever is needed and stop the bad guys and monsters from coming to get you.
It's a fairly common idea that we see in games a lot these days. Destiny, Borderlands, Metro to an extent, fallout and who knows how many others. So i wouldn't say the story is particularly original, which is a shame because that's what we all know and love about Bioware. That said it was only a demo. We got barely any story for it, so it's unfair to judge.
What we did get was level 10 game play.
the developers have said that the levels will cap out at level 30 so what we played was about a third through the game, strength wise and it was a ton of fun. One thing I've heard a lot, and agree with about the last Mass Effect, Mass Effect Andromeda, is that the story was bad, but the gameplay was a lot of fun, really refined, and i feel like Anthem took that and massively improved upon it. Without the shackles of an established franchise to hold it down I genuinely think that Anthem's gameplay was a huge step in the right direction.
The flying felt fun, the combat was punchy and the special powers made me feel very Epic. Especially the Storm suit which had me blasting elemental attacks as well as using the standard guns.

It's also worth noting that despite the solid game play there were a lot of issues with the VIP Beta, not all of which were fixed for the open Demo. For instance I experienced infinite load times, menu errors that stop you from being able to continue and the servers just not working for the first twelve hours or so.
It's to Biowares credits that all of these things were fixed by the open demo and the issues I faced in the open beta were significantly smaller, limited to things like losing connection to the server or simple bugs like graphical errors and lag.

So like I said, there were some errors but the gameplay was really enjoyable. We'll see how it does when it goes live on friday the 22nd, though I wont be able to play until the 25th as I'm going on holiday.
I do have high hopes, I hope its good.

- James

Anthem Tube

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