Tag Archives: Anthem

Sluggish Reaction: Anthem Demo

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I had a brief hands-on with the Anthem Open Demo this weekend and I wanted to share my thoughts on the game. In short it was a lot of fun – I’ve genuinely not smiled as much while playing a game from sheer enjoyment!

Gameplay

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Waiting for that ultimate ability is sooooo worth it!

The gameplay was a lot of fun and, for the most part, fairly intuitive. After a mission briefing I hopped into my Ranger Javelin and was out in the world. On the fly pop up messages got me throwing grenades and unleashing special attacks amid the variety of enemies available to fight.

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The one control I struggled with, at first, was flying. The only control guide that was available took me out of the game and opened up a web browser, which was confusing. So I went back into the game and tried various combinations but ended up just double-jumping assuming I hadn’t unlocked flight yet!

Eventually I figured it out (press/hold left stick) and the game became incredibly fun. Flying is seamless and while I did crash into things…a lot, it was definitely because of me rather than the controls and within a few minutes I had the hang of basic flying.

The Story

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I was prepared for an engaging story from Bioware but what I wasn’t prepared for was just how bonkers the world and story would be!! The mission has you retrieve an artifact for Matthias who turns it on and is immediately split into three versions of himself each with a distinct element of his persona!!

The short time I had with the game managed to take me by surprise in a lot of ways with unexpected moments happening organically as I played.

The World

As much as I was awed by the crazy happenings in cutscenes I was itching to hop back into my Javelin and get back into the world, which is so rich. It’s hard not to compare Anthem to Destiny or to want to be ‘better’. I won’t weigh in on that debate as I enjoy both but Anthem is definitely not the same as Destiny.

For one thing there are more human factions. Freelancers are not the only ones with access to Javelins and powers. One mission got my squad into a rumble with the Dominion, the enemy human faction who want to control the Anthem of Creation. Another sent us to reinforce some Sentinels, the peacekeeping force in Anthem.

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What also makes the world great are all the creatures. They add not only danger but a sense of the unexpected. My first mission I was looking all around to see what enemy was attacking me – I eventually looked up to see three Wyverns (dragons) hovering above me. Later I did my usual practice of throwing a grenade out at random (oh come on, you know you do it too!) and awoke a pack of Anrisaurs (giant crab thingies – see below) who attacked me squad.

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My only complaint was that it was hard to visually distinguish a lot of the enemies who seemed to blend into the background and you had to get suicidally close to get a proper look at anything or see what they were called.

That said Anthem seems to be set up with an excellent lore system, which is BioWare’s forte and I’m sure we’ll get some hi-res shots of all the enemies after launch.

 

Like I said nothing has genuinely made me smile like the fun, crazy dangerous world of Anthem and I can’t wait to get back into my Javelin for the full game

Sluggish Reaction: Anthem Trailer

BioWare recently dropped their Anthem trailer at the game awards as well as an unexpected teaser for a new Dragon Age game – which gives me hope for the future of Mass Effect.

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At first viewing the trailer didn’t seem to offer much we didn’t already know, but the more I’ve watched it the more I’m intrigued. We get additional shots of Javelins taking down various monsters in the world.

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We see some of the faces we’ve already seen, but we start to see some more of their capabilities. I’m still struggling not to see comparisons with Destiny with characters harnessing the power of the Anthem seeming a lot like the Traveler’s light.

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We also glimpsed a few more new characters including this woman, who seems to be a leader of some sort, perhaps of one of the factions in the world.

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I liked the references to ancient civilizations and exploring groups that have come before but been wiped out by the Anthem of the Gods is intriguing and feels very BioWare.

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The idea of a walled city again seems very Destiny but actually seeing the city defend itself in-game is very exciting. I also spotted something interesting on second viewing.

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At first glance I thought these were some giant monsters attacking the city but looking again the vehicle on the left looks a lot like a Strider – the vehicle your character uses to get about in the world when not in their Javelin. Anthem’s world isn’t just ‘one last city’ but a number of human civilizations, who aren’t always at peace.

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And with the we see the Moniutor, the enemy leader of the Dominion – a human faction intent on controlling the Anthem. Realizing this, especially with the trailer literally having an unreliable narrator, makes the game come alive. A world full of monsters but the main enemy is human?! Yes, sign me up now!

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I say human, but some of his followers look pretty freaky, wonder what the power has done to them.

I was already sold on this, but now I can’t wait!!!