Yeah, I'm sure that headline is a bit over the top. But hey, I was at San Francisco Comic-Con this weekend and I have geek overload. However, that doesn't change the fact that Anthem is looking to be the hottest new IP since Destiny. And that's saying a lot. I for one was blown away by the trailer and the information they provided us from the EA Play conference at E3 on Saturday. So before we move forward. Let's have a look at that sweet, sweet, trailer. Played to a kick ass rendition of Uprising by Muse and it's...well...VICTORIOUS!
I for one cannot get enough of that trailer. However, it's easy to make a trailer look good. Let's talk about what makes the GAME look great and explore what possible flaws may lie waiting for the team.
"THE PERFECT MERGER OF SCIENCE FICTIONS AND FANTASY..."
First let's talk story. Because BioWare definitely wanted to stress how important maintaining the integrity of a good story was. And that story goes as such: "In the beginning, the Gods harnessed the Anthem. A source of pure creation. Wonderous lands erupted into existence. However, before they could finish their work. They mysteriously vanished. Leaving behind instruments of their creation. Those who would seek to harness the Anthem found that it couldn't not be contained. They also found themselves transformed and corrupted. But where there is a will there's a way. And humanity found that way in the form of Javelins. Handcrafted armored exosuits that gave us superhuman abilities. The fate of humanity lay in the hands of those who pilot the Javelins. Those brave few known as Freelancers." Or something like that. Honestly this sounds like the making of a great story. Knowing that the Anthem is a source of power. That this is a world full of colossal beasts, monsters, and creatures feels like the perfect merger of Science Fiction and Fantasy. To even further emphasize story. BioWare revealed that what happens in Fort Tarsis stays in Fort Tarsis...and that's the say that your experience there is will always be Solo. So though you can meet up with other players in the World of Anthem. Fort Tarsis isn't the social hub we all expected it to be. However, this leaves room for story development in a way that you don't normally have in a lot of other games of this style.
"BEST MECH CUSTOMIZATION SINCE ARMORED CORE 2"
So we've got our story and how we came to be Freelancers. So what's up with these Javelins? Can you customize them? Are you locked to one class? How many types are there? Etc! Well I'm excited to report that you absolutely can customize your Javelin. In fact, Mark Darrah, Anthem's Executive Producer took to twitter after the conference to clarify exactly what that means:
Now that's pretty massive a statement. You can not only make your suit look the way you want, but mod it to play the way you want. f this is done right, it could be one of the best mech customization since Armored Core 2. And if they follow through with truly making it that you can, to a tee, customize and mod accompanying gear, weapons, and equipment. That would be pretty epic. Another awesome little tidbit is you’ll gather gear and complete milestones that unlock amazing personalization options as level and fuck shit up. That being said, you have your choice of 4 different Javelin types. Colossus, Interceptor, Storm, and the one we've seen the most Ranger. One of the best parts of the this system is that you can change suits on the fly. So you aren't attached to the choice you make at the begging of the game. This means that you always have a different way to play. Rangers are the most balanced that can do a lot of things mediocre. Colossus is a heavy hitting beast, but seemingly slow.
The Interceptor looks to be fast but low damage, and Storm is said to be light armored but powerful. So there is definitely a bevy of variety in game play. Additionally, according to an excerpt pulled from EA.com: "As you play, you will constantly progress both your own abilities as a Javelin pilot and the combat and traversal capabilities of your growing collection of exosuits." Now if that doesn't sound legit...nothing will. They also squashed any concerns we might have had about loot boxes and "pay to play/win". As it stands that's a massive negative. The only thing being sold is cosmetics and vanity. They also made it sound as if there will be no paid expansions. However, that's just what I'm getting based of the panel. If anyone knows otherwise, please let us know in the comment section below.
"OUR WORLD, MY STORY!"
What we know about the world so far isn't much, however, it's something. "Anthem’s vast, ever-changing world features unpredictable conditions, hazards, and enemies. Over time, Anthem will develop and expand introducing unique stories, challenges, and world-shaking events." Everything I've seen and heard about the world is that it's freaking beautiful. That said, as I stated in the beginning they wanted to keep the story separate from the world, so to speak. So to use Bio-Wares words: "This is our world, but it's my story." Meaning, everything that happens in the world is consistent. Time of day, weather, etc. It affects us all. Some of the best news about this, is that there are dedicated servers, so one event can be seen by all and interacted with. The interesting part about all of this is, they've taken a ver Monster Hunter approach to "teaming up". It's not as simple as walking up to someone in the world and saying "lets be friends". Anthem has, what they call, "contracts". Not unlike flares in Monster Hunter, you can post a "contract" to other players looking for a group and they can join you on or during your mission. For me, that's kind of a bummer, because a lot of what I love about MMO's is that you meet randoms. Maybe you team up, maybe you just help, but it helps enhance the world. That's part of what makes it a "shared-world". However, Monster Hunter is genuinely fun. I love exploring it alone and it's even more fun when I send a flare. So only some hands on time will tell how engaging this world can be using a format that's so unique to the genre.
"NOTHING BUT GREAT THINGS..."
That being said, I've not played the game of course and can only report what I've heard. However, according to some quite reputable and honest youtube gamers. I've heard nothing but great things. I heard the controls are light and easy to pick up. Flying around is fun and practical. Movement is fluid and precise. It's gotten mostly solid and positive feedback from those who have played it. The one negative I've heard is that the damage numbers and "combo" notification is a bit too in your face. However, as a person who loved playing Borderlands...I could get behind it. However, that might change once I get my hands on a beta.
"THEY COULD ABSOLUTELY BE THROWING OUT TRIGGER WORDS."
Look, I have my concerns. As much as I loved Monster Hunter, I eventually fell off and stopped playing. So being alone in the world of Anthem worries me because I'm not a "solo" gamer in the full sense of the term. Not having social hubs worry me. Not having PvP or some kind of PvP style interaction; these are all things that worry me. However, my excitement far outweighs my concern. This is from a studio that has that Madden money. From the developer that brought you Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic, Jade Empire, and Mass Effect to name a few. They have made it clear that there is a focus on storytelling and no one tells better stories than BioWare. I've already Pre-Ordered the Deluxe Digital edition. I have a strong belief that EA has learned from not only their failures, but the failures of Destiny 1 & 2. They also seem to recognize what makes a game successful and do well. So yea, they could absolutely be throwing around trigger worlds. "No Loot Boxes", "Living World", "Dedicated Server", ETC. All those phrases that makes us go "YESSSSS!" However, like I said I believe this is a shift in the right direction, but I'll know more when I get my hands on it. That being said, ALOT of information came out about Anthem this past weekend and it's hard to round it all up. So if you know something I didn't cover, let me know in the comments. Also, it's pretty clear how I feel about the game. Be sure to let us know how you feel. Have you preordered it? Do you plan on it? Or do you think Anthem is absolute ass? Let us know in the comments below. Until later Freelancers! Triumph As One!