Thoughts on Anthem

So, after a weekend of playing the new game Anthem from Bioware on my PS4, I have a few thoughts.

I believe that this is Bioware's first forray into an MMORPG and it is apparent. If this is not their first time, I have no idea why they had as many issues as they have had. 

A few observations:

They have in game chat among party members, as most of this type of game does. That chat does not function well in that when a load screen comes up that party chat is disabled. The downside being that during the long load ins you can't discuss anything with your party members as to what you are about to do.  This can be solved by using the PS4 party chat instead, but if you are going to include a feature in a game, it would be good for it to be the best execution of that feature. It's a small thing, but they should really address it.

Bugged instances. Several times over the weekend, I went into "quick play" which matches you up with other players in an instance who need another player for whatever reason. It lets you go do missions with others and be helpful. It's a random thing that I kind of enjoy doing. That being said, I probably tried to do this 10-15 times over the weekend and in 8-10 of them the instance I was spawned into was bugged. What I mean by that is that the thing needed to continue on the instance was not triggered. Several of the instances were ones I had already done so I knew what was supposed to happen next. Scan a person, press a button, whatever. In these instances it told you that the thing needed to happen, but the area to execute the item was not available to execute. All you can do is leave the instance. You litterally have to leave and go through the long load screen, and then do matchmaking again and see if the next instance is working.  One of the times I was doing this, I gave up after 4 different instances would not progress. 

Story and playing with friends. The point of a game like this is to be able to play with your friends. Unfortunately, when it comes to doing that for story purposes, it's not possible. When you enter Fort Tarsis, you are no longer in a party and you must go around to each person, and there are an inordinately large number of them, in order to progress storyline. I know they did this because they have integrated the choices into reputation, but it's really annoying. I would rather go in my group with friends to progress the story. Basically, you're stuck being on your own going all over Fort Tarsis to far reaching places to get new missions, that you friends may or may not grab and you get tidbits of story, some ridiculously non-story relate. The problem with this is, you can't share your contracts/storyline missions with anyone else. So if I'm in a party, and in my javelin, I can't see what missions I have available, only the leader can see theirs. Which is fine, unless I have one I need to complete and want their help. The only way for that to happen is to abandon the party and start a new party where I am the leader. The system does not allow a "promote to leader" option the way a game like Destiny does. If you're not going to give access to all possible missions to the leader, then you need a "promote to leader" option. I would prefer a system more like the Destiny "bounty" system in that when one person has a "contract" in Anthem, it is shared amongst the party. With all the walking, it just seems like there is a lot in Fort Tarsis that is intended to slow you down. Destiny has some of the same issue, but I wasn't as annoyed by it becasue it didn't happen until my main story was completed. In the case of Anthem, this is happening before main story is done. My biggest complaint here is the inability to play with friends for this.

World events. These have been mostly entertaining. The biggest issue I have with them is that I have no way of letting people in the world know I need help. While I know there is no fix for this, I think a helpful thing would be notification of world events in the adjacent sector and knowing that someone else is there. At least the  ability to see the world event on the map would be helpful. Then I could go to them and help others, or they could see one firing off an help me. When you are stuck doing them alone, it can be possible to complete, but another issue is that if your javelin is damaged, there is no one there to repair you and there is no timer that brings you back up. You have to respawn and, unless you happen to remember where the event was, you basically lose that event. A small stupid thing, but it was really annoying when I almost had the event compete and couldn't self repair.

General instability. While they are trying to address instability issues in the game, it never should have been this bad in the main release. I have been kicked for connection issues several times. I have had a server restart notice, which was plenty of time and warning, although annoying that the notification box would not go away and it was a 2 hour countdown. The bugged instances. An actual crash. There just seems to be a QA issue involved.

I know that my main comparison here is a game like Destiny and since that's who they are specifically gunning for, it seems an apt comparison. I know that Bungie has had a few years to hone thier game to make it better, but I would have expected Bioware to use that template as a way to do the right thing.  Bioware has done a few things that are a definite step up from what Bungie did. Having matchmaking in all things is a good choice. I wish they had an in game way to invite players in, rather than the external PS invite, as I don't need a flooded notification area with each time we went back and forth on being leader. There have been 2 patches since launce, the first 5GB one on Friday (launch day patch) and a 10GB patch on Saturday. I'm glad that they seem to be responding to some of the issues fairly quickly, but hope that some of the larger issues can be addressed with as much speed.  

Well, I guess enough complaining for now. 

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.