I don’t nor­mal­ly get excit­ed about a game, because it auto­mat­i­cal­ly sets my expec­ta­tions above what I typ­i­cal­ly expe­ri­ence from “aver­age” titles. I must admit how­ev­er, since I played the demo ver­sion of Anthem, that feel­ing of gen­uine excite­ment, returned.

If you didn’t get a chance to play the VIP or the Open Demo, then you def­i­nite­ly missed out. It’s like a cross between Mass Effect, Des­tiny and Iron Man. All of them hav­ing unique qual­i­ties, that com­bined, make for a pret­ty amaz­ing experience.

The mere four hours I had to play (life and junk), left me want­i­ng see what else Anthem had in store.

With­in that time, myself and two oth­ers, man­aged to get through the sto­ry mis­sions, (encounter of some sort) and hit the open world in free-roam. Although my time with the game was so short, it still felt like I accom­plished plen­ty. We start­ed at lev­el 10, with a lev­el cap of 15 for the demo. Through doing mis­sions, we were able to reach lev­el 14 and com­plete the Raid-type activity. 

The ene­mies vary, with the base lev­el min­ions being the eas­i­est to take down. We saw plen­ty of Elite and Leg­endary ene­mies, with Leg­en­daries hav­ing a much high­er rate of rare drops. Most of the foes we came across had weapons and appear to be part of an alliance. There’s also plen­ty of wildlife, some of which attacks upon see­ing you. Oth­ers are docile and would just pre­fer to run away.

While the ene­mies were enjoy­able to com­bat, the sto­ry sur­round them wasn’t even touched. The sto­ry in gen­er­al was rather.. blah. It didn’t stand out. It seems to me that it was extreme­ly sub­mis­sive to the action in the game. I found myself focus­ing more on fly­ing my suit and view­ing the envi­ron­ment, over lis­ten­ing to what was being said in my com.

Anthem’s world is quite impres­sive, with beau­ti­ful scenery that has a famil­iar art style. I noticed the envi­ron­ment played a huge part in fly­ing my suit. Since your suit over­heats while in mid flight, BioWare made it rel­a­tive­ly easy to cool it off. There are many water­falls and shal­low pools of water to skim across, to bring down the high heat. You can also fly straight up and then straight down, to relieve the stress on your suit.

There’s also mods that you can apply which increase the amount of time you can jet around before hav­ing to chill your Javelin. Mods can also increase your armor resis­tance or boost your abilities. 

There are four dif­fer­ent Javelins, all doing very dif­fer­ent jobs. The Ranger is the base Javelin and he’s, hon­est­ly, the eas­i­est to con­trol. The Inter­cep­tor is faster than the blink of an eye, but is a lit­tle hard­er to use. The Colos­sus is a mas­sive sponge for ene­my dam­age, but is far to slow to be effec­tive by itself. Storm I haven’t actu­al­ly played as, so based on the descrip­tion it’s like a jacked up mage. 

Javelins are high­ly cus­tomiz­able. You can have sev­er­al dif­fer­ent types of mods and can choose between dif­fer­ent types of abil­i­ties. Cos­met­ics on the Javelin are pret­ty fun to mess around with. There are sev­er­al types of met­al to pick from, with over 20 col­ors to paint them. There’s also metal­lic col­ors, although those are much more lim­it­ed and decals to spice it up. As well as col­or adjust­ments, you can also change how parts of your Javelin look, like your hel­met or your legs. 

Aside from all the joy Anthem gave me, it does have it’s own set of flaws. It’s menu sys­tem is, well…bad. They’re all over the place. It took me a few min­utes to fig­ure out how to change the paint, because the “Paint” sec­tion actu­al­ly shows the options for mate­r­i­al choic­es first. The menus as a whole are unat­trac­tive, but they do get the job done. 

Walk­ing through the city is excru­ci­at­ing­ly painful. You char­ac­ter is soo slow. When you com­pare the out­side world to the city, it’s basi­cal­ly night and day. Out­side the walls, the open-world is full of sur­pris­es to see and explore at high speeds, with action around every cor­ner. Inside the walls, you walk slow­er than a tor­toise, with nar­row path­ways cov­ered in NPC’s (some you can’t even talk to) and an unen­joy­able, long trek back to your suit to start anoth­er mission. 

A mem­ber of our team had a lev­el hic­cup. Since he had played the Alpha, whenn he start­ed the Demo, he was only lev­el 4. This forced myself and our oth­er mate to bear the brunt of most assaults because we start­ed at lev­el 10. In fact, we man­aged to beat the Strong­hold with him at lev­el 9, with the aid of a random. 

Match­mak­ing is option­al for sto­ry mis­sions, but you are required to have a full four-per­son group to go into a strong­hold. The same goes for free-roam. 

Hope­ful­ly, any changes BioWare make from feed­back they received dur­ing the Demo, will bring this game the suc­cess it (I think) deserves. Since Mass Effect: Androm­e­da was such a bum­mer at the start, I’m will­ing to bet there are peo­ple out there think­ing it may fol­low suit. I can only have faith that BioWare, will take the steps to make this the “go to” game for myself and others.