Chapter 1: First steps and missed chances
Last night I took my first steps into the world of Anthem. At first glance, this game looks amazing, even on my standard PS4. You enter at some crucial point in the story, without knowing the story so far, but that is ok because flashbacks help to fill in those gaps, something which seems very much ‘in’ nowadays. The javelin controls like a charm, the guns sound like a NERF commercial, but maybe that is just the case for the common gun versions. The prologue ended with giants walking all over me and I thought to myself “Where is Kratos when you need him?”
Then loading time… I did my taxes, some washing up, laundry and suddenly I am in Fort Tarsis – the hub. My hope that this was going to be the place where the plot and atmosphere thicken is still exactly that; a wish. My character’s steps sound weirdly like an annoyed toddler traipsing through the house, which could be a social commentary on today’s internet culture, bad sound design or a way for you to feel even more like you are walking through a Disney Land animatronic section.
I say this because that is how Fort Tarsis feels. Lifeless character models stand forever in the same place, doing the same things; like weld, look at stalls or seemingly having deep conversations about empty corners or piles of boxes. I would love to know what is so interesting about them, but although their mouths are moving there is no sound. How am I supposed to feel that anything threatening these lifeless mannequins matters? I also would like a word with the person coming up with the name “Prospero” as a shopkeepers name. If you want to make the name say what he does, why not call him “Shoppy Side-character McShopface”?
So, I collect my next main quest and two side quests which introduce the free play mode, I discover the real money shop, and its options and end the day staring at my cool looking javelin.
Even though Anthem suffers from the typical BioWare issues, it is still oddly fun and igniting the booster has the right amount of Iron Man feeling to keep me going for now. Let’s see what adventures await me next. I, for one, cannot wait!
Steve, signing out!