First impressions from spending a few hours with Anthem
The demo was made available to a select few this weekend.
Anyone who pre-ordered Anthem, or was simply lucky enough to get their hands on the demo access pass, had from Friday evening up to Sunday night (technically Monday morning) to get some early access to one of 2019's most anticipated games.
While we know we shouldn't be reviewing an entire book from the first few pages, it is difficult not to get too excited about how great the rest of Anthem could potentially be based on these first few hours.
First of all, visually, Anthem is astounding, without a doubt one of the best looking games on current-gen systems. We played it on the PS4, so can only imagine how much more impressive it must look on a high-end PC.
Secondly, from a basic gameplay approach, Anthem is A LOT of fun. One of the big reasons why Red Dead Redemption 2 was easier to be impressed by than fall completely in love with is because, well, too often entertainment fell by the wayside in favour of grim reality.
After a year of highlights including Marvel's Spider-Man and a newly rebooted God Of War, it is nice to be reminded that having fun isn't low on some game's producers lists of priorities, and it is clear that the same goes for Anthem.
Kicking off in the hub of Fort Tarsis, which is essentially where you'll be getting your missions, propelling your story, and upgrading your Javelin (aka the robot suit you wear to battle), you're soon out in the open world, either taking on single missions for looting, or taking part in four-member team missions.
Between the extremely cathartic shooting mechanics, matched with the fantastically implemented jet-pack action, it is clear that Anthem has cherry-picked some of the best bits of Destiny, Mass Effect, Warframe, The Division, Diablo, and even a little bit of Vanquish, while also maintaining plenty of originality in how it tackles the missions.
The very first thing we did outside of Fort Tarsis was accidentally wade into a Starship Trooper-esque swarm of killer insects, which seemed easy enough, until the swarm continued to grow... and grow. And grow.
So thankfully the combat systems are as good as they are, and we're already looking forward to some of the bigger group missions which will require some proper teamwork to take down some truly impressive looking targets.
The only downside so far is that there doesn't seem to be much in the way of an actual original plotline - the usual "It is up to YOU to save the planet!" that seems to be rubber-stamped on most sci-fi shooters - but again, as this was just the first few hours, there is a good chance there is a lot more to this than we've been made aware of yet.
Another demo will be open to all players from Friday 1 to Sunday 3 February, before the game is released in full on PS4, Xbox One, and PC from Friday 22 February.
Clip via Anthem Game