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Ancient Clan

Anthem (Bioware's Destiny)

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I played the "demo" all weekend. It was a mess in typical EA fashion. They can deny they didn't have enough servers all they want, but its been their calling card for the past decade.

When it worked, it was a blast. The flight controls are surprisingly smooth and easy to understand. There is no fall or collision damage so you can take all the risks you want. The only time you're punished is if you overheat or collide with a wall. When you crash into a wall, you fall to the ground, and you cant restart your thrusters until you land (You can normally, but not after a crash). The only agitating part about this is that there is no direct liftoff from the ground. You have to jump and hit the R3 which propels you forward. You can pull up REALLY fast, but if you are right up against a wall, say like you're in cover, you'll just hit the wall and not go anywhere rather than trying to boost over it. You're flight time is about 20-30 seconds until your overheat kicks in. The meter is done well and lets you know when you're reaching critical long with a sound que. Overheating can be circumvented by flying through a waterfall which completely resets your heat meter, or you can fly low over water which won't reset your heat, but pause it in place. Water also quickens your ability to get out of overheating.... There is a ton of water, so with some map knowledge and some learning curve, you can almost fly indefinitely.

The starting assault rifle was TRASH... awful, but once i got more weapons I fell in love with the heavy pistols and LMGs. The LMGs I had were slow firing and each shot hit like a truck. I really liked this more than the rapid fire bullet hose you traditionally get. The recoil was pretty easy to control and just the rumble of the controller of each shot felt satisfying. The heavy pistols do as much damage as scout rifles, just with less range and around 9 rounds per mag. The range penalties are real. If you shoot something far off you'll do little to no damage. Your reticle will let you know if your weapon can make the shot by turning red when aimed on a target. If it stays white, don't waste your ammo, sometimes it is precious.

Ammo was love/hate. If you go shooting up random monsters around the open world, they don't really drop ammo. So you have to be careful with your engagements. Pretty much only enemies that can shoot at you drop more ammo and health packs. These can be augmented with mods as far as ammo capacity and drop rates. You're R1 and L1 abilities recharge pretty quick, along with your super. Supers are devastating to normal mobs, but they'll only do about 4-6 mags of damage to a big boss. I think this justifies the charge rate, you can use it more freely knowing you can get it back reasonably fast. I think I would get my super back 3-4 times during the final encounter of the stronghold boss. Its more of a mob clear than a "beat the boss faster" like Destiny. Going back to health, you have a shield, and a health bar. Your shield recharges automatically, your HP does not, except the last 1/5th. Heath drops frequently, but generally in big mobs so you have to be careful about just picking them all up. I never really found this an issue personally, even if they nerf the health drop rates, you just should play more careful. The AI can aim really well, and flying your way out of something doesn't always work pending on the enemy type.

Freeplay was fun, Going around the small section of the map doing world events was interesting. They're kind of like destiny where they are limited to 4-5 types of events, but the perimeters were way more varied. While you had to pick up X and deposit it at Y, the enemies, and the situation could be several different things rather than "defeat the fallen devil walker" Some of these were pretty tough, but I was able to solo all of them. There was no timer, so you can battle it out until you get it done if you're by yourself.

Stronghold was where the demo shined. This is what I envisioned Destiny raids being. These are 30-40 minute affairs where you have to complete objectives to move on to the next section. Each section rewards a chest with a lot of loot. The difference from destiny is that there aren't any asinine puzzles, and unlike strikes, you can't just skip mobs until the final boss. You can skip some mobs, but these are generally between the end of one section and the start of another. The Stronghold that was made available was the one there are videos from after E3. You start out in a cave and you have to collect whispers or orbs of light. The first sector you have to collect 8 while fighting off elite enemies, the next section you have to fight off more along with some beastly turrets that will one shot your shield off. You collect 12, but you can only access 8 at first. The second wave comes with even stronger foes, and they grant you access to the final 4 orbs. This spawns your first chest. The next section you have to collect 8 pods and return them to the center of the area. When carrying the pods you can't fly, you can only sprint and jump. Of course you're being attacked while this is going on. Once the pods are collected, you have to stay on a platform thats being swarmed by bug creatures. You don't have to stay on it, but staying on it fills a meter similar to the VSAT or Cabal Drill public event from Destiny. This will give you your second chest. The last section is the final boss which is the huge bug thing. Overall it was a blast doing it... especially since i felt I carried a lot of people through it that didn't know what to do. As long as everyone could stay alive, I had no issue doing all the collecting... Oh yeah, it has matchmaking.

I didn't get to play the last few hours when they unlocked all the Javelins, which was stupid that they only gave us 1 unlock to begin with. The Ranger felt great. Tons of power with versatile weapon selection. Your specials were grenades and a field which. As I found gear, I had choices of a acid, fire, and sticky nade. I had a bubble shield, or a buff that granted 20% more base damage to everyone. The great part about this, was no one had to just stand in the field to get it. You just had to pass though and you'd get a cool down meter of how long the buff lasted. At the same time, you can't just stand in it and get the buff longer. This was great for when enemies charge into your bubble... you get to keep the buff regardless. The Ranger's super is the mutli lock-on missile barrage.

Naturally with my one unlock, I went with the Storm. This will probably be my main. Its always wonderful and very rare when a game allows you to do to enemies, the annoying shit they do to you. My encounters with enemy storm javelins from the outlaw faction, was they'd freeze me... and that shit lasted a good long 3-5 seconds before you could start moving again by mashing X to get out of it. Well I got the same gear drop that allowed me to freeze enemies for the same length! What a joy. I also go flame, acid, and electric ones, but I wasn't giving up that frost because its amazing CC. Of course, you can't freeze bosses, but you can freeze elites and legendary tier enemies. I used this with an Arc blast that chain lightninged mobs. I rolled with a marksman rifle and a heavy pistol along with a wind barrier that creates a giant wall shield rather than a bubble like the Ranger. There was also a quickening field I could have chosen over the barrier, but I didn't see the point in it. The super consisted of sending down three blasts of Arc, Fire, and Ice. The storm can't take a hit like the ranger, but it has a phase dodge, and can hover for longer periods. I also found it satisfying to act as the source of crowd control for my group. The colossus seemed to be the most popular choice for the demo, which is surprising since I figured the Interceptor would be seeing that is pretty much like the Hunter for Destiny.

Overall i expect the first few days to be a clusterfuck like this demo... its EA... but the game was a ton of fun, and the story mission I got to play was pretty interesting. The facial animations were 10 out of 10. XD


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