Anthem is a potential game, but those potentials are filled with numerous problems in designing and building games that BioWare chooses.
When you think of entering a new game to explore a new, strange and hostile world, what comes to mind? For, it is arduous battles, exciting adventures, many beautiful scenes, and a fascinating story. BioWare’s Anthem seems to be the game with all of this and more because it was created by BioWare’s hand, the studio that gives us Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Baldur’s Gate or Neverwinter Nights.
Anthem: Things EA needs to improve if it doesn’t want to “land””. Despite being a very potential game and backed by a big man, Anthem has too much to improve after the beta period.
Therefore, gamers worldwide expect that BioWare will fulfill its promises and bring us a tremendous new experience even though it is not a traditional RPG like BioWare.
And my friend, heartbreaking disappointment. Once again, we see an AAA game that promises a lot doesn’t do much. On the day of its launch, the reviews Anthem received were all disparaging and game forums filled with disappointing gamers’ comments.
Background and plot
On a distant planet, people stand firmly on their heels in a fortress city called Fort Tarsis. It was founded by Freelancer warriors who wore exosuit suits that gave them Ironman-style powers and were the force to protect people on this strange land.
Meanwhile, the Planet Bastion is at the feet of freelancers created by Shaper – a mysterious alien race – with Anthem of Creation, a miraculous energy source present in everything. Then, like other irresponsible creators, the Shaper disappeared, leaving their artifacts scattered across the planet.
Fools of the Dominion have sought to take control of Cenotaph, one of these artifacts, and cause the Heart of Rage, an unrelenting disaster that destroys an entire city. Many freelancers tried to prevent this disaster, but they were severely damaged by the monsters Cenotaph created. The Freelancers return in disgrace, the Heart of Rage continues to devour the world, and that’s when you, an anonymous Freelancer, enter the story.
These settings sound appealing, and when it is in the hands of BioWare – the RPG master, the world gamer believes he will be able to participate in a great, profound, and vast story.
But that story does not exist because it is told through a faint protagonist and bored NPCs. They can not be compared with Commander Shepard, Hawke, Garrus, or Solas that BioWare blew soul in the past. They are no longer the soul of the story, but only a tool to deliver – take on tasks like the “three-a-half” web games on the market, only lacking the large yellow exclamation mark floating above their heads.
As a game built on the Frostbite engine platform (like every other EA game), Anthem’s evaluation looks irresistibly beautiful. Anthem’s old forests, waterfalls, hills, and mountains give off a mysterious, majestic, and strange pristine look that makes you feel like you are lost on another planet on flights from Fort Tarsis to his goal.
Anthem’s quest system is divided into two categories, story missions, and random contracts, but they are too overlapping. No matter who receives the task from, for whatever purpose, at the end of the game’s story, you will realize that you still hang around in some areas, some caves, for many hours. You will quickly recognize Anthem’s duplication after only the first few hours because the game’s tasks have no room for creativity. You fly out of Fort Tarsis, land on certain land, shoot down a few monsters, defend an area or search for an idyllic item and bring it back. Nearly every task in the game strictly applies this formula, except for the formula’s number of iterations.
The savior of the duplicate missions is the team fight. If gamers suffer “brain shutdown” and do not think about the whole and only focus on what they are doing, Anthem has a desirable combat system. The four Javelin that gamers can choose is different weapons that allow players to continually experiment with various weapons and equipment, giving the player the feeling like a mighty warrior. Colossus makes you feel like a tank that can crush what’s in the way, while Storm helps you “clean up” the battlefield in an instant with spectacular Elemental effects. If you ignore that the targets you shot down look the same and are very monotonous, the team fight in Anthem is good enough to become the reason to hold you back with the game.
Despite their repeated appearance, bullshit, and useless stats like “+ 1% of pistol damage,” the guns available in the game are an interesting tool to give gamers The amount of damage splashing on enemies. The epic combo system helps players get little excitement every time they discover a new combo, see the big numbers flare up on the target, and the enemy collapses in series or a long piece on the bar. Their blood disappeared. You can create combos alone or in combination with teammates in the group, creating teamwork in gameplay.
In addition to hovering in the air while fighting monsters, all four Javelins can also fly long distances. BioWare has created a smooth and convenient flight mechanism that helps gamers easily enjoy the beautiful world they have created. It enables you to explore high mountains, fly under rocky arches, glide through meadows, and weave among the swamp’s dense canopy, creating an unexpected, “rare, hard-to-find” poem in An online game.
But Anthem also proved a bit too dependent on the team to forget the creativity, necessary changes, or basic logic to avoid the player’s frustration. At higher difficulty levels, the game’s monsters are more buffalo, without adding new skills. Bosses, which are often seen as end-game content, can keep gamers with the game as well – they don’t have “exclusive” items that are worth the effort to kill. So players should actively avoid bosses instead of rushing into them like what happens in any game not called Anthem.
Plenty of confusion
Anthem’s troublesome Loadout system is probably made to help you realize one thing: beneath its flashy appearance, it’s a game simulating loading. The game loves to load and loads for a long time even after the update promised by BioWare to improve the load time launched on February 22. It makes gamers extremely uncomfortable when each task has 4-5 downloads, and even when you enter and exit a small room, the game must load two times.
A well-known example that gamers love to mock at Anthem’s load time is when it comes to changing weapons. To change from old gun to new gun, gamers will have to face … 4 load times because you have to finish the mission, see the reward about Fort Tarsis, go to Forge equipped with Loadout, and repeat the above process if dissatisfied with their new gun. Meanwhile, it only takes you 5 seconds to do this in Anthem’s opponents like Destiny, Warframe, or The Division. It is impossible to understand why with a looter shooter like Anthem, where the appeal is primarily based on using the new “toys” that gamers pick. BioWare binds gamers into one system. The loadout system is slow and cumbersome to this extent.
And BioWare’s open-world isn’t open. In multiplayer missions, gamers are always tied to the mission area, and the stubborn will be rewarded with a loading screen that pulls you back to “the right way right.” This also happens if you don’t keep up with the party leader, making multiplayer missions always feel like a street race started by a jerk who likes to throw his jaw, revved up at the red light.
Another problem lies in the way that BioWare chose to bring its story to gamers in Anthem. After each story quest, you must return to Fort Tarsis to return inquiries, receive rewards, and chat with NPCs to receive new missions. As mentioned above, the game’s NPCs are too faint. You have to spend a lot of time interacting with them if you don’t want to lose some rewards or secret missions know BioWare intends to bring their familiar story experience into the game. Still, the method they choose is probably not how gamers need in a game like Anthem.
This narrative is even harder to swallow on multiplayer missions. In offline games like Dragon Age or Mass Effect, you can do whatever you want to do during this “pause”, from carefully reading the story, choosing every branch in the dialogue until … stand up, WC. But Anthem is an online game, and this design creates a lot of inconvenience for everyone. The four complete a task in 15 minutes, return to Fort Tarsis and spend half an hour chatting with the NPC (because they are voiced, so you can’t talk to friends). After that, the four of them continued to wait for each other to do odd jobs such as cleaning up the bags, changing the Loadout instead of using this time to enjoy the combat in the Javelin suits.
The game also has bugs. All kinds of bugs from small to large like the sound suddenly disappears. The character is stuck behind invisible walls, disconnected, and lost equipment + experience received, the mission is not activated, forcing the group to do from the beginning. The monsters’ Hitbox is wildly inaccurate, creating an unfair difficulty when entering the Strongholds (dungeons) of the game in Grandmaster difficulty levels. They occur regularly, causing the player’s experience to be torn off and interrupted, contributing to the criticisms that Anthem has to bear. BioWare tried to fix both the loading and the bugs in the February 22 patch, but the game’s status doesn’t seem to have changed so far.
The author rated Anthem as having the potential to become an exciting game. BioWare is not Bethesda, so the author believes that they can fix it and will undoubtedly fix Anthem’s technical errors. But can they resolve issues that lie right in Anthem’s design, such as how the game narrates, the mission structure, and the game’s “loading simulation” system?
I don’t know, but I knew I was too bored with the broken titles on the day of release and made gamers pay for months to wait for the game to be better like Anthem. During that time, how many new titles will be released? During that time, how far will Anthem’s opponent’s Destiny 2, Warframe, The Division 2? And in the meantime, will BioWare still make games?