icon Author: Emily_Noire
Anthem VIP Demo Impressions
So I got to spend some time with the Anthem VIP Demo, which was available for the past few days and came out pretty mixed on it. First off, I should mention a big note: I was one of the users that continually had the Infinite Loading Screen Error and thus didn't experience everything it had to offer - this is mainly an impression of what is readily available as well as the combat system and movement. 

So right from the get go I have to say, the game looks downright beautiful. The Hub world has a lot of shine to it, which looked a little off but still looked very pretty and well done if not a bit generic looking and the first few stages available in the Demo looked great, colorful and lush. The Javelins' designs looked pretty great too, with the customization option featuring lots of neat Material and coloring schemes to make your Javelin truly your own. The game also bolsters quite a lot of very fancy Post Processing effects both for you and your enemies and very plentiful and impactful explosions for a lot of moves.

The combat is good, yet a touch generic. You have a good variety of different weapons that you earn from completing missions and looks like you can get better ones as you complete more Story missions, Side missions and generally complete more objectives within these missions as you level. Your javelin has 3 Cooldown based abilities that you have complete freedom to change and alter as you level up, like you can have a grenade, a homing missile, deployable barriers for defensive use or even deployable barriers that enhance your damage as well as an Ultimate - the cooldown based abilities here reminded me a bit of Destiny's and a touch of Overwatch in a way - good but something we've seen before in other games. The average part I think is the game's gunplay. It works, it feels serviceable, but feels like it lacks Impact and overall feels very ho-hum and samey, maybe the final build of the game will have added more weapons that feel like they have some impact, but from what I found, a lot of early weapons here were lacking hard, and it was often better to just rely on your Cooldowns more. Guns also require Ammo which can be replenished with enemy kill drops as well as health.

Missions are structured around objectives that you can complete either by yourself or with up to 3 other players assisting you. Objectives in the playable areas felt largely the same though, horde mode until a couple boss enemies pop up or a cutscene pops up. There are missions that do posses a bigger baddy though, and they often take quite a long time to defeat by yourself, but can be a lot easier and more manageable with 3 other players, this is where the difficulty comes into play. The game has 3 difficulty settings for each mission, these being Easy, Normal and Hard - with Easy and Normal being soloable pretty easily but Hard most definitely requires assistance and cooperation, probably a lot more down the line when enemies inevitable have more ways of taking you out.

Enemy variety has been decently solid as well. There are the usual standard grunts, bigger grunts, big enemies with a shield that can dish out crazy damage, enemies that have Shields as well before you can damage them and there are even some enemies that can shoot fire lasers at you and overheat your javelin to disable your flight.

I think the biggest standout from the demo was really the amount of customize-ability you're going to have for your javelins. You have 4 different Javelin archetypes to choose from, though you have to unlock them first and you can change every aspect of them, their heads, torsos, arms and legs as well as manually change your cooldown abilities, your Ultimate ability and weapons from there. You are also able to change Emotes and a couple other nifty animations.

So what do I think about the game? Unfortunately, the demo was barely functional for me and Performance was kinda spotty and not great, however, what I did play of it was incredible amounts of fun. The verticality and movement of this game is second to none. Yes, while it is similar to WARFRAME, in that game you have the option to move at a very fast pace and almost feel like you're gliding from spot to spot which is great, but in this game, especially when you unlock more methods to extend the time you can be airborne, the flight feels incredible and the amount of things and cool-factor available from this mechanic is nearly limitless, probably more so when the final game releases.

Unfortunately though, the combat felt a little generic to me, it genuinely felt like Third person Destiny meets Capcom's DARK VOID, which shouldn't be a big negative and it isn't, but it feels like more could have been done to make it more stand out. Moving in the Hub world takes forever as well, so I wish they gave us a way to sprint in it just to move from place to place faster, and the story was a little nonsensical to me and not very appealing off the bat. It also worries me a bit to see how much longevity the game might have when it's out, the game is strictly PvE (Player vs Enemy) and there's no PvP to speak of and has been confirmed there won't be any in the final build of the game.

Anthem is set to release on February 22 for PS4, PC and XBox One.

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