We at Ulvespill have been playing inside the world of Anthem this weekend during the VIP demo with a code provided by EA. Anthem is one of the titles which releases this year who got a lot of passengers on their hype train. Bioware who is most known from the Dragon Age series brings a new IP to the table, but the big question is, is it any good?
Me and two others from the Ulvespill team geared up with Coca Cola, milk & cookies, and beer and waited for the download to finish. Joakim, who was one of them, couldn’t wait to be “Iron Man”. But that feeling had to wait an hour or two because we encountered one of the many familiar bugs that come with a beta build. So let’s start off this first impression by mentioning the things we encountered that we truly hope will be fixed before the release 22, February.
Infinite loading bug, two of us got stuck in loading at approx 90% multiple times, and the only hotfix was CTRL+ALT+DELETE. (We tested the PC version, duh…). The game also crashed multiple times when receiving invites from friends during cutscenes/loading time (froze). The last thing we encountered a lot was the texture/shader rendering dropped a lot while walking around town in first-person. (Fort Tarsis)
But what did we think of Anthem?
After my first flight, I felt a bit disappointed. I didn’t get that badass “Iron Man” feeling, it simply lacked the sense of speed. The game needs more sense of speed and bass while taking off with the suit and throttling while in the air. The overall look, combat and loot system felt like a merge of Warframe, The Division, and Destiny, or to put it this way, a more polished and paid version of Warframe. To end our negative opinions of our experience with Anthem, the controls felt clunky, especially the flying controls with both Keyboard & Mouse and controller. I would guess this will be a “force of habit” when it releases, but the flying controls is a challenge to get used to. The most annoying thing is the lack of running option while exploring Fort Tarsis in the first-person view. The area is huge, and the map isn’t exactly helpful.
Even though Anthem felt like a familiar place, and some of the gameplay is a bit slow paced, the overall experience of defeating bosses with friends, gaining personal loot, and finally getting that beast of a suit (Colossus) is satisfying. The gunplay/combat is great, and the fact that each mission can be played in a different type of difficulty to receive more exclusive loot is both challenging and fun, and it also helps to achieve that tactical approach by playing on a higher difficulty.
We believe that Anthem got a lot of potentials to be a great game, not groundbreaking or new, but a fun experience. I personally might be a bit afraid of the RNG system when the game launches, as this might fall under the category “grind fest” to get that awesome loot. The demo was a fun experience when you put aside the bugs and errors that come with a beta build. The game looks good graphics wise, but I did miss a soundtrack and more optimized sound design.
This is our first impression, and we hope that Bioware sucks up all the feedback they receive to make it even better, and we will come back to you guys with our final verdict of Anthem in our review later on.