Anthem caught my attention early when I saw the suits that will be serving as the weapons platform known as Javelins. Amply named so too, as they hard hitting while being agile. Secondly, it is science fiction mixed with some fantasy, so already I was getting excited for this.
Time came and we got to play the demo before launch, and experience the game for the first time since its revealing. As expected, there was issues in the form of server connections, in-game glitches and bugs, and a stuttering frame rate, but besides all that, I got even more excited. I saw potential.
Now that I have put a fair amount of time into the game, let us take a look at my findings.
I WOULD LIKE ONE PLEASE
The Javelins are incredibly detailed, and a treat to just watch in motion, whether in fast paced action or when taking a gentle stroll, (yes, stroll).
The four classes on offer is unique and have vastly different loadouts.
The Ranger class is your best all-rounder with good agility and decent fire power abilities. If you are new to the game, this is the one to start with.
The Colossus is the big heavy hitter with heavy armour and even heavier guns. The weaponry leans mostly towards Area of Affect to take out groups of enemies or one bugger that you feel totally deserves it.
The Storm class is your mage in the team. With fire, ice and lightning at your fingertips, you can unleash total havoc upon your enemies. Best described as a firecracker strapped to a Molotov cocktail inside a deep freezer.
The Interceptor is the quickest of the Javelins with agility and attack-speed. It also has the lightest armour, but is heavily focused on melee, so you are in close range of health drops. Perfect choice if your play style is close quarter combat.
All the Javelins can use standard weapons, Assault Rifles, Grenade Launchers, Machine Pistols,
Flight controls are tight and does exactly what you tell it to. The Javelins are equally equipped to act as a jet as it can a helicopter. The hover ability is extremely useful in and out of combat, but mostly fun.
What good is a Javelin if you can’t express yourself with colour and various types of armour pieces?
Anthem offers a decent amount of customization with material textures and a full-colour spectrum wheel.
Anthem’s combat is that of a Looter Shooter. For those who don’t know at that is, it is where you are faced with enemies with a health bar and headshots is not your usual One Hit Kill. Upon death, some enemies drop loot in the form of Weapons, Armour pieces or Rare Crafting Material.
ON THE FRONTIER
Everything happens on a planet with no name, yes it was never declared. The game starts you off in typical fashion as the rookie and it also happens to be your first ever mission, what could go wrong?
So after the introduction, you off to your first mission, you are met with the event, known as The Heart of Rage, that changed everything. Not the good kind either. People lost hope in the Freelancers, Freelancers lost people.
Fort Tarsis is your base of operations, where you can talk to various factions to acquire contracts.
The Arcanists are the knowledge hungry scientist, they seek understanding about the Anthem of Creation and a rich resource to get the deeper lore.
Freelancers are the specialists that stand for peace and order. You are a Freelancer with your Cypher and friend, Owen. He is your support in the field when undertaking dangerous missions.
The Sentinels are the guardians of Ford Tarsis and rarely venture outside the walls. You will meet a few of them when on a mission, but that as far as it goes. They usually have a
Fort Tarsis is also the place to modify your Javelins with the loot you got during missions, or at the vendors. Exploring the fort feels calming, whether you caught it during the day time or the night time. It also feels alive with how the people just go about their business, chatting to one another, shopping and working the stalls.
I will admit, I wish the fort itself was a little bigger, in terms of exploring and finding pieces of info like a scavenger hunt of sorts. However, what being offered does look great. Even though all the locations in the fort is so close to each other, they each have an atmosphere that keeps your attention focused.
The people you talk to in the fort is well detailed and have all the facial movements to tell when there is a subtle joke or when utmost serious is being expressed. There are, from time to time, awkward movements during conversation with the characters you speak to, but rarely distracts you.
When beyond the walls, that is when the game opens up. Decent size map with plenty of interesting things to see. The landscape itself is weird and wonderful, with scattered structures giving it a distinct look and feel of a world that once was.
With natural wildlife populating the land, from harmless to dangerous, the world around is alive. Your Javelin has the ability to fly for a set period of time, and that generates heat. When there is heavy wind or rain in the area you are exploring, the wind contributes a small amount of cooling to your Javelin’s engines. Going through water helps with the cooling a lot more, but deep diving obviously keeps the heat levels completely at bay.
Traversing underwater parts is relatively simple, but as pretty as these water parts are, they serve only as a part of a path to a destination, that and areas of certain crafting materials. There is no combat in deep water as you cannot use your weapons, not even melee. So no Giant Underwater Monster fights.
EVERYDAY WE JAVELIN!
Final thoughts on Anthem?
There is fun to be had, solo or in co-op. With solo free roaming, I have gone off the beaten path so many times to just explore.
Yes, I did run into some issues like with the servers or in-game bugs and glitches, and yes somewhat frustrating, but still I went back. The combat is addictive and can become a chaotic mess, especially in a full squad and everyone’s Ultimate Weapon is ready.
Graphics wise Anthem looks great, excellent lighting all round and voice acting being in sync most of the time.
Looking past the faults that was quite prevalent, there is a good game worthy of your time.