I just finished the main story line this morning. It took me 25 hours and I am level 27. It was a great journey and the finish (last quest) was really well done – it brought us back to the intro mission and was a redemption from the failure we faced there. Full circle and all of that.
I was satisfied with those 25 hours and excited to embark on the elder game (hence the 2.0 in the title). Time to hunt for sweet, delicious loot with daydreams of +300 damage inscriptions dancing in my heads. I know there is a decent complaint level about the loot issues at the end game (you know, since most of the world has put in 4x the time I have and are already bored) and much to Bioware’s credit, they have a major fix going in addressing many of those issues – today or tomorrow.
Say what you want – and many will – that this should have been sorted out before launch. But that is what Games As a Service has a strength. Let a million people test it in a live environment, understand the shortcomings and feedback, and fix quickly. This is where I actually don’t mind GAaS because they aren’t stuck on something created in the boardroom – you can adjust and tweak. I’m tired of weak analogies (“you buy the car it comes with tires! you don’t get those later!”) when we aren’t buying cars. We are buying an evolving, shaping game. (“buy the car, go for a 40 hour drive with it, come back and get free, better tires put on because the tires that came with it weren’t great on corners”).
All analogies fail at some point.
The best part about non-subscription GAaS is that if you aren’t enjoying it or happy with what features and content there is you can just go away and play other things. Come back a week, a month, heck, a year later and enjoy all the content, updates, etc. that has been added. There will never be an additional charge for them in Anthem so there really isn’t a reason to be mad. If you don’t like what is there, don’t buy (or play). There are plenty of people buying (and playing) so the lights will be on when you get back.
I’m taking a measured approach. I have no reason to play if it stops being fun – that happens to me all the time. with most of my games. Point is, I am having fun now. There are a lot of jokes and memes going around about that – how if you say you are enjoying the game you are somehow dooming Anthem, Bioware, EA and the gaming industry in general because it is supporting some sort of best practice or expectation people (want to ) have for the industry at large. That’s equally as rediculous as me getting mad every time someone buys a Fortnite skin. There is a reason why we have plenty of choices and mine aren’t any less valid than yours, or the mainstream EA/Anthem haters, (or even the EA/Anthem fanboys & girls!)
I think a good side effect of this launch is that it did start the conversation (for the first time that I read / saw with any significance) of the largely BS style and strategy of popular YouTubers chasing down dollars in exchange for anger and misdirection. Which just shows that YouTube is as mainstream as cable or satellite TV now (probably more, to be fair). I still looked at YouTube as a platform for the people but really, its CNN / Fox all reincarnate. No matter, I barely consume content from any of those platforms anyway.
Strong Alone, Stronger together has never made more and less sense at the same time.