While at E3 2018 I was at EA Play and one of the showcase titles was Anthem. It wasn’t a hands-on experience, but still was presented as a live demo. It was quite the line to watch the showcase, due to how long the presentation was but with a Diamond VIP band I got to jump ahead which was great. I was even able to enjoy the demo with the team of DICE LA since they happened to be next in line with me. After a moment of waiting we were sat down and given an initial set of opening details. This demo was an extended look of what EA had presented during their conference, and a good indication of how gameplay generally will be.
It was actually better than I had expected since so many were calm in their reception of it, at least from those I talked with during my time at E3. This is very much a similar type of title to Destiny, but the game looks quite different. It’s almost like a third person Titanfall to be honest, with more variants in troops and a larger scope. The level we were shown also seems relatively linear in design, with minor options for exploration. Hopefully there are some large arenas of play in the full version, this is of course just a small look at Anthem being a single mission.
The visuals of Anthem were impressive with lots of depth and layers of verticality. While it came across as linear, there were multiple ways to tackle situations. At times the players were able to zip under water or fly to alternate routes. The water aspect was particularly interesting and hopefully there are some extended water based levels for release. I also found it rather interesting that the suits could be cooled by flying through waterfalls, a nice interactive environmental mechanic. The combat seemed easy going, but that was probably to make it look good as most of these presentations do.
They each had a plethora of weapons and the mechs seemed to complement one another well. Each has their own powers and it’ll be great to see how I interact with my friends upon release as we’ll probably have different choices in suits. There were some elements of destruction, but they seemed more cinematic focused as opposed to being a general thing that would happen in typical situations. The creatures were varied and the bosses came across as menacing, particularly when they dove into the creepy hive. It was a good show of what Anthem could bring to the table and I look forward to seeing the final release in 2019.
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