I experienced all sorts of technical difficulties with the Anthem demo this weekend. Just logging on and getting into the game was a crap shoot. When I was actually able to start the game I ended up getting the infinite loading bug whenever I tried to jump into the first mission. I kept trying though and eventually I was able to get in and play a few times. I think it is a testament to the quality of the actual gameplay that I kept coming back to it. It felt like there were a lot of things trying to keep me from playing Anthem this weekend. Technical troubles first and foremost but then there is this interminable quest hub they dump you into. No running allowed here, and they put you as far away from your rad robot suit as possible. Next there is a menu system whose designer should honestly be tried in the Hague. Should you manage to navigate all this horse shit though…wow. Anthem is really fun.
I tired it across a variety of systems over the course of the weekend. My PC is just not up to the task. Thankfully I found Anthem actually controlled much better on the console. Things like flying and exploring underwater felt much more natural with a controller. It looked great on the PS4 Pro as well as the Xbox One X, with no clear winner in the small amount of time I spent with each. The important thing is that the moment to moment gameplay is just awesome. Flying around these stunning environments feels great and after every mission was done I could not wait to jump back into the next one. Anthem does an incredible job of making you feel cool. Here’s a fun clip I saw on Reddit this morning that gives you an idea of what’s possible with just one of Anthem’s suits.
As far as demos go, I have to admit this one was pretty frustrating. I really liked the actual game once I was able to play it and that gives me a lot of hope for the final release. I’m sure they can fix these technical issues and maybe even burn the UI to the ground. Regardless of how maddening this experience was, I am actually excited for the full game. Anthem is something I very much want to play, I just need them to make it a little easier.