The weekend is over, and so is the open demo for Anthem. Many of us spent a significant amount of time cruising the skies in our javelins over the last two weekends, so here are our thoughts on the game!
I didn’t have the time this weekend or last to devote as much to Anthem as I would have liked. That being said, the time I did spend playing it was everything I had hoped for. I’ll admit there were a few aspects that will take some getting used to for me. Movement in Fort Tarsis in first person felt a bit unnatural, compared to first person games I’m used to, and I will need to play around with my look sensitivity settings a bit when the game comes out. I also had trouble reading the font for the text blocks that came up telling me (I assume) how stuff worked. Since I couldn’t read it, I just skipped over whatever it said and got straight to it. Despite that, I picked up on the gameplay pretty quickly.
There was a lot about the game I enjoyed. Customizing the javelin, and seeing everyone else post pictures of theirs, was definitely a highlight. I LOVE flying around in my javelin (even though a lot of that was me crashing into stuff at full speed). I played a few of the missions, which were easy to navigate and proved challenging enough while still being fun. I also ran/flew around in Free Play mode, exploring the map, and teaming up with other Freelancers to wipe out enemies (and harmless wildlife). The world is beautiful, and I can’t wait to dive back in and get a better feel for the story.
When Anthem was announced I was somewhat excited for it. After playing the private beta I was begging for more content to be involved. After I unlocked the Interceptor Javelin class it was game over. Flying around was so pleasing to me. I enjoy the combat fine, but with the Interceptor for me it was on another level. Melee was super fun because of how fast it was, I hardly used the guns I had equipped. All in all, the beta confirmed my pre-order. Can’t wait for launch!
Last Weekend I was able to try the Anthem Demo. What I personally really liked was how highly customizable the Javelins were. You could choose different materials and colors for different sections of the body and even the design of body parts. Furthermore you were able to loot and change the abilities of your Javelin, but every Javelin had their own pool of abilities. Unlike Destiny your first- and secondary Weapon don’t have to be a certain Gun type, for example you can have a Sniper Rifle as Primary and an Assault Rifle as Secondary Weapon. Sadly you weren’t able to customize your freelancer (Operator) in the Demo besides choosing a male or female voice so hopefully we will be able to customize our character once the game is released.
In the Demo I wasn’t able to speak to many NPCs but the few I was able to talk to had interesting stories and asked the player for input. I hope the choices you make in conversations will impact the behavior of NPCs toward the player and even affect the story.
The Gameplay was simple and mostly smooth; you can shoot, use abilities, fly and dive. I did have an error code and lost all my loot, and another time I was stuck on a load screen which made my ps4 crash after I tried closing the application. The enemies you encounter are insects, weird creatures, mechanical beings, and of course giant boss creatures. In my opinion the game felt like a mix of Destiny, Warframe and Dragon Age
Despite Stardew Valley and Kingdom Hearts 3 still reigning over my household, I was able to sneak away a little bit of time for the Anthem demo this weekend. Not as much as I would have liked, but enough to make an impression on me.
The demo starts you off at Level 10 and drops you off somewhere in the story, not necessarily at the the beginning but long enough in that all of the things talked about in-between missions flew over my head, but hopefully they’ll be explained well enough in the full game (ideally not on a website) that it won’t feel entirely like nonsense to me. But it felt a little bit like nonsense this weekend.
The gameplay was smooth, I found the character moved a little slower outside of the Javelin than I would have liked, but the trade-off between that and how smooth flight was on missions was fair. Combat could use a little bit of fine-tuning, I felt that switching weapons was a little sluggish. The mission environments were massive, but to me that was only so it’d be easier to fly around. I think that trying to walk through these environments is going to be impossible and everyone will prefer to be living out fantasies of being Iron Man, which is the closest descriptor I have for how that felt. One of my biggest joys in the demo was making my Javelin look as close to Iron Man armor as possible, and maaaaybe flying around pretending to be Tony Stark on missions. That’s not what I was supposed to do, and I probably made my auto-assigned teammates upset.
I might not have gotten as much enjoyment out of the demo as some of my other GS colleagues, but I played enough to see the potential there. I’m excited to check it out with my friends at the end of the month, and we’ll see what EA has planned for the long run.
Did you play the demo? Let us know what you thought about it in the comments!