When Anthem was first announced at E3 2017, I wasn’t expecting to jump on the hype train, and for a while, that was the case. In terms of what DICE chose to show off of the game since the announcement, it seemed to me like more of the same and less of what I wanted to see differently in this open-world adventure space. Let’s face it, in the past, we’ve been snubbed before, see Destiny 2 and No Man’s Sky.
As much as I’ve been holding back, I’ve been open to giving Anthem the chance to surprise me. I’ve tuned into the developer’s multiple live streams and have kept up with any updates they’ve put out. However, it wouldn’t be until last night’s trailer during the 2018 Game Awards show that I pressed ‘Go’ on the pre-order button.
In terms of what Anthem has shown up until this point has been mainly focused on the online multiplayer sections of the game and its world. I’m not going to knock it too hard for this because that’s a huge feature of the game, but a beautiful world and online functionality just doesn’t do it for me like it used to. I watched these various gameplay trailers and thought, “Well that’s pretty” before I went on with my day.
It’s not that I didn’t care about what the developers were showing at the time, it’s just that it felt so familiar. I mean, when I played the first Mass Effect, I remember my jaw dropping at the visuals and worlds found in that game, it felt so endless. Fast forward to this generation and I feel like I’m desensitized to spending money on graphics alone. That’s where I truly need to vote with my wallet and let developers know that they can’t wave a shiny carrot in front of my face and expect me to bite.
We’ve also seen the number of trailers focused on customization. Now, although this is as important as the world, what really sets this apart from any other title that has this feature? I enjoy seeing all the cool ways to create in-game Javelins, but I don’t consider myself to be creative at all and could only imagine how jealous I’m going to be of everyone’s far better-looking Javelins. With that said, I’m going to love my ugly Javelin regardless.
Also, these customization features don’t reflect the stats of the Javelin and are purely meant to be something extra for the player. At this point, the developer hasn’t revealed which of these customizable elements can be purchased or created. I’m more a stats player, so I couldn’t care less about what my Javelin looked like, only that it is strong as hell.
What the newest trailer showed was that this game is going to be one that I need to play and experience because I will be missing out otherwise. The characters shown in the trailer seemed so alive to me and I felt the urge to know more about them. This was something new, the thing I’ve been waiting for from DICE to get me interested in this game that I’ve been following since its announcement.
Before this trailer, I was fully ready to skip Anthem at launch and wait until it was $10, see Mass Effect: Andromeda, but that’s just not going to be the case anymore. The trailer establishes a single player campaign that I can get behind and as a gamer that’s what I needed to feel obligated to spend money on the game at launch.
All gamers are different, I understand that. You might only be looking forward to exploring the world with your friends and customizing your perfect Javelin, but I’m kind of over all that. I need there to be drama, chaos, resolution, growth, and a reason to be excited to start the game and finish it. It took a while, but Anthem has me hooked.
Anthem is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on February 22.
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