Having played a good 8-10 hours of the Anthem VIP demo, I’m more excited for this game than ever. Sure, there were a ton of connection issues and some bugs; but Bioware has a month to use the data from the demo and fix it. Plus, we all have another chance to see the changes implemented during next week’s open demo…
I’m mostly impressed by the traversal where you can fly everywhere and the mechanic is satisfying. You zip up high in the air or hover above ground and shoot enemies below you, and then dash deep underwater to access an underground area. Some underwater areas are a bit too dark to navigate, but I suppose I could just increase my brightness. The traversing is extremely satisfying and the best part of Anthem thus far.
The gunplay is smooth, especially for a Bioware game. It’s especially satisfying to hover in the air and shoot enemies from above, specifically with the Storm class who has a longer flight time than the other Javelins. Enemies only feel like bullet sponges if you’re lower level, which incentives players to level up, equip better weapons and abilities, then go back and wreck those yellow bar fools. You will get plenty of different guns as rewards to fit your playstyle and parts to craft new ones.
In the demo, you start off with the Ranger javelin, which is the most approachable and well rounded of the group. It has classic grenade and missle abilities, along with a shield dome to protect you and your team. This javelin feels a lot like Iron Man. As you progress through the game you unlock more javelins and abilities for your javelins. The other javelin I played with is the Storm, which is my favorite. It is the mage class and its abilities include a dome explotion of random elements, mid-range elemental damage, and a large area of random elements that immensely damages a group of enemies or one big enemy. The best part of the Storm javelin? You can hover above air longer than the other javelins, making ranged battle and avoiding damage much easier. It’s also the best class to use a sniper with.
The last javelin I played as is the Interceptor, which is your rogue/assassin/melee class as it’s the quickest javelin, has hard hitting ninja stars, and fast melee attacks. This class is squishy like the Storm so you have to go in, do damage, and rush out. This isn’t ideal for the big yellow bar enemies but great for crowd control. The Interceptor’s ultimate looks the coolest and reminds me a lot of Destiny‘s Bladedancer (Hunter class). The Interceptor also has the coolest looking movement, as it’s very acrobatic. This is probably the most difficult class to play but I’m hoping there’s more OP abilities added to the Interceptor as it levels up. I haven’t played the Collosus but the only perk seems to be it’s tanky and has an excessive amount of health. I won’t review it though because I haven’t played.
There’s a lot of wonderful customizable options for your javelins. You can change the colors and patterns, modify how worn your javelin looks, and can craft different armor pieces, so your javelin looks uniquely yours. I’m very impressed with this customization, which makes me less concerned about the lack of facial customization from the closed alpha. Other beta remarks:
- The world I have seen is a beautiful lush open world, but I’m looking forward to seeing other areas.
- I haven’t gotten a sense of the soundtrack but I’m hoping the music is as epic as Destiny‘s (while still being unique).
- The NPC character animations are a big improvement from Mass Effect and you get to uniquely interact with NPCs via dialogue options.
I know Anthem has a lot of comparisons to Destiny but this very much so feels like a Bioware game. Sure, there are some similarities but it’s not a carbon copy. The most notable differences are the customizable color palettes and not relying on shaders, the traversing in Anthem is not on a Sparrow and allows you to go up high in the sky or down low into water, there’s underwater gameplay, interactions/dialogue with NPCs are unique, and there’s no PVP.
If you’re interested in seeing my gameplay to get a better idea of the game and if it’s for you, please check out my stream just above!!