Anthem released today for Origin Premier Users. I’ve been playing it since about 10:10 this morning and there are NO spoilers whatsoever here. Here’s my first impression of Anthem.
I’ve been playing Anthem since it launched early this morning and so far it’s pretty damn good. Let’s start with the question that most of you will probably have for this game. How are the microtransactions? Well… they’re honestly not bad at all. There are only some skins available right now. Bioware or EA can’t remember which one stated that all of the microtransactions will only be cosmetic and, so far, it looks like they kept their word about that. The cash shop is bare-boned right now and that’s a good thing. There’s not a lot to look at and it can all be bought with in-game currency. I’ve only been playing for 4 hours and I can already buy a bunch of stuff out of the cash shop if I wanted to. I’ll most likely buy the N7 shader in there :).
There are 4 Javelins to choose from in this game. I went with the Interceptor because I wanted a DPS class. I really want to try them all though. The other 3 javelins are Ranger, Colossus, and Storm. All of them look awesome and I want them. The Interceptor is all kinds of awesome. I rarely have to use my guns. I just run up to enemies and Kung-Fu them to death. My ultimate ability is really neat and so are the various different normal abilities. I can throw sharp projectiles, poison bombs, cluster mines, and much more. The best part of this game is the flight system. It’s really neat and I couldn’t help but smile as I flew through the sky. The overheat system isn’t a big problem since there are water sources everywhere to cool down. And it’s been raining in my game all day so it takes a really long time for me to overheat. The gameplay reminds me of Warframe, but this game is much more open than it. You have access to your guns and you can use melee attacks by clicking the V button. The combos look really neat and, with the Interceptor anyway, they completely demolish enemies in no time at all.
Exploring the world is fun because of the versatility that this game brings. I don’t have to walk or run everywhere. I can take to the skies, explore underwater, investigate some ruins, and do various different activities alone or with a group in free play mode. I don’t see where the comparisons to Destiny come from here. I don’t get a Destiny vibe while I’m playing. I get a Warframe one with some Diablo & Division thrown in there with the loot system. I wish I could see what I was getting instead of it being hidden and I really want to be able to customize my javelin on the go, but those are minor complaints. What I love is that this game runs flawlessly on my PC. This game is optimized very well and I haven’t experienced any bugs whatsoever. The load times are super fast (I have the game loaded on an SSD) and I couldn’t ask for more on launch day.
This game is pretty story heavy when compared to The Division and Destiny. It’s filled with dialogue, good voice acting, great facial animations, and a shit ton of lore that you don’t have to access on a website. You can read it all in the game. The in-game cutscenes are beautiful and Anthem does have a solid story. It’s not Bioware’s normal level of excellence, but I’ve only done 2 missions and it could always get better so I’m withholding judgment on that until I finish it. What I’ve played so far is already better than the entirety of Destiny 2. The NPCs that I’ve met so far have backstories and one of them, in particular, feels like your average Bioware companion that you would meet in Mass Effect or Dragon Age. Meaning he’s really awesome and I want to get to know him more. The hub area could use some work though. For starters, I don’t like the slow walking speed. I was hoping Bioware would have increased this at least a little so I could get around faster. I love how busy it looks and that just about everyone has something to say to me. I also really love customizing my javelin and I can easily spend all day just trying to get the right colors on my Interceptor. I don’t like the character creator at all if it can even be called that. All you do is choose a preset and then start the game. There’s no option to choose a hairstyle, beard, or anything like that. So I went with the one I thought looked best. I never see my pilots face so it’s not a huge deal, but why include it in the game if you won’t at least add a little bit of love to it?
The demo gave this game a bad rep before it even launched. The demo sucked. I think the entire opening segment of this game should have been the demo. It should have shown us the cinematic opening sequence and let us play through the tutorial because the starting area in this game was really good and well paced. You can also play through this entire game solo. You don’t have to team up with anyone and you can choose your own difficulty level. None of the enemies are super hard by yourself. They actually die very quickly. I was even able to take on a big ass golem with a skull above his health bar alone and I won in about 10 minutes. I like that I can do that in this game. I’m not forced to team up with people if I don’t want to. I think the most fun I had been in free play because I can go wherever I want. I killed a bunch of enemies, flew around while taking in the awesome view, and collected some materials for someone back at base. I mostly stuck around the Emerald Abyss area while exploring old ruins and doing public events by myself because every other player was in a different area on the map. Free play doesn’t feel overcrowded and you can easily find things to do alone if you’re not into group play or you can just play free play in your own private session and it’s no near as restricted as the demo was. You can go wherever you want, from what I’ve explored so far anyway, in this mode.
Anthem is a lot of fun. I have to be honest here, guys. I was very skeptical coming into this game because of how bad the demo was, but I’m really enjoying myself right now. The gameplay is absolutely fantastic and I like that there’s so much for me to do here. I’ve barely scratched the surface of what this game has to offer me and I can’t wait to log back in play some more. I think it’s already better than games like Destiny and while it’s too soon to recommend this game to you I can say that I’m really enjoying myself and if the next 30 or so hours continue to go like this I would have no problem recommending this game. Bioware did a good job and Anthem, aside from the first 10 minutes, has a great launch day on PC. I will be testing this game out on an older PC later today to see if the performance is still good so I’ll keep you updated on that either here or over on Twitter.
What do you think of Anthem? Did you try out that horrible demo? Did you buy the game?
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