Well, now all we have to do is wait. Yes, all the VIP demos and open demos are over for Bioware’s new looter-shooter, Anthem. My time with both demos was a mixed bag of genuine enjoyment and head-scratching frustration. Anthem shows a lot of promise, but there are still a few things that hold it back from being on everyone’s list. Let’s take a look at how Anthem stacks up in the VIP Demo and in the open demo.
The VIP Demo
The VIP was open to anyone who had pre-ordered the game and anyone who got a friend code from someone who pre-ordered. To say the VIP Demo was a mess would be an understatement. After the servers went live, players had a very hard time getting past the initial home menu to even get into the game. I too experienced this and didn’t even get to enter the game until about thirty minutes. After I finally got in, the fun had only just begun. Not only was getting into a mission just about impossible but most of the time I got the loading screen bug. The loading screen bug was something that would occur when you wanted to go into a mission or return from a mission. When you entered the loading screen you would see a loading bar at the top of the screen. Once the loading bar to about ninety-five percent of the way done it would just stop and not move anymore. Forcing players to restart the game and even their machines.
The silver lining in all of this was when I did manage to get in the game and goof around with my javelin, I really enjoyed it. Flying around the world and engaging in firefights was very enjoyable. During the VIP Demo, I managed to scrape together about an hour and a half of actual playtime where I did a story mission and messed around in freeplay. The combat feels good, nothing pushing the boundaries, but comboing moves together accompanied with the seamless transition to flight feels very satisfying. The world looks great, a little barren, but left me wanting to explore more.
Outside of the gameplay, customizing your javelin is awesome. The amount of options you have is outrageous and really lets you be creative in how your javelins look. The customization was something that I was very much looking forward to and Bioware nailed it.
The Open Demo
Let me start off by saying that the open demo was miles better in terms of connection issues and just being able to get into the game. It was not perfect but I had a way better experience the second time around. During the open demo, I had the chance to try out one of the stronghold missions, which are basically harder, longer missions that result in a boss fight at the end. Sounds killer right? Well, I am happy to report that the stronghold mission was in fact very fun. I battled my way through hordes of enemies alongside my teammates, completing objectives and making our way to the big baddie at the end. It was fun. The final boss fight was intense and made me rely on my teammates to get the job done.
The open demo did a way better job at letting players really get a feel for the game, in my opinion. By getting rid of most of the connection issues, players, and myself, got to experience Anthem. And it was, good.
Anthem has the chance to be a blockbuster hit. It has a big open world full of monsters and secrets, an interesting story to tell and lets you fly around like Ironman. It’s all there, but I think there is one thing that could make or break the game and that is the endgame. When the game launches there will be three strongholds, contracts. and
I am excited to jump into the world, find loot and make my javelin look snazzy. But if I have to replay the same content for several weeks over and over to do that, I may get tired of that pretty fast. And I don’t mind going into freeplay to uncover lore about the world, to offset some of that repetitiveness but I want the lore to be deep and meaningful. I think the endgame will make or break the game, and I am rooting for Bioware. I want this game to be great. It has all the ingredients, it just needs to come together correctly.