Anthem 2.0

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.

second time is a charm

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.

Environmental effects deserve more credit

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.

This walk away deserves a background explosion!

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.

5 comments / Add your comment below

  1. “(you know, since most of the world has put in 4x the time I have and are already bored)”

    You say that, but I’ve been playing since launch and I’m currently level ten and maybe 30% through the story.

    While I acknowledge Anthem has some issues, I feel the severity of all of them has been greatly exaggerated by the larger community. It may not be a masterpiece, but I’m having far more fun than I expected to. It’s been a while since I was trying to squeeze every bit of time out of my schedule and staying up late just to get in a little more gaming time. From a strict game mechanics perspective, this is probably the most fun I’ve ever had with a shooter.

    1. Yes, most people I hear from (that I know / follow) are really enjoying it – but are able to point out the things that can be improved in a logical/mature manner. The internet at large is going all babies over this, and it’s misleading and misguided at best. But that is the world we live in now I suppose, who needs to find facts, research themselves when they can confirm bias in 1000 tweets in a matter of minutes? 😉

  2. Technical bugs mar the 1.0 experience. That aside, the game is a ton of fun!

    The wide majority of criticism only applies to the 2.0 portion. Really happy for the Loot update coming. If BioWare can keep pace with those changes to address the (clear) gaps, then things are certainly looking good. March is going to be a busy month!

  3. I’m enjoying the heck out of it too. Good point about YT being mainstream now – pretty shameful of those “influencers” to just jump on the same ‘let’s make fun of the pre-release issues’ bandwagon for views. But this was the same thing every single gaming website did about Mass Effect:Andromeda too and all its issues were patched out within 3 weeks of release, yet the damage was done.

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