Review of the anthem: a good first impression and not much else

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Anthem is a striking example of how familiarity breeds contempt. This is without a doubt one of the best first impressions I have ever seen. It looks stunning as you dive for the first time in Heart of Rage, the wind lifting sand and ashes, the heat sweeping the rivers of lava. And that feeling of fear continues for the first hour or two. I mean, come on, you can steal. His unbelievable. You are the Iron Man hijacker, who rushes into a lush jungle populated by ruined temples and wild animals.

then Anthem lack of things to show you, and everything falls apart.

Everything has fallen apart

Here is an anecdote that summarizes AnthemProblems. I will try to keep it in the spotlight, but … well, to be honest, I do not really know why, because there is not much to spoil. More on that later. It does not matter, if you are worried, stop reading.

Anthem IDG / Hayden Dingman

Anyway, I finished a series of very busy missions and I finally reached a point where it seemed to me that the story was thoroughly. We had found the site of an old grave, the resting place of a lost general, allowing us to better understand our current situation. This place had apparently been lost in time, a ruin hidden deep in the jungle. We feel like an important moment in Anthem, one of the few. It's the pinnacle of everything you've done so far.

I arrived at the tomb. I opened it. I went inside. I prepared myself for wonder.

And you know what I found? Giant scorpions, the same charged enemy that I fought for more than 12 hours at that time. They had "a nest" in this long-lost tomb. Alongside my crew of unknown partners, I retreated to these giant scorpions until they died, and then I started working in the grave.

It's hard to explain the feeling of disappointment without these 12 hours of context, but let me put it this way: it's like we've reached a climax. Skyrim or Dragon Age or another fantasy RPG discovering that the tomb of the emperor, long lost, was peopled clichés clichés, giant rats. As, that's all?

Anthem IDG / Hayden Dingman

And that's the fundamental question with Anthem: It never changes. What you will see in 20 hours is the same as when you start the game: same abilities, same weapons, even derisory handle of enemy types, same missions, same thing.

I will not deny Anthem makes a good first impression. I can not deny it, actually. Right out of the gate, the mobility is fantastic. Flying with a mouse and keyboard is a bit of a habit, but very quickly, I flew over the battlefield, sending huge fire and lightning payloads to enemies, then flying around a few pillars to avoid incoming fire, then return to hover. eliminate some other enemies with my sniper rifle, go to the ground to give a final melee, and so on.

Weapons do not feel as good as Destiny, but abilities certainly do, and the first two hours are an exciting time. After each mission, I returned to the base and exchanged new skills on my mage-mech, the well-appointed storm javelin – first a love at first sight, then a series of fiery blasts, and then again. huge pieces of ice, then an orb of fire chasing the enemies. around the battlefield. It's very flashy and fun to try new combinations.

Anthem IDG / Hayden Dingman

Once again, the trap: it never changes. In two or three hours, you will probably have won one of each capacity. You will continue to upgrade and get more "powerful" versions of these same attacks, but since the enemies adapt to your level, the damage number never increases in a really significant way. The impressive Lightning Strike ability you get at level 3 is actually the same as you'll see at level 20.

And as I said, familiarity breeds scorn. The first time you invoke lightning on your enemies? Unbelievable. Like anything else, however, it is likely to get diminishing returns and, at the end of the game, it is difficult to get the excitement of reviewing the same animation.

The same goes for guns. There may be two dozen in the game, divided into a few sub-categories: assault rifles, sniper rifles, shotguns, and so on. You'll see them all in the first two hours, then you'll just have to choose the top-level version of the ones you love forever.

Anthem IDG / Hayden Dingman

There are advantages over your equipment. These are apparently what distinguishes a level 21 weapon from a level 2 weapon, tags that add slightly more assault rifle damage or more shields or whatever. In practice, however, they are not very significant – or at least they are not so long as you do not have access to Masterwork weapons, which have interesting effects such as "Instant Recharge Shields When You Empty the Magazine" ". Unfortunately, the game does not dribble Masterwork. Weapons en route, this keeps them for the end of the game, once you finish the story and run the three missions "Stronghold" again and again. So the vast majority of your time with Anthem in the current state of things, we use the same handful of weapons, the same handful of capabilities and this quickly becomes a chore.

It's a loot game without interesting loot.

Likewise, missions fall into a few categories with infinite repetition. Sometimes you go to a place and kill everything. Sometimes you go to one place and kill while standing in a small green circle, waiting for the timer to fill up. Sometimes you kill while looking for a handful of objects and bringing them back to a central area, either a magic door or sometimes an old machinery called the shaper's relic.

Anthem IDG / Hayden Dingman

That's about all that, really. And you know what? It does not matter. Anthem is a shooting game, and that does not mask this fact. destiny, The division, Warframe, Far cry, they all boil down to the same limited number of shares, In the infinite. But for some reason Anthem feels more repetitive and more artificial.

Maybe it's a problem of history. It's hard not to point in that direction, because nothing in Anthem Questions. When we watched the game last month, I typed a few lines of Anthem It is an example of the exhaustion of the construction of the world, an absurd sci-fi jargon that escapes the face of every character, and complete publication does not solve the problem. It's all "the hymn of creation" and the "Legion of Dawn" and "If you do not do it. believe that your javelin is working, then it will not work anymore. "No, seriously, it's a real plot in Anthem, although one is mentioned in a single-sided conversation and then never reassembled.

Listen, I've gone through more than 20 hours of Anthem and I still can not tell you what is the title of "the hymn of creation". I have an idea: it's a kind of creative force of the world that goes wrong. But why did it go wrong? Who built it, if someone? Why would they leave it behind? Is it a machine, an energy tank or just a metaphor? I do not know.

Anthem IDG / Hayden Dingman

Likewise, Shaper Relics are supposed to be this incredibly dangerous anomaly that we have to deal with as freelancers. Conversations indicate that they can play with space-time, or as … topple a person, level a city, etc. Nobody really knows! It is a field device with infinite possibilities!

Anthem wasted. Shaper Relics not only appear pretty much every other mission (making them not enough as threatening as you think), but the only ones we see spawn the same annoying enemies that you've faced a million times. That's all. Sometimes they are wolves. Sometimes his scorpions. It does not really matter. Oh, there's a great relic of Shaper, The Manifold, that does some interesting things that I'm not going to ruin in a cutscene, but only in a cutscene. The actual climax of this particular story comes and goes between two generic missions and is never mentioned again.

And these are the things that I can really explain. Lost in time? The rest of the plot. No seriously, I can not tell you what Anthem is about. There are long and cinematic scenes of expensive scenes that are full of legends that never seem to be used again. There is an end of the world event, the Heart of Rage, which does not end the world. Someone then decides to take control of Heart of Rage, but this has never been explained. Why they want to do that or what they could benefit from it, and it does not even do a good job of explaining why you need to stop it.

Anthem IDG / Hayden Dingman

This review is so long and I have not even talked about the infamous quest "Four Tombs", which requires you to do a lot of activities halfway through half of your story.

He continues to try, however. I will say this: BioWare has certainly written a lot of history for Anthem. The problem is that there is nothing very interesting. Fort Tarsis is the main hub of history, and the game invites you after each mission to hold endless conversations with a group of weird characters who do not really seem to have a clue about human behavior. They constantly donate their most personal secrets to the first person who walks around, in a totally unnatural and disconcerting way, even with respect to video game standards, or the digging of your past.

"You were always in trouble," said your friend Owen. "Is that what made you want to become a freelancer, is not it?" Nobody talks like that! Or at least not unless it's a therapist, a first appointment, or maybe drunk at 4 in the morning and that line is delivered right after a few "I t & # 39; love, dude "slaps on the back.

A few seconds after his meeting, an old man tells you how he left six others to die in a collapsed mine to save his life. Still you just met him, and he volunteers this information. And that does not help that all experience feels a strange valley, with characters that are technically stunning but over-emotional like the ghost of the The Polar Express.

Anthem IDG / Hayden Dingman

I did not even ask about when you let those people die, old boy! You did not have to tell me!

It's not a traditional BioWare RPG, and it never seemed to be. But I do not even think that the story is very interesting from the shooters' point of view. It starts a little clumsy, then grope in the middle, then disappears in the end. I will not spoil the final of this bow or anything, but to give you an idea: once you're done AnthemFrom the campaign, he begins the next scenario (his release is scheduled for March) by presenting "Grandmaster Adams", apparently the head of the entire freelance organization – a character literally never mentioned in the previous 20 hours.

This is the kind of writing we are dealing with here. It is apparently your chief! He's leading the group you've supposedly spent the last 20 hours rebuilding from scratch! And he did not even consider the story until afterwards. I honestly thought AnthemThe story up until that time was supposed to introduce me as the leader of the newly resurrected freelancers, but uh, apparently not.

Bottom line

And now, the catch-all warning: Anthem is a game in progress. As Destiny 2, as The divisionlike even Rainbow Six Siege, EA can exploit this base, solve the problems I've found here, add new loot, new enemies and new types of missions to change the game significantly. Next February, we may be saying, "Wow! Anthem is fantastic now. "It came with The division. This happened with destiny. It could happen again.

All I can do is review the game that I have given, and the game that I have given is mediocre. Functional? Sure. Tape at the eye? Absolutely. But it's a puddle disguised as a lake, a universe with so much potential that it's practically useless. To make matters worse, I do not think the main loop is interesting enough for me to keep playing. The toughest enemies at the end of the game are so spongy and the shot is not as tight or as punchy as destiny, a game that made me play well beyond the moment when I had exhausted his story as appalling. I'm not just having a good time with AnthemI do not feel that there is anything left to discover, apart from some of the vaguely interesting effects of Masterwork.

It will take a complete overhaul of this loop to make me dive into Anthem again. I hope BioWare can do it – again, other games have done more with less – but we'll see.

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