Preview of Anthem

Anthem Box art


by John Elliott

February 2, 2019

Anthem is one of the most anticipated games of the year, especially when you have BioWare behind the scenes, who are known for creating expansive and unique worlds. Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Jade Empire and Star Wars: Old Republic are some of the most beloved series to grace the videogame world. Suffice to say, I am personally pumped to see what Anthem has in store for us, and was uite excited to jump into the Anthem Demo experience.


To not talk about the first couple days of the Anthem Demo would be avoiding a whole can of worms that really needs to be addressed. Server issues, infinite loading screens and a whole lot of angry gamers who really need to calm down a bit, while BioWare and EA got their stuff sorted out. Part of the problem is that they called it a demo, when in reality it was a beta, and perhaps calling it a beta would have tempered some of the reactions out in the land of social media. However, it didn't take long for the developers to working out most of the issues for all platforms, except Xbox One, and it was a day later before Xbox gamers got their fixes. Well, if you call having to close the game and re-open it to get loaded into an expedition to experience the "demo".

However, technical issues aside, when I did into the game, I was blown away at how beautiful the world of Anthem was. The fort that you roam around to start off the game was amazingly detailed, realistic and awe inspiring. But, and yes there is always a but, I want to know who had the bright idea of making the experience of the Fort played in first person view, and also decided it be awesome to not have the ability to sprint through the Fort. It was painstakingly slow to walk around and explore, and excruciating to perform mission objectives from one side of the fort, to where your Javelin rested, to get into where the game really takes off.


Up to this point, the demo was pretty negative, aside from the stellar graphics. To say the very first impression of the initial 5 minutes was setting the bar quite low, to the point where a few "What the hell ...." moments were crossing my mind. Getting into my Javelin though and launching outside of the fort (after I closed and reopened the game of course), I was blown away at how awesome the controls were.


Blasting around like I was Iron Man in the skies was quite liberating, and they have nailed this experience smack dab in the middle of perfection. Part of me wishes that I could just float around and just explore, however, I kept on overheating my Javelin and had to either nose dive or land to cool off my thrusters. The combat mechanics were on point as well, with a good variety of melee, missile and special combat attacks. There is also an Ultimate attack that you build up to launch ferocious attacks on any enemy that gets in your way.


If you were lucky you got to play all four Javelin classes which includes:

Ranger: This is your balanced Javelin providing good offence, defence and a decent arsenal at your disposal. This is really a starter Javelin, but is comfortable to play.

Colossus: If we're making some Iron Man analogies, then this is your Hulk Buster type Javelin that has a whole lot of defence, but will be able to pack a huge punch, quite literally. There is also a tank feel with some long-range punches at your disposal.

Storm: This Javelin will be compared to your mage class in typical RPG's, where you can blast different elements such as lightning, ice or fire to name off a few. This is the only Javelin that just naturally hovers in the air which provides some offensive advantages but can also make you a sitting duck as well.

Interceptor: This class happens to be my personal favourite and is also your scout type Javelin. Which really means it is the fastest at just about everything from flying, running, attacking and so on. It's almost like being a ninja in powerful robotic armour because you get to throw ninja star type projectiles, along with wielding daggers as melee weapons. These daggers can be quite deadly, because when you use your Ultimate, you get to rampage around pretty much invincible mowing down every enemy you can see in your path of destruction.


As you can probably tell, I found the gameplay quite exciting, and based on that alone, I am willing to jump back into the next demo weekend which is open to all gamers as well. Hopefully, this is a little bit less buggy and a whole lot smoother this time around. I highly recommend trying it out yourself, though because even though I quite enjoyed the gameplay, this is quite the deviation from what BioWare has become known for, being more RPG focused, than an MMO shooter. In the end though, I am left with a positive first impression and will be on this weekend ready to team up with some friendly Freelancers.


Tuesday, February 26, 2019


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