Apologies, it’s just yet another clickbait title, as there are no reasons I don’t like Anthem.
I like it. I like it a lot.
What’s that? You don’t like the fact you were dragged here under false pretences? You only came here seeking reassurances that your opinion it must be a trash game just because it’s EA is a valid one?
“What about the problems people were having all weekend when trying to play the game?” I hear you cry.
What about them? They were frustrating, yes, but that’s all. If the so-called V.I.P. Demo had actually been branded as a Closed Beta (which, in essence, is exactly what it was) then all the hue and cry about those problems would have been considerably less. Better to expose those problems now and get them sorted before the full launch, don’t you think?
Oh yes, that’s right, you don’t think, do you.
So okay, just to appease you, here’s a reason I don’t like Anthem… I can’t play the full release version until the 22nd of February.
Good enough? Oh, you’ve gone. Well never mind then.
So why did I like playing the small slice of Anthem that was available in the closed beta… V.I.P. Demo, I mean. Well I’m not entirely sure, as it’s a combination of a lot of different factors. The freedom of movement in the game is a big factor. You can walk on the ground, and run, dodge and jump – always helpful, I’ve found. But then you can also fly, and hover, and dive under the water, all of it seamlessly, once you’ve mastered the controls, that is. But hey, why shouldn’t flying full pelt into a cliff or building be celebrated?
The look of the game is another factor. The landscape looks stunning in its rendering, sure, but it’s the style that I really liked. Huge, towering mountains, deep – very deep – crevasses and gorges. Flowing, meandering rivers, thundering waterfalls. Dark, labyrinthine caves, and crumbling ruins. It fed my imagination perfectly.
The gameplay was good too. Movement was quick and responsive. The shooting felt solid and accurate. All four of the available Javelins (the mechanised suits the player’s character wears when out in the wilderness) had a distinct style of play (your basic tank, spellcaster, DPS dex, and robust all-rounder class types) with their own, unique abilities. As such the majority of play styles should be accommodated for. One friend commented that it would be nice to have the ability to swap shoulders when aiming a weapon, and I agree. Hopefully this might get implemented at some point.
You can also customise the look and colours of your Javelin. The options were limited in the demo, but more will be available in the full release. This is perhaps the single most important aspect of the game. As we all know, the better you look the better you play, am I right? Right! And if you are going to get steamrollered by that boss at the end of that dungeon, it’s vitally important you look your best while it happens.
“What other game is Anthem like?” I’ve heard people ask, and I’ve heard a few mention Destiny as the answer. In a way it is like Destiny, but in the same way Fortnite is like PUBG. Anthem is also like Warframe, but in the way Gran Turismo is like Project Cars. The best thing to do is take the game for what it is. If you like fast-paced shooters, if you like sci-fi fantasy, then you’ll probably like Anthem. As it’s also a Bioware game there should be a good story to go along with the gameplay, if you like that kind of thing.
What you shouldn’t do is dismiss the game, or any game, just because you dislike the developer. Or publisher. Or both. Or because your babysitter’s boyfriend’s brother’s friend’s best mate says it’s bad.
This isn’t a review piece, by the way. I’ll maybe do one of those after the full release. This is just a few thoughts after a few hours playing a demo kind of piece. But so far so good. I liked what I saw and played, and I’m looking forward to the full game.
Next weekend, from Friday 1st February, Anthem will be having another beta… demo, sorry. This one will be open to all, so feel free to give it a go, if you would like to ‘try before you buy’.
Anthem, by Bioware and published by EA, will be fully released on all platforms on the 22nd February. There is a way to play it earlier, but as I can’t do that I’m not going to explain how. It’ll be available through all good retailers. And some shitty ones too, no doubt.
As always, that shallot.