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Posted February 11, 2020 by Peter in News
 
 

Anthem officially to be re-tuned

Anthem logo
Anthem logo

Confession time – I bought Anthem, and enjoyed it enough for that first month to feel I got my money’s worth. I won’t pretend it was a flawless experience, as there are clearly problems right down to its foundations that need to be reworked. But the flight mechanic was fun, the third person shooting/skill loadout mechanics could be enjoyable with the right combination of difficulty and players, and there was the potential there for something greater.

Bioware clearly hope this is still something they can produce, having published a blog on their site which – while trying to present things as “glass half full” – recognises the game as it is does not represent the game as it could be. That’s right, folks – after suggestions and rumours to the effect, it is now official that Anthem is due for a do-over.

Anthem screenThere is plenty to condemn about a game that felt rushed to market, especially after revelations about staff working conditions to get the game complete initially were so damning. The blog effectively states more time was needed to begin with (“we’ll be doing something we’d like to have done more of the first time around – giving a focused team the time to test and iterate, focusing on gameplay first”). The time to develop something for the market should not be after it has been on the market for a year, and it does also mean Anthem has lost ground and goodwill in the third-person looter-shooter space, having been released the same year as Division 2.

But this may actually be a bright spot for Bioware – Division 1 was also released to a rather underwhelming response, and it was after the game was revamped that it ended up a far more satisfying experience. Division 2 was effectively “more of the same”, but the state Division 1 was in at that point made this a welcome addition. The same could be said for Anthem‘s main game-of-comparison, Destiny, which required reworking to live up to its pre-release hype. Even the series that serves as the grand-daddy of looters, Diablo, had to completely overhaul Diablo 3 to get to the far, far more enjoyable game it is today. (And as a sidenote to the parallels here, one of the Diablo 3 developers wrote quite an in-depth piece to the Anthem team on Reddit not long after release; it’ll be interesting if the games follow a similar “2.0″ trajectory in terms of player enjoyment)

So I’m going to hold on to a little hope here – with a year of feedback from players about the state of the game, and if there is enough ambition from Bioware to see this through, Anthem does have a chance of becoming more of the game people hoped it would be. And if nothing else, they’ve now made me interested to get it patched for a fresh look eleven months after I’d decided I had got everything I was going to from the game.


Peter

 
Peter can be described as an old, hairy gamer, a survivor of the console wars of the 1990s, and a part-time MMO addict. He has an especial fondness for retro gaming and observing the progressions in long running gaming series. When scandalously not caught gaming, he can also be found reading comics and fantasy fiction, or practising terrible photography.