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What We’ve Learned From The ANTHEM CLOSED ALPHA Phase! Is This The One, Chief?

Anthem is one of those games that many people feel quite indifferent about. Some like it and think it’s a pretty cool game with some pretty cool ideas and ambitions, while others have already knocked it off as just another game that going to be riddled with aggressive micro-transactions & broken promises. I for one am slightly interested in this game, only because that flying mechanic looks mad fun and the world is enticing. Anyways, the devs have just recently completed their internal Alpha phase and I wanted to discuss it today.

Anthem Lead Producers Mike Gamble and Ben Irving dove into the world of Anthem during their most recent livestream on November 1. They showed off a bunch of the closed alpha and discussed the feedback that they’ve received from it, as well as the changes they’ll be making based on that feedback. Right off the bat, I gotta give them props here for their transparency as most developers who make AAA title tend to avoid this route in showing of their games like this in fear or early product been used to judge a game.

We saw a great deal of both the Storm and Interceptor and how they play in Anthem and well, I wasn’t too impressed with the Storm (he looked generic to me), but the Interceptor, just from the looks of it might be what I’m using when I pick up the game. It’s fast, has a melee attack and just looks cool as hell. Aside from seeing this Javelin in action, we got to see more of the open world, which is one of the selling point for me. Freeplay is Anthem’s free-roaming mode, where you can pick up missions, hunt for loot, or just go on a joy-flight through the world’s beautiful and deadly terrain. I don’t know about you but exploration in this game looks like it’s going to be a treat.

Of course, as I’ve mentioned before, Anthem had their internal alpha phase, however that was conducted by the people at EA and Bioware. They had this to say about how the game will control:

Alpha players enjoyed the feel of the combat, especially things like recoil, grenade mechanics, and how flying and hovering work in battle. However, they wanted more fluidity in reloading and swapping weapons while moving, and we’ve already started tweaking weapon handling to make that possible.

Control mapping has been on our minds for a long time, because there’s a lot you can do with your javelin and only so many buttons on a controller. “One of the really interesting parts of the game is we have more buttons than many games,” said Ben, along with fifteen different actions in Anthem that have to be mapped to controls. As a result, some alpha players mentioned having trouble with the default layout, and we want to make sure they can choose a setup that works best for them.

Flying controls were a big hit during our alpha. Your javelin is a powerhouse, and players got a chance to feel that for themselves while ducking and weaving through the environment. Plus, flying and hovering are equally useful in combat: “I use it especially on close-quarter characters,” Ben noted in the stream. “A lot of the time I’m flying around to flank people or get behind them.”

I wanna trust these alpha testers on their word but that’s kinda hard for me to do when it’s from the people who work in the company. I mean, when I look at the gameplay that was revealed at the Twitch stream, it does look fluid and there seems to be a lot of stuff and abilities you can have with your Javelin so it kinda matches but I’ll have to play for myself to see if it all rings true. I won’t lie to you all, I am excited despite this being a EA game. It looks amazing, seems to play amazing and has an open world that is begging to be explored. And it has that IronMan like flying mechanic to it that I really like.

I’m also extremely skeptical about this game as well. EA does not have the best track record right now, so it’d be foolish to let my hype blind me. If I see any bullshit, I’ll be sure to call it out. Hopefully, all my worries will diminish once I get my hands on Anthem.

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