The more bits I get from the Anthem devs, the more I am both fascinated and curious. I don’t think my expectations for a AAA game are high for 2019, but maybe I’m in the wrong. For a multiplayer launch, I would expect:
- Social tools
- Player customization (non-power related)
- Solid mechanics (with numerical balance over time)
- A dual path for progress
- Learning the game/story/mechanics (e.g. leveling)
- Repeatable and engaging content (e.g. end game)
- Build / role diversity
- Game stability
I realize that this is quite generic, and that there are multiple ways to achieve this.
Destiny has an alliance mechanic, which provides some weekly benefits. Off your friend’s list, the top 5 provide give a score that gives extra coins at the end of the week. Those with no friends, there’s a catch-all bucket for the randoms you play with. That’s neat and actually better than most other games.
There are no guilds at launch, which seems like a really odd choice.
The social hub should be there, which is good. The game really feels empty, in particular Freeplay mode where the world can fit 100+ javelins and you’re only ever 4 at max.
There’s matchmaking for everything, so that’s a serious plus. Not being able to see other people’s loadouts beforehand is going to make the top-end content a pain to manage, pretty much forcing pre-made groups. Will be interesting.
Javelin-wise, Anthem has this nailed. The outlines of Javelins make them recognizable, but the attachments, colors, textures, vinyls – all of it really does add a sense of individuals.
There are no gun customizations that I can see. Maybe the legendary drops will look a bit different.
I think flight works really well, adding a 3d portion to most combat. I am extremely hopeful that the devs never add another swimming section to the game.
I think the gunplay is average at best. It is very loose, and makes weak-spot based combat ineffective. I also can’t seem to find a realistic difference between all the gun types. Pick the rifle with the largest magazine. (‘Cept the heavy weapons for colossus).
The abilities are really quite awesome. Primers and triggers make for some interesting combos. I like that there’s a requirement to work together, and that some targets must be flanked.
Bosses have interesting mechanics, though there’s a tad more focus on bullet sponge than deserves to be present.
I like that combat is built for offense, since there are very few defensive options present. There’s no cover, shields are barely enough to get outta dodge, and you need to actively pay attention to succeed.
Not sure how this will work. From what was presented, the core storyline has more potential than delivery. There’s just something off about Tarsis, and the way the people move/talk.
Missions do not appear to be repeatable, which seems a terrible waste of resources. Warframe really did an amazing job on this front.
From what I understand, there are only 3 strongholds (dungeons) at launch. We saw one in the demo (Tyrant), and that one takes about 30 minutes to clear. What was there was enjoyable, but certainly not enough to keep attention for more than a week.
There are weekly/daily quests through contracts. Haven’t seen how that works, so no comments.
Freeplay has random events. The spawn rate in the demo was very low, and it looked like we could access 25% of the map. I don’t understand how that will work at release. 3x the map and the same amount of players?
There are also game generated events, like shaper storms. Demo spawned a large titan, which was neat to see but a bullet sponge. Curious.
BioWare has stated plenty of times they have big plans for end game. There’s a general lack of detail on this. I haven’t seen any content release plans after launch, so maybe I’m just in the dark on this.
In the demo, there was a lot of this. Each javelin plays much differently than another. Abilities make a huge difference in playstyles. It’s a lot of fun to experiment. There are QoL things here to provide more info on builds and options (to avoid having to reference a wiki), but that’s more than manageable.
Again on guns. There’s not much here – they feel more like stat sticks. That’s mid-game though, so perhaps end game has a reason to pick a 4-burst rifle vs a high ammo version.
I am not getting my hopes up for this. Great that those issues came to light before launch. Bad that those issues were so pervasive before launch, from a publisher (EA) that makes a living on on-line games with the Frostbyte engine. Feels a bit like the ice cream machine always being broken at McDonalds.
There are some rather significant PC optimizations required for people to play this game. I’ve generally been able to play any game at high or ultra, without much issue. For this, I’m running 95% CPU and peaking over 90s in temperature.
For now, it’s mostly conjecture until launch. There’s a lot in the game now, a lot more than should be coming by launch, and ??? after launch. I’m sure that next week we’ll get a view at the service roadmap, if not the week following. It’ll be hard to get people who are on the fence to commit if what’s there now is all there is for the next few months.
Given EA’s recent report on a bad quarter, and pointing to Apex & Anthem as the next thing, it’s important to note that Anthem’s business model is nearly entirely built on box sales. And EA wants to sell 6m of those. Dollars to donuts, Anthem doesn’t hit that number. Horizon: Zero Dawn sold 7m total. God of War was 5m in a month. Combined with Origin Access essentially giving you the game for $20 for a month’s access…the math here just isn’t going to work. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fine game, but it is far from blockbuster. This entire paragraph was an unpleasant typing experience.