I don’t normally get excited about a game, because it automatically sets my expectations above what I typically experience from “average” titles. I must admit however, since I played the demo version of Anthem, that feeling of genuine excitement, returned.
If you didn’t get a chance to play the VIP or the Open Demo, then you definitely missed out. It’s like a cross between Mass Effect, Destiny and Iron Man. All of them having unique qualities, that combined, make for a pretty amazing experience.
The mere four hours I had to play (life and junk), left me wanting see what else Anthem had in store.
Within that time, myself and two others, managed to get through the story missions, (encounter of some sort) and hit the open world in free-roam. Although my time with the game was so short, it still felt like I accomplished plenty. We started at level 10, with a level cap of 15 for the demo. Through doing missions, we were able to reach level 14 and complete the Raid-type activity.
The enemies vary, with the base level minions being the easiest to take down. We saw plenty of Elite and Legendary enemies, with Legendaries having a much higher rate of rare drops. Most of the foes we came across had weapons and appear to be part of an alliance. There’s also plenty of wildlife, some of which attacks upon seeing you. Others are docile and would just prefer to run away.
While the enemies were enjoyable to combat, the story surround them wasn’t even touched. The story in general was rather.. blah. It didn’t stand out. It seems to me that it was extremely submissive to the action in the game. I found myself focusing more on flying my suit and viewing the environment, over listening to what was being said in my com.
Anthem’s world is quite impressive, with beautiful scenery that has a familiar art style. I noticed the environment played a huge part in flying my suit. Since your suit overheats while in mid flight, BioWare made it relatively easy to cool it off. There are many waterfalls and shallow pools of water to skim across, to bring down the high heat. You can also fly straight up and then straight down, to relieve the stress on your suit.
There’s also mods that you can apply which increase the amount of time you can jet around before having to chill your Javelin. Mods can also increase your armor resistance or boost your abilities.
There are four different Javelins, all doing very different jobs. The Ranger is the base Javelin and he’s, honestly, the easiest to control. The Interceptor is faster than the blink of an eye, but is a little harder to use. The Colossus is a massive sponge for enemy damage, but is far to slow to be effective by itself. Storm I haven’t actually played as, so based on the description it’s like a jacked up mage.
Javelins are highly customizable. You can have several different types of mods and can choose between different types of abilities. Cosmetics on the Javelin are pretty fun to mess around with. There are several types of metal to pick from, with over 20 colors to paint them. There’s also metallic colors, although those are much more limited and decals to spice it up. As well as color adjustments, you can also change how parts of your Javelin look, like your helmet or your legs.
Aside from all the joy Anthem gave me, it does have it’s own set of flaws. It’s menu system is, well…bad. They’re all over the place. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to change the paint, because the “Paint” section actually shows the options for material choices first. The menus as a whole are unattractive, but they do get the job done.
Walking through the city is excruciatingly painful. You character is soo slow. When you compare the outside world to the city, it’s basically night and day. Outside the walls, the open-world is full of surprises to see and explore at high speeds, with action around every corner. Inside the walls, you walk slower than a tortoise, with narrow pathways covered in NPC’s (some you can’t even talk to) and an unenjoyable, long trek back to your suit to start another mission.
A member of our team had a level hiccup. Since he had played the Alpha, whenn he started the Demo, he was only level 4. This forced myself and our other mate to bear the brunt of most assaults because we started at level 10. In fact, we managed to beat the Stronghold with him at level 9, with the aid of a random.
Matchmaking is optional for story missions, but you are required to have a full four-person group to go into a stronghold. The same goes for free-roam.
Hopefully, any changes BioWare make from feedback they received during the Demo, will bring this game the success it (I think) deserves. Since Mass Effect: Andromeda was such a bummer at the start, I’m willing to bet there are people out there thinking it may follow suit. I can only have faith that BioWare, will take the steps to make this the “go to” game for myself and others.