I’ve put close to 30 hours into Anthem. I’m one level away from unlocking the fourth Javelin suit and have started the end game grind to get “the best loot”, I can’t stop thinking about this game for a lot of reasons. I really like it. The moment-to-moment combat continues to engage me, as I add more abilities to my repertoire. Whether it be either equipping arm mounted rockets and shoulder cannons onto my Ranger Javelin, or hurling big chunks of ice and summoning lightning as a Storm Javelin, it’s fun to experiment. helps break up the monotony of taking down waves and waves of
your typical gun-toting sci-fi baddies. Pair that with the flying and hovering mechanics, and I really found myself engrossed with Anthem at its core.
However EA’s Premiere Access system treated this game as not being officially out, but when in reality it was. PC players can play this game from start to finish and nowhere in Origin does it state
that this is an ‘early access’ version and developers have had to clarify that it is on social media. Streamers have been playing it nonstop already on Twitch,
and the online message boards are already tearing the game to pieces from those first impressions alone. Players who paid more to play early suffer the reality of games needing updates that, in this case, would have been addressed if they didn’t push this out a week early. If the game is not the final version they should be more vocal about it, so players who want to opt in are more aware of potential issues that could come from it. I think there are better ways to inform consumers that should have come from EA. At least putting ‘early access’ anywhere would have helped their chances. Instead, they dragged their
own development team through the mud.
Bioware’s take on the now seemingly named “shooter-looter” genre has a lot of flaws in its larger design on top of this. Navigating menus feels like it takes a few more steps than it needs too. These issues are made worse when you hit loading screens entering and exiting different menus just to equip your new gear.
While a lot of the longer load times and bugs were resolved in a day one patch, I’m hoping this isn’t too little, too late. I had multiple game breaking bugs, including one in the final story mission. Three random players and I finished a combat encounter and couldn’t progress. Instead, we had to stand in a pool of lava that slowly drowned us, which allowed everyone to respawn and continue the mission as it were.
I still think Bioware’s newest endeavor has the potential to be something really great. I will continue to play and hope patches can fix a lot of its current pitfalls. Thanks to the recently released road map for post launch content we at least have some kind of idea where Anthem is going, but now with no real big endgame challenge to grind for until May. I fear the game might be hurting for a player base sooner rather than later.
Unfortunately, it feels like EA rushed out another game hoping to get an extra dollar out of players with their subscription service. By and large, they have lost the longer term players willing to drop the money on cosmetics and vanity items already, which is the worse outcome in this scenario. Once again EA is setting themselves up to be the villain some many game enthusiasts think they already are. Only time will tell if Bioware gets the time to make the game they want Anthem to be, and if EA will even let them.