The Anthem game public demo took place over the weekend and, uh, it was certainly a thing that happened. Even after (mostly) sorting out its server troubles, BioWare's open world PVE shooter left a lot to be desired from those who managed to get in and play it, and while many are excited for the full release, opinions seem to be divided about whether the Mass Effect developer has another solid gold hit on its hands.
Anthem is scheduled to launch in just under three weeks time, on February 22, for PC, PS4, and Xbox One but, until then, here's a round-up of what the internet thought of BioWare's latest, including the best put downs and celebrations of everything the demo contained. Be warned; you may find yourself in strong disagreement with some of the opinions below but, hey, isn't that what the internet's all about?
What is going on with Anthem's story?
One of the biggest sore points about Anthem so far has been the mystery surrounding its story. BioWare has deliberately stayed quiet about certain details of the narrative, but - having experienced the demo's jargon-laden expository dumps of sci-fi nonsense - we're left wondering if we have another Destiny "Moon Wizard" situation on our hands. Could the people behind Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age 4 really be capable of such drivel?
Man, I played a good few hours yesterday and I don't think Anthem is a "bad" game. But it's so... world design by committee. Halo meets James Cameron's Avatar.February 4, 2019
Bioware really missed a trick with #Anthem. Blending what was in their DNA as a studio with a new type of game they hadn't tried before. I want to ask the characters in Tarsis about the world, but all I can actually do is press R2 or L2. A voiced codex would have been nice too.February 2, 2019
A thought on Anthem that has been increasingly growing in my mind: it'd be way more interesting if the game didn't have guns, and all your offensive powers were Iron Man esque suit powers/energy beams/whatever. There's something infinitely less magical about "here's a shotgun"February 2, 2019
The public demo's in-game event was a meteoric tease for Anthem's future
Towards the end of the public demo, BioWare begin to tease that something would be happening in Anthem's free roam area, so players everywhere took to the open world to discover a giant fire storm tearing up the sky. In time, massive Titan bosses fell into the zone, letting Javelins do battle until the demo wrapped up for good, allowing BioWare to finally end the public testing phase on its own terms. According to the studio, this is just the beginning.
Jumping on to the Anthem demo in a panic because some sort of live event seems to be happening, I am 40yrs old.February 3, 2019
#Anthem already doing live in-game events in the DEMO. How more people aren’t excited for this release is beyond me... pic.twitter.com/gWe9Schv3NFebruary 3, 2019
Just stumbled upon an Ancient Ash Titan during this event in #Anthem Absolutely epic fight! pic.twitter.com/9Z3VyfyT9EFebruary 3, 2019
Winning over the sceptics
Those who were on the fence about Anthem before jumping into the demo, for the most part, still remain unconvinced. The general consensus seems to be a big, hard "meh", peppered by those who were more taken by the core combat loop, though we have to remember that the demo was just a vertical slice of the final product, with BioWare stressing that the full experience will differ quite radically from what we've played so far. Still, the fact that Anthem has yet to blow most people away is somewhat disconcerting.
Anthem obviously has server issues, but I got to play for about 3 hours and shit man, it's a lot of fun.January 26, 2019
So far Anthem gets a Meh/10February 1, 2019
All but certain, like with Destiny, I will play Anthem's story and probably enjoy it. But as soon as it asks me to do the same thing over and over to make a number go up – one surrounded by ever-increasing numbers – I'll be out. I need to accept this loop does nothing for me.February 1, 2019
But hey, people love the flying!
Seriously, BioWare's flying mechanics could be the thing that transcends Anthem to God status, providing it stays this fun all the way into end game. People are still debating over the merit of the cool down system, and the studio will probably tinker with it before launch day, but the nuts and bolts of taking to the air as a Javelin are *chef's kiss*.
The Anthem transition to flight may be one of my favourite pieces of gameplay animation and effects work ever. pic.twitter.com/B6Mg27mpQWJanuary 27, 2019
#Anthem pic.twitter.com/ZABan9ImfZFebruary 1, 2019
Flying in the #AnthemDemo on PC, does not feel right an all. However on PS4 with controller?...I am Iron Man. pic.twitter.com/Qzq20R7CJbFebruary 3, 2019