At the core of the shaky foundation, Anthem is a fun and enjoyable game. Outside from that, there are many issues surrounding the title that dampen this core experience. I came in to this game with an open mind. I am a Destiny fan, and a Division apologist, but this game has some issues that need to be fixed if it wants to be on the level of these other titles.
First off, the game is not optimized the best for the consoles. The frame rate is super low inside the hub, screen tearing is majorly experienced, and there are infinite loading screens galore. Aside from this, the gameplay itself is much more enjoyable on a controller format. It is very obvious that this game was designed for console, and the PC version felt like a brief afterthought.
On PC, the game ran smoothly and looked amazing. The Frostbite engine is very good at running things on the PC, but the controls seemed rushed and stiff. The game felt mediocre when you were running around on the ground, but up in the air, the game felt very strange. This mostly has to do with the odd deadzones and sensitivities for flying. I tried multiple different flying sensitivities, but none of them felt any better.
I played the majority of the game on hard mode, and this bold choice resulted in me being punished by the developers instead of having a fun and challenging time. When you select the hard difficulty in a game, you expect to have an extreme and engaging challenge. All you received in Anthem were a health buff to the already spongy enemies. One fight with a boss tier enemy took me and a squad of 4 close to 20 minutes to wipe out. This would have been fine, but the whole time instead of partaking in engaging combat, we repeated the same process over and over: shoot at the enemy, get hit down to low health, and hide behind cover and let your health regenerate. The fight would have taken us much longer, if one of our teammates didn’t maneuver to an exploitable area where the boss could not hit you.
Aside from this, there are some redeeming aspects to the game. The story seems to be generally good for a MMO-Lite, and I was curious about what would happen next to the characters. The core gunplay feels good, and there is the skeleton of an amazing concept for movement on the PC, with an agile and fluid one on Xbox and PS4. There seem to be a wide variety of weapons, and multiple difficulties to keep even the most tried and true player challenged.
I am not too pleased with the way that EA handled the slight community backlash from some aspects of the game. They have said that the demo is a 6 week old build of the game. It is questionable if this is true, but if we take EA’s word for it, it doesn’t seem very probable for any company to be able to fix the problems with this game in that short time period.
There is not too much to say about this game. It was what the gaming community expected, and maybe even a little better. We still have to wait to see how the online economy works. I would be a little more trusting if EA had a better track record with this kind of thing. There is always room to change, and I hope that they have learned their lesson from previous mistakes. If EA truly want this game to be special and something that people keep on coming back to for years, my recommended course of action would be to delay the game so you can fix out the kinks and have it live up to it’s true potential. There are a lot of people who want the game to fail, and if you want to prove them wrong, you would need to take your time to prefect the game that we have been given. We will have to see what this game turns out to be when it releases! Stay tuned to GameZap for all of the Anthem coverage!