Anthem the Demo impressions

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More like a dirge, and a beta.

Do you like loading screens? Cause there's a lot of time to look at those lovely concept art stills. With the eerily common flogging of how to buy vanity stuff plastered on them for even more. They like to creep up and ambush you with the loading screen too. There's probably some trigger for it like a team mate changing zones or a disconnect (and boy are there lots of those), but the mission end is the only one that bothers informing you of the imminent jerking away of controls (and even those leave you little time to do so much as collect your loot from a boss).

Topping off the loading screen pie, they quite often like to freeze up. Which necessitates closing the app and restarting. And eventually that caused my PS4 to abruptly shut off and require a safe mode reboot. So if my impressions are somewhat brief, that would be why I stopped early on.

The narrow sliver of what passed for plot there was (other NPCs do have a talk prompt, but it tells you "No no no, thats not for demo" was some dude spouting technobabble about why you have to go find some alien thing before the other aliens(?) do. Perhaps put it down to the demo presentation (though for a demo, you should be putting some impressive feet forward), but the town feels tiny, basically a single street (where captain exposition lives) and the launchpad courtyard. The "Forge" where you upgrade your Javelin is relegated to being a tiny terminal next to it even.

The meat of our experience in a shooter-looter(?) is of course the missions though, thats the stuff you'll be running on end grinding your way to some sort of godhood. And that is.... very not good. I'd struggle to call it to average. The jetpack gimmick is the cool highlight, but you get some incredibly limited use of that before the overheat meter kicks you out of the air. Trying to fly around in actual combat is just a perilous exercise as you try and monitor shields, cooldowns, and the jetpack meter all at once.

Cooldowns of course, are for your abilities. Again, it could be the demo, and again, its a bad demo if you lock all the actual cool things out of it. But abilities are pretty lackluster and dull. You have your shoulder rocket/grenade launcher which is ... a grenade, effectively. Big AoE boom. Melee is a cooldown based ability (to use at all, not just for a bonus effect a la Destiny), so thats already one potential avenue chucked away. The demo "Super" (cause hell, if they're going to use the exact Destiny setup why not call it that, and I forget what they called it) is a shield dome. Not exactly beating down the door of engaging ideas here.

As that probably covered, your main combat is down to third-person shooting. And I will rescind my common criticism of Warframe for having indistinct smaller enemy models. Because boy howdy does Anthem have the monopoly on that one. The enemy dudes heads were at moderate range, smaller then the aiming dot for the UI. And headshots rather do matter, the pistol I picked out immediately did 32 on a regular and 300 on a headshot. Tiny enemies, who often just warp in with barely any fanfare, and you can quickly find yourself wondering where you're even being shot from.

Oh yeah, the whole game (on PS4 anyways) feels like you're swimming. Cutscenes, movement in town and out, trying to aim. Maybe you could fix that last one with the sensitivity settings but its pretty omnipresent. Which is likely inconsistent framerates.

As the gear goes, as mentioned, the demo doesn't go into any effort to show off anything special. Assault Rifle, heavy pistol, shotgun, scout rifle, LMG, SMG. All your standard favorites. Guns come in the usual coloured variants, with Uncommons appearing to have various random stat boosts. Stat boosts that would be more intuitive if there was any apparent way to actually view your overall stats and not just what a singular piece of gear is giving you. You can customize up your colour scheme, in one of the games better points, with a variety of finishes/textures, and full colour customization (not locked behind Coins, shockingly enough). New shoulder pads and similar model switches weren't available in the demo other then the premium versions.

Putting the technical issues aside (which I wouldn't, hard crashing a console is a pretty big deal), its at best a terrible demo that presents nothing unique, and potentially a game that presents nothing unique. Its main signature gimmick is horrifically fleeting. And the moment to moment combat gameplay is a step down from Andromeda. The environments are pretty enough, but otherwise there's free-to-play MMOs that offer the same level of action gameplay (and I don't mean Warframe, I mean full on MMOs).

I was expecting this.

Thank you for your honest opinion.

My biggest issue with what I have seen from the gameplay videos is that the story feels particularly rushed and the characters are not as interesting even compared to modern Bioware games.

I noticed the writing was particularly weak when it came to Sentinel Dax as she's not only a princess who denies every suitor that walks up to her but is also a smartalecy explorer who quips all the time. I do believe there is a way to make a character like Sentinel Dax work (For example, I personally like Risha from SW:TOR), I don't believe it works 'here' in this game.

Again, you have been very helpful in your opinion and I hope you continue to share your opinion.

Got a teeny suspicion here the game that plays good and tactile in this is the one that's slowly unlocked through weeks and weeks of grinding or indeed even the mini-buys, dripfeeding less shitter equipment as you go on.

RIP Bioware. You'll be missed.

To think, they could have given us a Mass Effect Remastered Trilogy instead... or Dragon Age remastered.... or KOTOR remastered... or just a new KOTOR game...

I liked it a lot actually, the gameplay is better than Destiny which is a major part why I'm playing it. The narrative also seems better, played it for like 4 hours and didn't cringe once!

Then again I'm a sucker for looter shooters, as long as the gameplay is fun and the loot is plentiful and varied, I'm happy.

It's fine, I guess. Crashes and whatnot aside, everything about it is okay. It's certainly kept me more entertained than Destiny has. I think the worst part of the Demo is the enemy AI. They just kinda... stand there. They shoot back, but they don't go for cover, charge your position, or anything really. The only enemies that actually move around are the close range ones. Flying is the best thing about Anthem and it's fun. Yeah, sure there's an overheat meter, but It hasn't been obnoxious at all. The distance I get with it is pretty good and the cooldown is quick.

Seth Carter:
Cooldowns of course, are for your abilities. Again, it could be the demo, and again, its a bad demo if you lock all the actual cool things out of it. But abilities are pretty lackluster and dull. You have your shoulder rocket/grenade launcher which is ... a grenade, effectively. Big AoE boom. Melee is a cooldown based ability (to use at all, not just for a bonus effect a la Destiny), so thats already one potential avenue chucked away. The demo "Super" (cause hell, if they're going to use the exact Destiny setup why not call it that, and I forget what they called it) is a shield dome. Not exactly beating down the door of engaging ideas here.

Quick corrections for this bit. You do get more abilities to try out, it's just difficult to get there because the demo/beta sucks. The first Javelin you're given is the standard soldier type and has abilities reminiscent of that. It's super is mortar fire, not a dome. You probably didn't use the right ability, which isn't your fault since the demo doesn't actually tell you the controls.

And finally, you can use other Javelins that have different abilities after reaching a certain level (Which probably won't happen because, again, shitty demo/beta). I picked what is basically the mage. Lighting, ice, and fire abilities and whatnot.

ReservoirAngel:
or KOTOR remastered... or just a new KOTOR game...

There have been some articles lately that bioware tried to get a new KOTOR game rolling and EA denied it. No doubt because Star Wars is some niche series nobody cares about and will never make any money, I'm sure.

Or because it would be harder to cram KOTOR3 will lootboxes and Microtransactions.

Remember, if it doesn't make ALL THE MONIES, it's a failure.

It sucks! It's Destiny in Mech suits. Only it crashes and loads forever all the time.

Captain Marvelous:
It's fine, I guess. Crashes and whatnot aside, everything about it is okay. It's certainly kept me more entertained than Destiny has. I think the worst part of the Demo is the enemy AI. They just kinda... stand there. They shoot back, but they don't go for cover, charge your position, or anything really.

Yeah, I'd noticed that too. It's part of what makes it feel way more like the kind of cludgy MMO action you get with something liek Defiance.

Seth Carter:
Cooldowns of course, are for your abilities. Again, it could be the demo, and again, its a bad demo if you lock all the actual cool things out of it. But abilities are pretty lackluster and dull. You have your shoulder rocket/grenade launcher which is ... a grenade, effectively. Big AoE boom. Melee is a cooldown based ability (to use at all, not just for a bonus effect a la Destiny), so thats already one potential avenue chucked away. The demo "Super" (cause hell, if they're going to use the exact Destiny setup why not call it that, and I forget what they called it) is a shield dome. Not exactly beating down the door of engaging ideas here.

Quick corrections for this bit. You do get more abilities to try out, it's just difficult to get there because the demo/beta sucks. The first Javelin you're given is the standard soldier type and has abilities reminiscent of that. It's super is mortar fire, not a dome. You probably didn't use the right ability, which isn't your fault since the demo doesn't actually tell you the controls.

And finally, you can use other Javelins that have different abilities after reaching a certain level (Which probably won't happen because, again, shitty demo/beta). I picked what is basically the mage. Lighting, ice, and fire abilities and whatnot.

[/quote]

Well I did note I didn't get too far before the game hard crashed a PS4, which is definitely where I just throw it in. If there was super other then L1+R1 (which was the bubble shield), it certainly never bothered explaining it or showing anywhere on the UI I could see.

ReservoirAngel:
To think, they could have given us a Mass Effect Remastered Trilogy instead... or Dragon Age remastered.... or KOTOR remastered... or just a new KOTOR game...

Honestly, I'd love them to just make SWTOR single player. I mean you get party members ala Mass Effect and Dragon Age and they can now do any job you require of them. So just balance the content to be soloable in its entirety and maybe piss off the professions cos they suck.

That said I would not say no to versions of KOTOR that work and don't have shitty combat systems.

Gordon_4:

Honestly, I'd love them to just make SWTOR single player. I mean you get party members ala Mass Effect and Dragon Age and they can now do any job you require of them. So just balance the content to be soloable in its entirety and maybe piss off the professions cos they suck.

That said I would not say no to versions of KOTOR that work and don't have shitty combat systems.

From my brief attempt at playing SWTOR last year, this is actually the case now for pretty much all the non-end game content short of world bosses and some epic quests. The game is definitely designed for people who just want to do their thing and not mind all the other people running around.

CritialGaming:
It sucks! It's Destiny in Mech suits. Only it crashes and loads forever all the time.

I always viewed it as recycled Andromeda II after that game crashed and burned.

I'd give you impressions but out of the thirty minutes I had the game on, I had about one minute of playing...

Resident Evil 2's demo made me decide that I'm going to buy the game

Anthem's demo so far is doing the exact opposite of that. This demo, to put it kindly, has been an absolute shit-show for me at least. Even when the game is working, it feels....floaty. Like the game's speed is running at .9x the correct speed or like everything is under water; just enough that you notice it.

I likely wasn't going to get the game anyway but I said the same thing about RE2 and that demo changed my mind...

tippy2k2:
I'd give you impressions but out of the thirty minutes I had the game on, I had about one minute of playing...

Resident Evil 2's demo made me decide that I'm going to buy the game

Anthem's demo so far is doing the exact opposite of that. This demo, to put it kindly, has been an absolute shit-show for me at least. Even when the game is working, it feels....floaty. Like the game's speed is running at .9x the correct speed or like everything is under water; just enough that you notice it.

I likely wasn't going to get the game anyway but I said the same thing about RE2 and that demo changed my mind...

The game looks fun. It looks like it'd be fun with friends. But I worry it'd both overstay its welcome right quick if its as grindy as it seems, before they've even implemented the micro-transaction economy, and as you've pointed out the servers are about as stable as a house of cards.

Silentpony:

CritialGaming:
It sucks! It's Destiny in Mech suits. Only it crashes and loads forever all the time.

I always viewed it as recycled Andromeda II after that game crashed and burned.

Yeah it certainly just looks like the gun and jetpack play from andromeda, slowed down to make it feel heavy in much suits

Not even interesting mech suits

undeadsuitor:

Silentpony:

CritialGaming:
It sucks! It's Destiny in Mech suits. Only it crashes and loads forever all the time.

I always viewed it as recycled Andromeda II after that game crashed and burned.

Yeah it certainly just looks like the gun and jetpack play from andromeda, slowed down to make it feel heavy in much suits

Not even interesting mech suits

Everyone keeps saying its like Destiny, which I can see, and Warframe which I can't, but no one is mentioning its basically just Andromeda multiplayer. I wouldn't be surprised if this is what Andromeda II was supposed to be and they just cut and trimmed it into a new IP

Silentpony:

undeadsuitor:

Silentpony:
I always viewed it as recycled Andromeda II after that game crashed and burned.

Yeah it certainly just looks like the gun and jetpack play from andromeda, slowed down to make it feel heavy in much suits

Not even interesting mech suits

Everyone keeps saying its like Destiny, which I can see, and Warframe which I can't, but no one is mentioning its basically just Andromeda multiplayer. I wouldn't be surprised if this is what Andromeda II was supposed to be and they just cut and trimmed it into a new IP

I'd say its more like Warframe then Destiny. The environments are more open and generally more AAA-shiny of course. Third-person obviously. One of the main draws is the mobility system. The Jetpack actually controls identically to the Archwing (except that doesn't have the cooldown, and also has its own abilities and weapons) in Warframe. You pick up materials in missions, there's some kind of crafting (didn't get to it in the demo if it was available). There are apparently varying skllsets based on Javelins/Frames. There is some kind of mod collecting for the Javelin itself, though its way more RNG then Warframe's mod system.

The main detriments to it being like Warframe are the apparent relegation of melee options to a cooldown power. The limits on mobility (in combat, you can easily touch water for general flying around out of combat). And how much versatility is on offer in terms of different Classes/Frames/Javelins. Obviously they can't really fire out the gate with ~40, that's an unreasonable ask to match 6 years of Warframe development. But the demo at least doesn't exactly offer up a very engaging intro to them.

Compared to Destiny, where it just has the common point of being a shooty space thing, and they borrowed the L1, R1, L!+R1 control scheme for the powers.

More to the point, in its basic feel. It's not very shooter like at all. It has much more the slightly awkward combat mechanics of the action-MMO style (rather then a shooter looter with RPG elements). Which is to say it functions like an MMO that decided taking the target locks off was a good idea.

Silentpony:
RIP Bioware. You'll be missed.

No. No, they won't.

PsychedelicDiamond:

Silentpony:
RIP Bioware. You'll be missed.

No. No, they won't.

But 1/2 of Mass Effect 1, Mass Effect 2 and 1/2 of Mass Effect 3 and Kotor were good! can we at least get a ME remastered trilogy before EA devours them like the neverborn daemon they are?

Silentpony:

undeadsuitor:

Silentpony:
I always viewed it as recycled Andromeda II after that game crashed and burned.

Yeah it certainly just looks like the gun and jetpack play from andromeda, slowed down to make it feel heavy in much suits

Not even interesting mech suits

Everyone keeps saying its like Destiny, which I can see, and Warframe which I can't, but no one is mentioning its basically just Andromeda multiplayer. I wouldn't be surprised if this is what Andromeda II was supposed to be and they just cut and trimmed it into a new IP

Nah, Anthem was in development before Andromeda. In fact it's the reason Andromeda was dropped onto a side-studio.

PsychedelicDiamond:

Silentpony:
RIP Bioware. You'll be missed.

No. No, they won't.

Eh, speak for yourself.

I watched the Jimpressions on it. It looks sluggsh, and the loading virtually everyone has complained about puts me way off. Not sure if I can be bothered to play the demo, given what I've seen.

Dalisclock:

There have been some articles lately that bioware tried to get a new KOTOR game rolling and EA denied it. No doubt because Star Wars is some niche series nobody cares about and will never make any money, I'm sure.

Or because it would be harder to cram KOTOR3 will lootboxes and Microtransactions.

Remember, if it doesn't make ALL THE MONIES, it's a failure.

It would also involve putting a company to work at the thing it's known for and/or good at.

But yeah, i's probably mostly the lootboxes ting.

Seth Carter:
Well I did note I didn't get too far before the game hard crashed a PS4, which is definitely where I just throw it in. If there was super other then L1+R1 (which was the bubble shield), it certainly never bothered explaining it or showing anywhere on the UI I could see.

The super is up on the D-pad. The L1-R1 is basically a support skill that every Javelin has. I've seen two versions, one that blocks bullets and another that increases bullet damage. It'd be great if the demo explained any of this, but alas the demo decides to explain all of jack shit.



A list if Anthem's technical issues laid out by EA. As of the last time I played, the endless load screen was still a problem. The workaround was basically to alt-f4 and restart the game. This "demo" is a spectacular shit-show, but I'd rather the demo drop the ball than the full release. There's an open beta starting Feb. 1, so we'll see if any of that is fixed.

Silentpony:
The game looks fun. It looks like it'd be fun with friends. But I worry it'd both overstay its welcome right quick if its as grindy as it seems, before they've even implemented the micro-transaction economy, and as you've pointed out the servers are about as stable as a house of cards.

Supposedly, the microtransactions will be limited to cosmetics. So no buying guns, resources, or better skills. Buuuuut, this is EA so they're almost guaranteed to shit the bed at some point.

Captain Marvelous:
Supposedly, the microtransactions will be limited to cosmetics. So no buying guns, resources, or better skills. Buuuuut, this is EA so they're almost guaranteed to shit the bed at some point.

That's the official line, but its EA.
The last time they promised a cosmetics only transaction economy it was Star Wars Battlefront 2, and it was a straight up lie. I don't trust for a second this is true, or if it is by 'cosmetic' they mean every color, icon, stamp and alternate look will be walled off and every Iron suit will be the same matt-gray and unlocking light matt-gray will be at least $.99 PER armor part, with 50 colors per armor section for, lets be conservative and say arms, legs, torso and head are each separate(I'm being nice in assuming not only are each arms shaded at once, but both arms and legs are included when you buy a color) we're looking at $200 worth of microtransactions to simply unlock all the colors of a single Mech, not to mention the other mechs or other cosmetics.

So yeah I don't for one second believe this game wasn't designed with a free-to-play mobile economy in mind. I think when all is said and done to have full 100% all cosmetic items we're looking at $2k+ in microtransactions.

Captain Marvelous:



A list if Anthem's technical issues laid out by EA. As of the last time I played, the endless load screen was still a problem. The workaround was basically to alt-f4 and restart the game. This "demo" is a spectacular shit-show, but I'd rather the demo drop the ball than the full release. There's an open beta starting Feb. 1, so we'll see if any of that is fixed.

Hopefully Bioware will actually use the beta to fix the issues prior to launch, unlike some other developers I could mention. I don't have any love for Anthem(due to it not being suitable for solo play and looking like Destiny but made by Bioware) but I'm kinda hoping that Bioware can survive and revive itself rather then be taken behind the shed and put down if/when Anthem bombs.

Silentpony:

Captain Marvelous:
Supposedly, the microtransactions will be limited to cosmetics. So no buying guns, resources, or better skills. Buuuuut, this is EA so they're almost guaranteed to shit the bed at some point.

That's the official line, but its EA.
The last time they promised a cosmetics only transaction economy it was Star Wars Battlefront 2, and it was a straight up lie.

Not really. Battlefront 2 was the epicenter of the loot box controversy, as the loot boxes were at the center of the game's progression system. SW:BF2 as released only allowed you to unlock characters with in-game currency (at such exorbitant prices that a casual player would never come close to unlocking Darth Vader, even if they never bought a single loot box for in-game credits), the rest of your progression in terms of skills and abilities (the "star cards") were only obtainable through loot boxes or the second in-game currency, spare parts, which you earned for getting duplicates. The system was further rigged so that upgrading a card required enough spare parts that you had to get like 20 duplicates of the same rarity level to unlock a single card upgrade. Hence, you could slowly eek out in-game credits through gameplay, getting about one loot box every day or other day through casual play, and have a punishingly slow skill progression (you could also get skills and abilities for heroes you hadn't yet unlocked, by the way) or you could fork out real cash and get an instant progression boost.

SW:BF2's revised MTX-economy is indeed cosmetics only and it is a rather fair system. I stopped playing between the progression overhaul and the introduction of MTX, but at that point the in-game economy was actually pretty fair. SW:BF2 seems, so far, to have been peak EA in a non-FIFA game and they've considerably revised their MTX-practices in non-FIFA titles since. Notably BFV still hasn't introduced a premium currency. EA are still scummy as shit, but they deserve some credit for actually backing off from their absolutely most predatory practices in most games (though not FIFA, but that particular fanbase seems to be eating the punishing MTX-model up).

It looked more fun than Destiny for what that is worth. There was a jetpack, everything looked faster. Speaking of Destiny though, that reminds me of Halo and of the fact that the AI can be a bit more sophisticated than standing there and shooting at you, until you get through its overly long health bar.

I'm also reminded of Fallout 76. A game much out of the wheelhouse of the developers that showed a painful lack of self-understanding on the part of whoever decided it should happen.

Of course the worst problem is that it's currently very buggy.

With how little games I play nowadays I'm probably going to ignore this one.

Captain Marvelous:
Supposedly, the microtransactions will be limited to cosmetics. So no buying guns, resources, or better skills. Buuuuut, this is EA so they're almost guaranteed to shit the bed at some point.

Bad enough, honestly.

Pseudonym:

Bad enough, honestly.

Why? I mean, they have to earn money over time somehow, you can't expect them to support the game and release free DLC without getting anything in return.

Besides you can still get cosmetics with the in-game currency, let's wait and see how grindy it is until we condemn it.

Dalisclock:

ReservoirAngel:
or KOTOR remastered... or just a new KOTOR game...

There have been some articles lately that bioware tried to get a new KOTOR game rolling and EA denied it. No doubt because Star Wars is some niche series nobody cares about and will never make any money, I'm sure.

Or because it would be harder to cram KOTOR3 will lootboxes and Microtransactions.

Remember, if it doesn't make ALL THE MONIES, it's a failure.

Pfft Lootboxes are so 2017. It's all about that sweet fortnight battle pass * Glares at CoD black ops 4*.

Oh any it would be so easy to put lootboxes in SW. But i don't want tl give EA any ideas

Silentpony:

PsychedelicDiamond:

Silentpony:
RIP Bioware. You'll be missed.

No. No, they won't.

But 1/2 of Mass Effect 1, Mass Effect 2 and 1/2 of Mass Effect 3 and Kotor were good! can we at least get a ME remastered trilogy before EA devours them like the neverborn daemon they are?

Does anyone love Jade Empire? I love Jade Empire. That needs to be rebooted or have a sequel.

ObsidianJones:

Silentpony:

PsychedelicDiamond:

No. No, they won't.

But 1/2 of Mass Effect 1, Mass Effect 2 and 1/2 of Mass Effect 3 and Kotor were good! can we at least get a ME remastered trilogy before EA devours them like the neverborn daemon they are?

Does anyone love Jade Empire? I love Jade Empire. That needs to be rebooted or have a sequel.

I fucking adore Jade Empire and would love a sequel or a remaster.

PsychedelicDiamond:

Silentpony:
RIP Bioware. You'll be missed.

No. No, they won't.

Says you pal, I'll miss them terribly.

Gordon_4:

ObsidianJones:

Silentpony:
But 1/2 of Mass Effect 1, Mass Effect 2 and 1/2 of Mass Effect 3 and Kotor were good! can we at least get a ME remastered trilogy before EA devours them like the neverborn daemon they are?

Does anyone love Jade Empire? I love Jade Empire. That needs to be rebooted or have a sequel.

I fucking adore Jade Empire and would love a sequel or a remaster.

Jade Empire was awesome. I only wish there were a company with the interest in making it and the chops to pull it off.

Sadly it's owned by EA now and EA doesn't care about making anything that remotely creative, or god forbid, selling anyone else the IP to do so.

Silentpony:

undeadsuitor:

Silentpony:
I always viewed it as recycled Andromeda II after that game crashed and burned.

Yeah it certainly just looks like the gun and jetpack play from andromeda, slowed down to make it feel heavy in much suits

Not even interesting mech suits

Everyone keeps saying its like Destiny, which I can see, and Warframe which I can't, but no one is mentioning its basically just Andromeda multiplayer. I wouldn't be surprised if this is what Andromeda II was supposed to be and they just cut and trimmed it into a new IP

Nobody is saying that because nobody played Andromeda multi.

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