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(Anthem) What's It Really Like?

Professor Polyhedral

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I see there is a positive thread. I felt asking this would be disruptive so I'm asking here.

I'm a ps4 player and I'm genuinely curious as the worldbuilding looks great and I do enjoy a good looter shooter, but, understandably (I hope), there does seem to be a lot to be wary about.

Is there much depth? Is the loot broken? Are the loading screens really so onerous? How big is the patch right now?

Thanks
 

Pieta

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Nobody really knows. There's a lot of people with positive experiences who are scratching their heads at how negative all the reviewers are. There are people who've already stopped playing because of how disappointing the whole game is. Are either of them "more right"? I don't know.

There's more loading screens than in seamless games. There's an especially annoying screen when entering and leaving the loadout interface - if they managed to solve that, the experience would be a lot improved. When exiting a mission the game doesn't let you open the mission start interface directly for another mission, instead you have to load into another area - that's another place for potential improvement.
On the other hand, I'm now playing Destiny 2, the game that's supposed to be better with loading times, and there's quite a few long waits there too.

Loot was broken, but should be in much better shape now they've patched some reasonable constraints on random traits to make them always apply to the item they appear on, the javelin the parts is for, etc.

Not sure about the depth. I think, in the grand tradition of online games, there's less content on release than there should be, but more should be on the way.
 

Aliandris

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The just released patch has improved the loot enough that I noticed it quickly. Not sure if I'd say it's completely fixed, because it's still new and I haven't seen much, but what I have seen is much better.

Overall, I'm mostly having fun with it, when I can play. I get disconnected a lot, but I'm not sure how much me living in China contributes to that problem, so I can't with confidence lay it at the feet of Anthem.

If you're a regular gamer, I'd say it's worth jumping into. There's a fair bit to do. I've been riding it hard since it came out (for me) last week, and I just completed the main storyline last night. THere's still some side content to do, and repeatable stuff, but if you're going to dive in hard I might recommend waiting until more content comes out. I'm worried I'm going to run out of stuff fast (which I blame on the game being so fun to play that I don't want to stop, so it's got that going for it).

I wouldn't trust the super negative reviews as far as I could throw them, but likewise if anyone tells you it's perfect they'd be tilted themselves. Overall I'd rank it very well for a freshly released game. I'm having more fun with it than I did with Destiny 2, and I got into that after the Forsaken expansion so they had ample time to refine things. For me, if Anthem is more fun at release than D2 was after an expansion, well.
 

Rocket Propelled Grenade

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So, I love Anthem, but will admit it has flaws. I'm gonna try and break down pros and cons and let you make a call.

Pros:
--An excellent core gameplay loop. Like, really excellent. One of my favorites. The gunplay isn't as good as, say, Destiny, but it's good, and when mixed with the flight and the hovering and the powers and so on, I like it more overall.
--Suit customization is amazing. You can do not just a wide range of color customization (six choices per suit, with a full RGB color wheel if you want, or a wide preset pallet if you aren't feeling that much time spent), but also customize the materials different areas of your suit is made out of, and add a variable wear state to your suit as a whole. There's also vinyls you can apply that add pre-built graphics overlaid on portions of your suit.
--Interesting characters, with some really appealing side vignettes involving those various characters in the story hub. Even with a limited number of dialogue choices, I really had some nailbiter decisions, and became very engaged in my choices.
--A beautiful world. I'm running graphics on medium, and am still blown away with how good everything looks. I don't know what the PS4 settings are like, but I suspect you'll be pleased.
--Reasonable post-purchase monetization. There is a cash shop, but you can buy everything in it with a currency earnable in-game, and prices are reasonable.
--The dev team is communicating frequently and transparently, and working really hard to iterate on feedback. They've already put in some changes based on community requests, one big one from the feedback leading into launch, and some major loot improvements last night also based on community feedback.

Cons
--Loading screens are too common--not as bad as people make them out to be, though, just mildly annoying. However, this is compounded by some stability issues, which are another con. Can definitely get frustrating.
--Enemy variety is currently a little limited. It's better at the lower end, with a lot of different weak and mid-range enemies, but the high-tier badass enemies that serve as mission capstones could use another option per faction, in my opinion. Speaking of factions, the Scars (alien bug dudes) are way more common than the other factions in endgame, which gets samey at times. I anticipate this changing, based both on dev statements and story spoilers.
--There's a fair number of bugs, which range in how serious they are, but are all annoying. Things have already improved for me since I started in that regard, but there's some that still crop up. The worst I've experienced is probably that queuing into in-progress missions tends to filter you towards broken missions where people have left due to a bug blocking progress, and then you have to leave too. This is especially annoying because it sends you through extra loading screens, as mentioned above.
--The main story is BioWare's standard quality--which is to say decent, but relies more on the characters than the plot.
--This last one may or may not be a con to you, but if you're familiar with other Bioware games, expect a lot more limited choice in terms of who your character is and how they react to stuff. There's definitely a default personality, just with some wiggle room.
 

Malidar

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I have had only one issue so far. I am a premiere peep so have been playing for a week prior to release. Just one issue right after it went wide, couldn't get into a mission kept popping me out.

I don't mind the load screens, been computer gaming since the 80s. Ain't nothing but a thing to me.
 

Nightward

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Anthem is... a study in extremes, really.

POSITIVES:
+Flying around is absolutely awesome.
+The soundtrack can be really evocative, especially Legion of Dawn.
+Setting up and triggering combos is very satisfying.
+The worldbuilding implies some very interesting things.

NEGATIVES
-I'm sorry, did you like flying? You're now overheated. Walk around like the high-tech pedestrian you are.
-SO MANY LOADING SCREENS. SO MANY.
-ALSO THE LOADING TIMES ARE REALLY FUCKING LONG (Angry Joe showed one mission his group went on, and there was one minute more spent on load screens for the mission than actually playing it. On a beefy SSD computer).
-You have to suffer load screens in missions, often in sight of your squad, because you are beyond an arbitrary boundary. Yet despite this there is no way to warp to squad members in Free Play mode, where this would be useful.
-Oh yeah, I missed like 90% of a story mission, including cutscenes, because I was stuck in loading screen after loading screen because every time I loaded in my squad was past the mission boundary.
-Guns are pathetic. All your real damage comes from combos, shooting enemies is a thing you have to do to break their shields and render them vulnerable, not a real gameplay alternative.
-The Javelins all feel kind of samey; yes, there;s the tough one and the fragile one, but none of this actually matters since you only pop your head out to trigger or detonate combos.
-You know those things called Striders, implying tht they will, you know, stride? And move? They don't. Except in cutscenes, despite the game trailers showing otherwise.
-Missions get really samey after a while.
-The main storyline can be dispensed with in 20 hours or so tops, and all that comes after are grind challenges. Except the ones you have to do point you away from the content worth doing, at that point, because???
-It feels very much like a third of a full game was released. The stuff that was roadmapped, aside from maybe Cataclysms, needed to be there on day one.
-The gear grind is nuts, and the only way to be able to craft better gear is to master it. And that takes absolutely forever.
-Although we get told all this stuff about Tarsis and the Legion of Dawn, literally none of it is ever actually explained. Because reasons.
-Likewise, the Shaper stuff is just generically mysterious. It can do anything, and we even get to see that in the game with one quest. But only one. They talk about it reversing gravity, warping the flow of time, teleporting people, remaking reality... all things that could have been great for the main plot, like the PC using a Relic to go back and prevent the fall of Freemark, and living on from there in the shadows, the ghost to their younger counterpart, with no-one else knowing what they did. But nope.
-The final battle has a sequence where you get pretty heavily deprotagonised.

Ultimately... I would say wait a few months and see then. In the mean time, Warframe is a free game that will scratch the same itches.
 
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Professor Polyhedral

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Ultimately... I would say wait a few months and see then. In the mean time, Warframe is a free game that will scratch the same itches.
I've tried Warframe and found it thoroughly confusing. I didn't like the enemies either, they weren't fun or interesting and just made weird noises. It also seemed like a huge grind; you seemed to be stuck with the strting frame and to access others you had to grind like an absolute beast. I struggled with it
 

Nightward

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To be fair, Warframe is not very friendly with instruction on how to play it at first, to the point that you probably need to spend an hour digesting Wiki entries or have a long-term player help you to figure it out. Once you do, it becomes a lot easier. That being said, VGO does have a Clan for PS4 and someone will be able to assist.

I can add another downside; the "3.05 gig patch" is requiring a full re-download of the game to complete for some inane reason for me, an issue a number of other users are reporting. I have had to re-start the download four times now; I'm instead going to delete the game and do a fresh install, after defragging my hard drive to try and bring the load times down, even a little.
 

Nightward

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No, Anthem.

It keeps hanging at the 80% completion mark, after having downloaded about 36 gigs. Three times so far. I've given up on "patching" it since a fresh install will include a native update.
 
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