So this weekend I was lucky enough to get access to the Anthem VIP demo, along with a few of my friends. It was a crazy weekend for us gamers as well as the Bioware and EA support teams, but there are some very important takeaways that we have put together for you.
The Demo Situation
The VIP demo launched to a cascade of issues right from the start. Players struggled with server connection issues, infinite menu loops and repeated game crashes. Those that did manage to get in were hit with extreme rubber-banding reminiscent of time travel from Quantum Break, although totally unintentional. There were also many strange bugs that overly taxed system resources even when in menus. Not a great start at all.
Fortunately, the team at Bioware were quick to respond and made fixes which greatly improved the experience for most players the following day, allowing for many of us to actually get in and experience the game. The Bioware team were fully transparent and in constant communication which was highly commendable, but ultimately unforgivable for a VIP demo experience. If this was labeled a Beta this would have been expected, but the way it was presented was very much a glimpse of what to expect in the game, which is launching in just a few weeks.
With a game that is said to run for a long time with ongoing free content updates, the feedback from the development team does bode well for the future. We have seen the success of games like Warframe for this very reason, so fingers crossed that this continues.
The Gaming Experience
So how was the actual game? The game itself is beautiful, with breathtaking visuals throughout the open world, crisp player models and some epic visual effects during fights. I often stopped to admire the state of my Javelin (the mech suit you fly around in) when covered in steaming green poison or other organic material, in the middle of a fight.
The map has a lot of verticality to it which makes flying around in your Javelin a serious amount of fun. The gameplay itself felt great with the
Sorry PC players
The biggest disappointment for myself and my squad was the poor state of the PC experience. The entire game from the controls through to the menus and UI is designed for console and just dropped into PC. The flying is difficult to control and swimming underwater is a near impossible task of smashing into dark walls totally disorientated. This sucks out a lot of fun from the game and shifted the experience significantly. Our squad often joked about the swimming sections being harder than any of the boss fights – far from ideal.
What does this mean for Anthem?
Having said that, I will certainly push through the bugs to get some more gameplay