Anthem is a potential game, but those potentials are filled with numerous problems in how to design and build 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 wonderful scenes and an extremely fascinating story. BioWare’s Anthem seems to be the game with all of this and more, because it was created by the hand of BioWare, 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 all over the world expect that BioWare will fulfill its promises and bring us a great 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 comments from gamers.
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.
The Planet Bastion, meanwhile, 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 really 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 the perspective of a faint protagonist and bored NPCs. They can not be compared with the 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” webgames on the market, only lacking the large yellow exclamation mark floating above their heads.
To create an online game “live service” that EA expected, BioWare has changed the way the game is made, and gamers have to pay. We no longer see decisions to change the plot of the game, no options for playing ourselves in the virtual world, and it is even more impossible to feel intense affection for the NPCs, because the NPC in Anthem is just an empty shell of what has been called the “miracle of BioWare” in the past.
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 really 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 mission from, for whatever purpose, at the end of the story of the game, you will realize that you still hang around in some areas, some caves for many hours. In fact, you will easily recognize the duplication of Anthem after only the first few hours because the game’s tasks have no room for creativity. You fly out of Fort Tarsis, land on a certain land, shoot down a few monsters, defend an area or search for a idyllic item and bring it back. Nearly every task in the game applies this formula exactly, except for the number of iterations in the formula.
The savior of the duplicate missions is the teamfight. If gamers suffer “brain shutdown” and do not think about the whole and only focus on what they are doing, Anthem has a very attractive combat system. The four Javelin that gamers can choose are different weapons that allow players to constantly experiment with a variety of weapons and equipment, giving the player the feeling like a powerful warrior. real. 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 exactly the same and are very monotonous, the teamfight in Anthem is good enough to become the reason to hold you back with the game.
The guns available in the game, despite their repeated appearance, bullshit and useless stats like “+ 1% of pistol damage,” but they are an interesting tool to give gamers The amount of damage splashing on enemies. The epic combo system helps players get small 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, helping to create 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 very smooth and convenient flight mechanism that helps gamers easily enjoy the beautiful world they have created. It helps you explore high mountains, fly under rocky arches, glide through meadows and weave among the dense canopy of the swamp, creating an unexpected, “rare, hard-to-find” poem in An online game.
But Anthem also proved a bit too dependent on the team for his team to forget the creativity, necessary changes or basic logic to avoid the frustration of the player. At higher difficulty levels, the monsters in the game are simply 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. 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 2 times.
A well-known example that gamers love to mock at Anthem’s load time is when it comes to changing weapons. To be able 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 his 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 largely based on the ability to use 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 really 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 leader of the party, 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 quests, receive rewards and chat with NPCs to receive new missions. As mentioned above, the game’s NPCs are too faint, but you have to spend a lot of time interacting with them if you don’t want to lose some rewards or hidden missions. know BioWare wants to bring their familiar story experience into the game, but the method they choose is probably not the way 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 very inaccurate, creating an unfair difficulty when you enter the Strongholds (dungeons) of the game in Grandmaster difficulty levels. They occur on a regular basis, 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 interesting game. BioWare is not Bethesda, so the author believes that they can fix it, and will certainly fix Anthem’s technical errors. But can they fix 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 opponents Destiny 2, Warframe, The Division 2 ? And in the meantime, will BioWare still make games?