Update: After publishing this article, we have learned that BioWare has confirmed we will in fact be able to run in Fort Tarsis and no longer be forced to walk slowly through the hub area.
The Anthem Demo appears to do a lot of things right. The flying is smooth, the abilities feel devastating and powerful, and the overall gameplay oozes style.
But there are also a few changes we’d love to see in the final game. Let’s dive in.
Faster Movement Speed in The Forge
All too often, games can have a “hub” area where you can accept quests, sell items, fix up your characters, base build, etc. These areas are great, but some of them forcefully slow your character down for, well… who knows why. (Looking at you Red Dead 2). In a game like Anthem – a game that’s wildly about mobility and traversal – it’s odd to not give us the ability to sprint in Fort Tarsis, seemingly for the purpose of sightseeing. Also, why do we start each session in a weird basement while our character looks at their hand? It’d be more effective to start us out near Javelins every time we log in.
Seeing Loot As It Drops
Loot that drops in an open world can be overwhelmingly satisfying. Anthem almost gets it – remember in the original gameplay reveal when that Freelancer got Jirah’s Wrath? Yeah. That doesn’t happen anymore. When a piece of loot drops in Anthem, the unidentified capsule just tells you what rarity it is. It then requires you to leave in order to find out what you have. This could mean bad business. Imagine playing a mission and someone gets a legendary or higher tier loot drop. They could be inclined to leave just to see what they’ve obtained.
Let Us Swap Gear Whenever
This brings us to our next point: the inability to swap gear out in the wild. In the aforementioned gameplay reveal, the Freelancer was able to immediately swap to the newly obtained weapon. As of the demo, we are unable to switch gear after we’ve left the Fort Tarsis. This prevents us from being able to swap to a more effective loadout given the circumstance we find ourselves in. What if you’re kitted out with pistols and shotguns then forget to change your loadout in the Forge, only to find that the next battle you engage in is heavily long-range focused?
More Prominent World Events in Freeplay
When you’re out in the open world, events are incredibly hard to find. In fact, they don’t actually make themselves known until you fly near or right on top of them. When you’re in Freeplay, doing whatever it is you do there, events should alert all players in the instance regardless of where they are on the map.
Nerf Fire Damage
Nerf the incoming damage to burning effects. Javelins are made of metal, not brush. Fire drains an unnecessary amount of health and being on fire in harder difficulties will almost certainly result in death. When we’re on fire, we start to overheat immediately, making it even harder to get to a safer distance to cool off. A little less burning could go a long way.
The saying that “every game has an underwater level, and it sucks” could not be truer in Anthem. While not technically a full level, anytime you go underwater in the Tyrant Mine, you’re almost never going to have a good time. The transition from brightly lit areas to pitch black will almost always disorient you, causing you to bounce off walls at full speed. You’re left with a single light that points directly in front of your speeding javelin. With the plan to increase the light our characters give off while underwater, letting us use the hover function while underwater can help with mobility and navigation. Of course, eliminating them entirely works too.
And those are some of the few changes we’d like to see in Anthem – what about you? Head to the comments and let us know what you think. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out our extensive coverage of the game from our IGN First. And for everything else Anthem, keep it here on IGN.