Singing the Praises of Anthem: Early Impressions

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Right out of gate, Anthem impresses with its incredible visuals and great audio/visual feedback. Shooting feels great and mobility (in the air and on foot) is really satisfying. I can positively say that the game has its hooks in me and I am looking forward to pilling on hours of gameplay. Not bad for a game I had no hype for what so ever!

The story has taken a back seat for me. Nothing within the narrative has struck a chord, which is a shame because BioWare are the masters of in-game storytelling, hopefully the story will pick up as I push towards the end game content.

The comparisons to Destiny are going to be echoed across the internet, and with good reason. Nearly everything Anthem does what Destiny did it previously; from the Public World Events to the Respawn Restrictive areas, a lot of the game has taken heavy inspiration from Destiny. Hell, even your Cypher sidekick feels like your Ghost companion in Destiny.

With that being said, I would present the argument that Anthem does most of, if not all of these things better. Missions and combat are fast-paced and immediate affairs as the game pushes you forward to the next objective. If you fall behind your party during an expedition, the game teleports you to your buddies to ensue you can’t just ride it out.
The immediate gameplay is a nice contrast to Destiny‘s slower based gameplay, and with Anthem‘s fast mobility, moving to your next checkpoint is quick and allows for intense beat-to-beat gameplay that is satisfying. Weapons have the right balance and punch, special abilities are devastating and flight has to be the coolest feature Anthem has going for it right now, moving from point to point has never felt so enjoyable.

The Armored suits you wear in the game, called Javelins, really are the highlight here, each class bring their own flavour to combat and mobility. I have only played with the Ranger class, which is the closet thing to being Iron Man in a video game. Its strengths lie with front-line combat, it’s definitely the all-rounder class, and for me, felt like the obvious starter Javelin.

During my time with Anthem, I also encountered a few technical issues. I had one hard freeze up during a story mission, which caused me to have to restart the game. Upon restarting I seemed to skip a portion of gameplay and a small piece of narrative. The other issue is audio cutting out completely, at least until I rebooted the game. This has happened twice during my play time and really took me out of the experience.

Technical issues aside, the game ran extremely smooth at 60 frames per second on high settings, with no frame drops throughout my playtime.

Overall, Anthem is a promising title, with a solid framework from which to build upon to become an exciting and rewarding adventure. Once certain technical issues are fixed this game could be an amazing experience.