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Quick Look: Anthem: First Impressions

We slide into our javelin suits and fly around a bit of the early parts of Anthem!

Sit back and enjoy as the Giant Bomb team takes an unedited look at the latest video games.

Feb. 15 2019

Cast: Jeff, Brad

Posted by: Jan

In This Episode:

Anthem

157 Comments

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Phantomvirus

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I'm actually looking forward to playing this.

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Kain55

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Having played a bit more of this I am starting to come around on it. Starting with the Ranger is the worst possible choice though as it is unbelievably boring to play. I'm really surprised that Bioware decided that in the beta and to start this the first thing you would play would be the class that is so dull. Storm has been a lot more fun so far. The guns all feel pretty boring and uninteresting so far, so Storm having some fun abilities to mess around with definitely makes the game more enjoyable. I hope I continue to enjoy it as I get deeper.

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hassun

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I really want solid characters from Bioware.

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doncabesa

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My 10 hour trial will start on Wednesday so I can do 5 hours each night right into Friday's full release, so hyped as I loved the beta.

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doncabesa

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Jesus, jeff sounds like he's at a funeral throughout this. I'm guessing his opinion on the game hasn't been improved so far but honestly I never expected him to enjoy it. He likes shooters and this is not a game focused on the shooting.

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@kain55: I've not had a chance to play it yet, but that was the impression i got as well from the demo. I was legit falling asleep playing the Ranger, and then I unlocked the Storm and the game changed completely.

I'm really hoping this turns out well, from playing the demo i think it plays well enough. But I think a lot of it will rest on how well the story grabs me.

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Edited By steveurkel

So I just bought the $15 origin premiere so I can play this 7 days early. There are worse things to spend $15 on, it just sucks that I will be forced to spend $79.99 if I want to keep the stuff that came with the version I can currently play.

From what I understand if you buy the "Standard edition" after the origin premiere runs out, you will lose the bonuses from Legion of Dawn (well you never really had them, since Origin Access is a lease program, not a buy program).

So $100 to play this game early. Seems about right in 2019!

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Edited By steveurkel

So I just bought the $15 origin premiere so I can play this 7 days early. There are worse things to spend $15 on, it just sucks that I will be forced to spend $79.99 if I want to keep the stuff that came with the version I can currently play.

From what I understand if you buy the "Standard edition" after the origin premiere runs out, you will lose the bonuses from Legion of Dawn (well you never really had them, since Origin Access is a lease program, not a buy program).

So $100 to play this game early. Seems about right in 2019!

I mean, there's probably a version of this game that costs $80+ on its own anyway, so a year of Premier is actually really good value when you consider you get all games in the vault and the best version of all EA games coming out in the next year. You even get free Apex Legends paid currency and a discount in the store. Plus, they actually have a fair few non-EA games in the vault like Cities Skylines, Darksiders 3 and They Are Billions.

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fjor

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how did they get from baldur's gate to this?

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Spindini

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I don't know but it seems Jeff really doesn't want to like this game.

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steveurkel

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@bollard said:

I mean, there's probably a version of this game that costs $80+ on its own anyway, so a year of Premier is actually really good value when you consider you get all games in the vault and the best version of all EA games coming out in the next year. You even get free Apex Legends paid currency and a discount in the store. Plus, they actually have a fair few non-EA games in the vault like Cities Skylines, Darksiders 3 and They Are Billions.

I actually think services like Origin Premiere are really good for the price considering that some of these games you can sink hundreds of hours into alone PLUS the fact you get the Sims 4 and ALL the DLC is a $400+ value so there probably isn't a better way for more people to play games with massive amounts of DLC than through the service. I didn't know how many games you would actually get from subscribing and the quality of them so it is very impressive. I already own the 2 best games on Origin though - Crusader: No Remorse, and Syndicate. The fact that there is NO way to play Anthem early other than using Premiere is just a bummer when I know there are lots out there who really don't want to spend an extra $15-$100 (for a year if they go that route) and then be forced into buying a game if they don't want the service, but want the game. I'm excluded because I've already got the Origin Premiere just to play early and will be buying the game before it comes out to make sure I don't lose out on the preorder bonuses.

I also see I get a 10% discount on buying Anthem Legion of Dawn, so if I like the "custom armor packs" I can spend the extra $20, otherwise yeah I guess getting the standard edition + origin access is same as getting the more expensive version but just getting the option to play earlier. I just got the issue of knowing for me The Division 2 (I can't stop thinking of how much fun the shooting was in that game) will probably succeed Anthem in terms of fun games to play although owning both and not requiring a subscription to a monthly service is a damn good reason to buy these two games.

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Edited By boboblaw
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Edited By peteycoco

The writing in these games always seem to vary between snarky back-and-forths to the driest lore dumps where every second word is a proper noun. When did this style of writing become the standard in science fiction?

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Dracomaster01

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god, I just can't get over how much this looks like Destiny. That cutscene with the Monitor dude just looks like it came out of Destiny. lame.

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TheRealTurk

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Wow. The writing and voice acting here seem legitimately terrible? Brad and Jeff mentioned Robocop "but bad," but I immediately thought of an E3 presentation. It sounds like that fake "spontaneous" banter you get when a bunch of employees come out on stage to play a mission.

Everything about this game seems like such a bummer. Not necessarily badly made, just . . . bad.

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steveurkel

@bollard said:

I mean, there's probably a version of this game that costs $80+ on its own anyway, so a year of Premier is actually really good value when you consider you get all games in the vault and the best version of all EA games coming out in the next year. You even get free Apex Legends paid currency and a discount in the store. Plus, they actually have a fair few non-EA games in the vault like Cities Skylines, Darksiders 3 and They Are Billions.

I actually think services like Origin Premiere are really good for the price considering that some of these games you can sink hundreds of hours into alone PLUS the fact you get the Sims 4 and ALL the DLC is a $400+ value so there probably isn't a better way for more people to play games with massive amounts of DLC than through the service. I didn't know how many games you would actually get from subscribing and the quality of them so it is very impressive. I already own the 2 best games on Origin though - Crusader: No Remorse, and Syndicate. The fact that there is NO way to play Anthem early other than using Premiere is just a bummer when I know there are lots out there who really don't want to spend an extra $15-$100 (for a year if they go that route) and then be forced into buying a game if they don't want the service, but want the game. I'm excluded because I've already got the Origin Premiere just to play early and will be buying the game before it comes out to make sure I don't lose out on the preorder bonuses.

I also see I get a 10% discount on buying Anthem Legion of Dawn, so if I like the "custom armor packs" I can spend the extra $20, otherwise yeah I guess getting the standard edition + origin access is same as getting the more expensive version but just getting the option to play earlier. I just got the issue of knowing for me The Division 2 (I can't stop thinking of how much fun the shooting was in that game) will probably succeed Anthem in terms of fun games to play although owning both and not requiring a subscription to a monthly service is a damn good reason to buy these two games.

Yeah it is kinda crazy that no matter what version of the game you buy, Premier gets you earlier access that you can't get any other way. I too think I ultimately will enjoy The Division 2 much more - I just happen to have Premier already from Fifa/Battlefield so I'm happy to try this while I can. To be honest, from the couple hours I played this evening my opinion has improved drastically since the demo where I thought I wouldn't like it at all.

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This seems like a bad video game.

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Edited By moonwalksa

Does it seem like there's a ton of extra motion blur when he turns the camera or am i just tripping out on this?

I normally have 0 problems watching videos of FPS play, but just seeing Jeff slowly walking around this little town area is making me feel on the verge of a headache. Every time the camera isn't holding steady the screen becomes totally unreadable, and even when he makes slight adjustments it's disorienting...

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@fjor: If you have a broom for years and only had the head replaced twice and the handle once, is it still the same broom?

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The curse of Spring. Antham, Crackdown, Far Cry, Metro - not a certified hit among them.

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mycoolhistory

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@moonwalksa: There is heavy use of blur in the game. Has to be turned off via menu options.

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alternate Online •

The curse of Spring. Antham, Crackdown, Far Cry, Metro - not a certified hit among them.

There's a bagillion more coming so hopefully something will strike gold.

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Cr0ssbow

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Can someone explain what happened to them when they are put in a group on a mission Jeff already did? I've seen this happen to streamers as well. Is there a toggle? Is it a bug?

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The Dominion, you say

No Caption Provided

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It sure seems like they didn't speed up the movement speed in the quest area (whatever you call it).

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NumericDyslexic

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This game potentially seems interesting but is it just me, or does the "story" area seem really lifeless? Not just empty but really quite. There seems to be no sound coming from anywhere other than who ever you are talking to. Feels really off.

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Edited By ice_queen

listening to jeff talking with dj screw on in the background on my end feels right

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I think my takeaway is that, if nothing else, this game is going to be extremely divisive. Some people think it's awesome, and others think it's dull as hell. I for one am looking forward to trying it, and I hope it does well commercially, because I love old Bioware and they need a win after Andromeda.

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@fargofallout There is a patch on the 22nd that has a lot of changes. Speed in Tarsis is one of the changes.

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Quick Look: A Quicker Look

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Edited By Ares42

@cr0ssbow said:

Cr0ssbow

Can someone explain what happened to them when they are put in a group on a mission Jeff already did? I've seen this happen to streamers as well. Is there a toggle? Is it a bug?

It's hard to tell exactly what happened, but you can see it not being selected at 3:16, compared to 6:38. My guess is that it's related to Jeffs fiddling with the cursor (not hitting the target when pushing the button), or he just pushed the wrong button.

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Edited By SHHADOWW

I don't know I always got the impression that Jeff was going to go into this game not liking it no matter what the outcome on the finished game was going to be. That being said I have not played the finished game my self but I did play the open demo a lot and liked it for what was there. (not so much the closed demo because that was just a bad experience). I my self am looking forward to this game.

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I hope people aren't too dissuaded from giving this a try by how lukewarm Jeff is on it. The game is far from perfect, but it has a lot of potential and I think they can get there. They've already made a lot of changes and additions based on the "demo" feedback and the launch build is way more stable than the demo, which I honestly think was a mistake and it's too bad the state of it will have soured people's opinions of it. Destiny 2 and The Division 2 certainly are and will be bigger games for the time being, because they've already had the opportunity to learn their lessons. They were both fairly barren when starting out. If anything, it's worth spending $15 on a month of Origin/EA Access Premier to try it out.

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Plauuntzz?

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The reason he went into a previous mission in progress was because he selected freeplay and not just doing the mission normally. Freeplay puts you into a random mission in progress with another group for increased rewards, its tutorialized poorly (like a lot of things in this game).

Primer abilities have little circles with a dot in the middle next to their names. Detonator abilities have a little explosion indicator next to their names.

Each javelin has one combo type that can't be switched, the combo is on the detonators use, not the primer. So other people can prime enemies and then you detonate them for your combo type.

The combo types:

The Ranger does a large single target damage spike.

The colossus does a big aoe explosion

The Interceptor gets a damage aura of the primer used, which adds that primer to their attacks

The storm spreads the status effects in an aoe.

If anyone else has any questions i can answer them. I played roughly 8 hours today and 15 of the demo.

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@bollard said:

Bollard

I mean, there's probably a version of this game that costs $80+ on its own anyway, so a year of Premier is actually really good value when you consider you get all games in the vault and the best version of all EA games coming out in the next year. You even get free Apex Legends paid currency and a discount in the store. Plus, they actually have a fair few non-EA games in the vault like Cities Skylines, Darksiders 3 and They Are Billions.

But once you are hooked, you can't get out without losing large parts of your library.


Gaming has by now completely morphed into this super weird thing, Apex ain't helping with its focus on loot boxes for any meaningful progression, but getting a pass for being so darn good and coming from Respawn.

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The general impression I'm getting from this game so far is not unlike watching a big budget hollywood movie where the director got sacked halfway through and the studio tried to reshape the movie in the editing room. The movement feels like the only part of the game that started with an idea in the beginning and then delivered on it. Everything else feels muddled and confusing, from the lack of story exposition and world building, confusing UI design choices, strangely uninteresting loot/gear, etc. Most aspects of the game look expensively produced, but they feel like a studio's first crack at a new genre that it's not at all confident about.

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I think it's stupid people get to play this a full week early, and I'm even one of them, with an Origin Premier membership on PC. Whatever is going on with xbox is even stupidier, 10 hours to play a game a week before launch? What if you actually like it? lol. Seems like something that will turn people away more than bring them in.

Also, this game is TOUGH to get a running at a steady 4k60fps on my RTX 2080ti. Have done a ton of tweaking. I'm guessing it's just 30fps on consoles.

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This seems like it'll be one of those games that could either be a slow burn to something fruitful (like a vanilla Destiny or The Division), or fizzle out instead depending on staying power or how EA handles it.

It'll be interesting to see when it's been out for a couple of months (or weeks?) and see if an audience sticks, and how it stands after that.

I had mixed feeling on the demo but ultimately came away with negative feeling towards it, the tepidness of these first impressions are much closer to how I felt than how it was lauded back at E3.

I do hope for the inevitable QL they'll have a couple of different suits to show to see more what they think of the whole range. I only unlocked Genji in the demo and while it was better than Master Chief idk if I would want a whole game of that if the story is also mediocre.

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This is some Andromeda ass voice acting and writing.

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I mean this in the nicest way possible, but everything I've seen and played in regards to this game screams soulless boardroom "we need one of them live social games!" games. It's painfully mediocre.

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@ivdamke said:

IVDAMKE Online •

This is some Andromeda ass voice acting and writing.

Sums it all up. There is absolutely zero soul. Just a bunch of sci fi terms being tossed around with ZERO intrigue for the player. I keep wanting to skip the dialogue as fast as possible, so I can at least move my character around while I was dying to hear convos in ME and KOTOR, and let's not even mention how good the Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 writing was back in the day.

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This looks okay. It looks like a Destiny ...sorta clone..and if anyone hasn’t played Destiny or wants more of that style this looks like a fine alternative. It needs work certainly but surely that will come over time. It seems like BioWare can’t catch a break these days and I don’t want to sound biased but it seems like some are caught up on focusing on the the shortcomings (or EAs clumsiness) than is it a basically competent game a newcomer or general person could enjoy.

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They forgot to select the Incursion mission when they had the map open, but the game still let them start a mission anyway, with zero warning that they didn't have an active mission selected. That seems like terrible design.

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@heelbill said:

HeelBill

@ivdamke said:

IVDAMKE Online •

This is some Andromeda ass voice acting and writing.

Sums it all up. There is absolutely zero soul.

yeah- i really have to agree. all the coverage i've seen of this thing has left me with the impression that this is a soulless game- which really is distressing coming from a company that was known for it's ability to write characters.

i never expected anthem to be a story-driven rpg- but i certainly hoped it would have an identity. not getting that from anything i'm seeing.

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@bollard said:

Bollard

@steveurkel said:

steveurkel

@bollard said:

I mean, there's probably a version of this game that costs $80+ on its own anyway, so a year of Premier is actually really good value when you consider you get all games in the vault and the best version of all EA games coming out in the next year. You even get free Apex Legends paid currency and a discount in the store. Plus, they actually have a fair few non-EA games in the vault like Cities Skylines, Darksiders 3 and They Are Billions.

I actually think services like Origin Premiere are really good for the price considering that some of these games you can sink hundreds of hours into alone PLUS the fact you get the Sims 4 and ALL the DLC is a $400+ value so there probably isn't a better way for more people to play games with massive amounts of DLC than through the service. I didn't know how many games you would actually get from subscribing and the quality of them so it is very impressive. I already own the 2 best games on Origin though - Crusader: No Remorse, and Syndicate. The fact that there is NO way to play Anthem early other than using Premiere is just a bummer when I know there are lots out there who really don't want to spend an extra $15-$100 (for a year if they go that route) and then be forced into buying a game if they don't want the service, but want the game. I'm excluded because I've already got the Origin Premiere just to play early and will be buying the game before it comes out to make sure I don't lose out on the preorder bonuses.

I also see I get a 10% discount on buying Anthem Legion of Dawn, so if I like the "custom armor packs" I can spend the extra $20, otherwise yeah I guess getting the standard edition + origin access is same as getting the more expensive version but just getting the option to play earlier. I just got the issue of knowing for me The Division 2 (I can't stop thinking of how much fun the shooting was in that game) will probably succeed Anthem in terms of fun games to play although owning both and not requiring a subscription to a monthly service is a damn good reason to buy these two games.

Yeah it is kinda crazy that no matter what version of the game you buy, Premier gets you earlier access that you can't get any other way. I too think I ultimately will enjoy The Division 2 much more - I just happen to have Premier already from Fifa/Battlefield so I'm happy to try this while I can. To be honest, from the couple hours I played this evening my opinion has improved drastically since the demo where I thought I wouldn't like it at all.

I mean you can have the $5 a month version of Origin Access right now that gives you a 10 hour trial, but is Premier like Game Pass in that you get the entire game as long as you stay a Premier subscriber? If so Premier for $100 a year actually seems like a great deal.