• Follow us

Gadgets

The 'Anthem' demo's crash landing raises more questions than answers

Anthem Hands-on Preview

The hype leading into Anthem’s pair of demo weekends felt good. There were a few reasons for this, not least of which was the fact the demo existed. It felt like a sign of confidence. Why would Electronic Arts and Bioware want people to play if not to convert skeptics into true believers?

Yet confidence isn’t what the demo provided. Its lingering rollout, combined with performance issues and a lack of information about how the game will be monetized, has killed much of Anthem’s momentum. A dogpile has resulted, with multiple YouTubers and streamers hitting the game with a decidedly ‘meh’ reaction.

A dull demo

I love demos. It gives me a chance to see a slice of a game with no strings attached, and that’s great. Games are expensive, and I always want to know as much as possible before handing over my cash. Not all demos are created equal, though, and Anthem’s wasn’t great. Its story missions were alright but felt redundant, even revisiting the same areas on occasion. That bodes poorly for variety in the final release.

The real problem, though, was the lack of a strong conclusion. The Stronghold mission was supposed to be the epic finale, but it felt more like an iteration on the other missions, and didn’t seem connected to the story elements established earlier. What should’ve been a shout of triumph was instead a long sigh of disappointment.

To make the situation worse, the VIP demo and following open demo were exactly the same. They had the same missions, same open world, and same lack of side-quests. That might make sense if the VIP demo was limited to an exclusive group of players (something that the word ‘VIP’ suggests), but codes were tossed out like candy, and many players exhausted the demo after a few hours of play. I dove in on the first weekend and enjoyed it, but the second weekend brought my enthusiasm to a halt. There wasn’t anything new to do. I was bored.

And that’s what I now remember. The demo was fun for a few hours, but at the end, I didn’t have a desire to play more Anthem.

The end-game is fuzzy, and so are the microtransactions

With nothing left to do in the demo, I spent part of my weekend looking into Anthem’s end-game. That started as an attempt to salvage my enthusiasm. I hoped to find some new details I’d missed. Instead, I found almost nothing. Bioware has confirmed three strongholds, a smattering of legendary contracts (bounty-board style missions), and open-world play.

Anthem microtransactions

That’s it. And that’s not good. Gamers expect a huge new title like Anthem to satisfy them for hundreds of hours. Is that an unfair expectation? I don’t think so. Longevity is the point of a persistent ‘live service’ game. A game like this needs to go live with a variety of challenging content that players can come back to time and time again. Frankly, I think Bioware is in for a world of pain once players blow through the story and run into the apparently lackluster end-game. It’ll be the launch of Destiny all over again — or worse.

Both Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro struggle to maintain 30 FPS in combat.

At least Bioware has confirmed the end-game content. Microtransactions, meanwhile, remain a mystery. We saw little of them in the demo aside from a handle for alternative armor looks. The internet found some evidence of what they’ll be like, and pricing might be as high as $20 per skin. That’s a lot, though not out of line with what other games charge. Bioware’s response didn’t deny the pricing outright but instead said pricing hasn’t finalized. Predictably, that left players feeling even more uncomfortable.

Performance? Yea. It sucks.

That’s not my biggest beef with the Anthem demo, however. My problem, the one that has stopped me from pulling the trigger on a day-one purchase, is performance. The PC demo wasn’t in good shape. It placed incredible demands on even high-end hardware, struggled to maintain a steady framerate in combat, and suffered from annoying control issues. And the bugs. Oh, the bugs. Loading loops, runaway CPU utilization, and graphical glitches on AMD cards were among those I saw first-hand.

Anthem Hands-on Preview

Console gamers ran into fewer bugs it seemed, but dealt with even worse performance. Both Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro struggle to maintain 30 FPS in combat. A framerate that occasionally saunters through the mid-teens is unacceptable in 2019.

You’re right. The demo wasn’t the final build. It also wasn’t a beta. If a more stable build exists, Bioware should’ve shown it. Gamers that believe Anthem’s full release will solve all the demo’s issues are letting themselves be played for a fool. Perhaps some issues will be fixed – but all of them? That likely won’t happen until months after launch. Just ask anyone who bought Fallout 76 despite its rocky stress test.

Well, maybe The Division 2 will be good

Bioware’s heart was in the right place with the Anthem demo, but I don’t think it had the intended effect. Instead of reinforcing positive hype leading up to release, it’s halted the game’s momentum and clouded my perception of its post-release plans. I have more questions and concerns about Anthem now then I did before playing the demo, and that’s a bad sign.

The game isn’t a complete mess. Flying around the world is fun and the various Javelin exosuits offer a good variety of play. Still, that’s not enough to send me plunging into yet another expensive ‘live service’ shooter. Maybe the game will turn out alright despite these problems, but for now, I suggest you wait to read our full review.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.

Editors' Recommendations Read More



Leave A Comment

More News

Digital Trends

Google Play recommends these movies, books, and apps 2019-02-07 18:27:40Valentine's Day is right around the corner. In celebration, Google announced a series of discounts on movies, audiobooks, ebooks, and more. In additi

‘Anthem’ faces a rocky launch after its kinda-ok 2019-02-07 18:02:58Bioware bravely allowed gamers to see a large chunk of 'Anthem' over two demo weekends, but it backfired. Lackluster missions, performance issues, a

How to gameshare on a PS4 2019-02-07 18:00:35Much like the now-ancient process of mixing CD collections, modern consoles allow you to share your game library with a friend. If you're interested,

Mozilla exec calls on Congress to restore 2015 2019-02-07 17:55:19After citing several negative examples on how the FCC's decision to repeal net neutrality had hurt consumers and businesses, Mozilla's COO wants Con

Watch the India vs. New Zealand cricket match 2019-02-07 17:51:16ESPN+ is an easy way to stream both pre-programmed and live sports content. ESPN+ offers a 7-day trial, too, so if you're looking to watch the ongoin

Miele WWH860 review 2019-02-07 17:44:58The compact Miele front-loading washing machine has a lot of innovative features packed into a tiny, apartment-friendly washing machine, but are all o

Digital Trends Live: New emoji, high-end graphics cards, 2019-02-07 17:34:49On episode 60 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Caleb Denison explored the biggest tech stories fo the day, including new emoji, rampant e

‘Anthem’: Everything we know about Bioware’s next game 2019-02-07 17:00:19From gameplay, Javelin skins, and DLC, to microtransactions, boss fights, and post-launch content, here is everything you should know before you jump

Here’s how to make a background transparent in 2019-02-07 16:52:25Photoshop has no shortage of tools for selecting an object and removing a background, but knowing when to use which tool can be a bit confusing. Here

The best guns in ‘Apex Legends’ for obliterating 2019-02-07 16:47:26Though Apex Legends is a squad-based hero shooter, your success is largely dictated on the firepower in your arsenal. Our Apex Legends gun guide detai

HBO Go vs. HBO Now: Which streaming service 2019-02-07 16:28:03If you're looking to get access to HBO, you might be comparing HBO Go and HBO Now. We break down the differences between the twin streaming services

Apple iPhone XS vs. iPhone XS Max vs. 2019-02-07 16:10:50Apple has three new iPhone models to choose from this year, making the choice a little harder than usual. What's the difference between the iPhone XS

Engadget RSS Feed

Speak & Spell is B-A-C-K 2019-02-08 14:07:00If you're a techie of a certain age (cough), you probably have fond memories of the Speak & Spell. The Texas Instruments toy's quirky speec

Raspberry Pi Foundation opens its first physical store 2019-02-08 13:31:00Raspberry Pi might not have the clout of an Apple or Microsoft, but it does have its own store now. The Raspberry Pi Foundation has set up shop with i

Microsoft begs you to stop using Internet Explorer 2019-02-08 12:22:00Old habits die hard, but they do eventually have to die. Microsoft knows there are still plenty of businesses and organizations out there using Intern

Following backlash, Amazon might back out of New 2019-02-08 12:19:00Amazon is said to be having second thoughts about its plan to set up a second headquarters in New York City following significant pushback from politi

The best standing desks 2019-02-08 12:00:00By Kevin Purdy This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter's independently chosen editorial picks, Wire

'Child's Play' reboot trailer suggests Chucky is now 2019-02-08 11:48:00It's not completely impossible that robots could turn against us, so it's no surprise killer robot movies have been popular for decades. The fear is

Researchers say Twitter's not doing enough to combat 2019-02-08 11:14:00Twitter says that it has seen a marked decline in reports of abuse, with a commensurate surge in its profitability. But not everyone agrees, including

Childish Gambino dances his way onto Pixel cameras 2019-02-08 10:45:00Coachella headliner Childish Gambino is down to dance with anyone, anywhere at any time. Kind of. From today, an interactive Playmoji (i.e. an AR stic

Kepler beams back final image from its almost 2019-02-08 10:23:00NASA bid a bittersweet farewell to its Kepler spacecraft in October. During its nine-and-a-half year journey, the space telescope spotted more than 2,

IK Multimedia’s Uno synth packs big sound on 2019-02-08 10:00:00The affordable-synth trend of the past few years has been outstanding for anyone wanting to dip their toe into soundscapes and dance music. IK Multime

Electric scooters were to blame for at least 2019-02-08 09:13:00Ever wondered how many e-scooter riders have gotten injured after one zooms past you with no helmet on? A new Consumer Reports investigation might giv

Amazon joins Microsoft in calling for regulation of 2019-02-08 08:25:00Faced with mounting criticism of its "Rekognition" system, Amazon has come out in favor of legislating facial recognition technology. In a blog post

WIRED

Things We Loved in January, From Smart Glasses 2019-01-31 13:00:00Plus: Breville's $800 pizza oven, Fender's newest guitar, and a habit-breaking browser extension.

Vermicular Musui-Kamado Review: Luxurious, but Lacking 2019-01-31 09:00:00This induction-powered, cast-iron multicooker from Japan has an impressive array of capabilities, but it doesn't break any new ground.

Best TV and Soundbar Deals for the Super 2019-01-30 07:00:00TVs are on sale because of the Super Bowl, and we've rounded up our favorite discounted sets and soundbars.

Focals by North Review: They'll Make You Rethink 2019-01-29 08:00:00Peer through Focals' custom-fitted smart glasses and you can almost see the future.

How to Watch the Super Bowl, Kitten Bowl, 2019-01-29 06:00:00Our full guide to streaming Super Bowl 53 for free online (and the Puppy Bowl and Kitten Bowl).

HabitLab Browser Extension Curbs Your Time Wasted on 2019-01-28 07:00:00A new Stanford University project turns your bad browsing habits into actionable advice—and precious data.

JLab Air True Wireless Review: Wire-free Buds for 2019-01-27 08:00:00JLab's wire-free, fully wireless earbuds sound fantastic and are cheap, too. They cost less than $50.

Private Messages Are the New (Old) Social Network 2019-01-27 07:00:00The sudden fall of Facebook sharing has led to the rise of something else: private messaging.

Best Sonos Setup: Which Speakers, Soundbars Should You 2019-01-26 08:00:00We’ve tested every Sonos speaker and Soundbar at WIRED. We like them all, but which ones are worth buying?

14 Best Weekend Deals: Pixel 3, iPad Pro, 2019-01-26 07:00:00Now is a great time to pick up these Android phones, robot vacuums, videogames, and more.

Gadget Lab Podcast: Amazon’s Delivery Robot, Scout, Is 2019-01-25 13:55:00When it comes to delivery robots, design is almost as important as function. Matt Simon and Arielle Pardes discuss Amazon’s new robot, Scout, on

Razer Phone 2 Review: Good for Games, but 2019-01-25 08:00:00The second phone from the gaming hardware brand almost reaches the next level, but not quite.

Gear & Gadgets –

Angela Ahrendts, leader of Apple’s retail efforts, will 2019-02-05 19:46:31Apple's HR chief Deirdre O'Brien will take her place at the helm.

With experimental “Never slow mode,” Chrome tries to 2019-02-05 19:10:40There's just one small downside: it breaks the Web.

Drift of the North Pole forces early magnetic 2019-02-05 12:40:48The North Pole is moving in the direction of Siberia, necessitating an update.

Samsung cancels partnership with counterfeit Supreme brand 2019-02-05 11:54:41Widespread ridicule forces Samsung to terminate its "Supreme Italia" partnership.

Firefox taking a hard line against noisy video, 2019-02-05 10:45:54Firefox's policy is much simpler, and much stricter, than Chrome's.

Chrome OS’ Instant Tethering now works with more 2019-02-05 10:27:0515 additional Chromebooks now support the feature, too.

To protect users’ privacy, iOS 12.2 will limit 2019-02-04 18:05:06The latest iOS beta defaults Web access to motion sensors to "off."

Alexa, give me nostalgia: Choose Your Own Adventure 2019-02-04 10:59:31Two titles are available so far, but more will come.

YouTube is trying to prevent angry mobs from 2019-02-04 09:31:58Could the thumbs-down button disappear from YouTube entirely?

Bless the overclockers: In the data center world, 2019-02-04 08:05:51"For high performance computing, you just can’t do it with air.”

Latest Windows 10 build puts desktop apps in 2019-02-01 18:34:13No longer limited to Store apps, so you can now run Excel in VR.

Itanium’s demise approaches: Intel to stop shipments in 2019-02-01 12:35:17Intel's grand adventure with smart compilers and dumb processors comes to an end.

Gadgets – TechCrunch

Google makes it easier for cheap phones and 2019-02-07 20:07:54Encryption is an important part of the whole securing-your-data package, but it's easy to underestimate the amount of complexity it adds to any servi

The Raspberry Pi store is much cooler than 2019-02-07 13:41:26The Raspberry Pi Foundation just unveiled a brand new project — an actual store. If you live in Cambridge in the U.K., you can now buy a bunch o

Robin’s robotic mowers now have a patented doggie 2019-02-06 14:01:05Back in 2016 we had Robin up on stage demonstrating the possibility of a robotic mower as a service rather than just something you buy. They're still

Two more bangers for the Switch’s NES selection: 2019-02-05 20:38:28Nostalgia for the NES is high following the success of Nintendo's classic mini consoles and the launch of its Switch Online service, which just got a

Google Home can now translate conversations on-the-fly 2019-02-05 15:23:47Just last month, Google showed off an “Interpreter mode” that would let Google Home devices act as an on-the-fly translator. One person sp

NASA cubecraft WALL-E and EVE sign off after 2019-02-05 15:02:35A NASA mission that sent two tiny spacecraft farther out than any like them before appears to have come to an end: Cubesats MarCO-A and B (nicknamed W

iOS 12.2 beta includes new Animojis and fake 2019-02-05 11:36:44Apple released a new beta version of iOS 12.2 yesterday. While the final version isn’t available just yet, here’s what you should expect:

Sonos unveils in-ceiling, in-wall and outdoor speakers 2019-02-05 10:58:01Sonos is partnering with Sonance for a new lineup of passive speakers. You can now pre-order in-ceiling, in-wall and outdoor Sonos speakers. These are

This light-powered 3D printer materializes objects all at 2019-02-01 18:20:333D printing has changed the way people approach hardware design, but most printers share a basic limitation: they essentially build objects layer by l

Let’s save the bees with machine learning 2019-02-01 13:27:51Machine learning and all its related forms of "AI" are being used to work on just about every problem under the sun, but even so, stemming the alarm

Aibo hangs out with some (real) dogs 2019-02-01 12:36:25I had this fun idea to make a video called “Real dog vs. robot dog,” where Henri (my Maltese Shih Tzu) and Aibo would go head to head perf

Juul Labs hires former Apple employee to lead 2019-02-01 10:20:54Juul Labs, the e-cig company under fire for its product’s popularity with young people, has brought on a new VP of Intellectual Property Protect

Geeky Gadgets

Save 95% on the Complete Photography Professional Bundle 2019-02-07 11:01:45We have a great deal on the Complete Photography Professional Bundle in the Geeky Gadgets Deals store today, you can save 95% off the regular price. T

AMD Radeon VII 16GB launches today for $699 2019-02-07 09:38:46If you are interested in learning more about the new AMD Radeon VII graphics card which launched today, we have compiled a list of reviews to help you

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active specifications revealed 2019-02-07 09:35:17Samsung will announce a number of new smart watches at Mobile World Congress this month, one of them is the new Samsung Galaxy Watch Active. Now it lo

Halo Outpost Discovery amusement park touring Summer 2019 2019-02-07 09:16:14Microsoft has announced that the Halo Outpost Discovery amusement park will be touring in the United States during the summer months of 2019 and will

Sony Xperia XA3 smartphone leaked 2019-02-07 09:10:27Sony will be announcing a number of new smartphones at Mobile World Congress this month, the Xperia XZ4 and now we have details on the new Sony Xperia

Pet Sematary 2019 horror movie premiers April 5th 2019-02-07 09:00:21Stephen King fans patiently waiting for the release of the highly anticipated Pet Sematary 2019 movie will be pleased to know that Paramount pictures

New Microsoft Xbox Game Studios rebrand introduced 2019-02-07 08:55:41This week Microsoft has rebranded its game development division from Microsoft Studios to its new name Xbox Game Studios. The move has been made to co

Frontiersman “ultimate” survival pack hits Kickstarter 2019-02-07 08:36:31Outdoor adventurers and survivalists may be interested in a new piece of kit being marketed as the “ultimate survival pack” and taking the

Automobili Pininfarina Battista reveal set for March 5 2019-02-07 08:35:46Automobili Pininfarina has designed some of the sexiest sports cars in history and is set to launch its own hypercar. The ride is carbon fiber EV that

Vodafone is working with Qualcomm and Ericsson on 2019-02-07 08:19:15Vodafone has announced that it is working with Qualcomm and Ericsson on some over the air tests using 5G technology in the UK. The company is working

The Microsoft Data Analysis Bundle: Lifetime Access, Save 2019-02-07 08:10:11We have an awesome deal on the Microsoft Data Analysis Bundle in the Geeky Gadgets Deals store today, you can save a massive 97% off the regular price

Xbox 360 BBC iPlayer app will not longer 2019-02-07 07:55:51If you currently enjoy using your old Xbox 360 as a way to watch BBC iPlayer, you’ll be disappointed to learn that the BBC will be removing supp

NDTV Gadgets - Latest

Moto G7 vs Moto G7 Plus vs Moto 2019-02-08 03:50:14The price of the Moto G7 family starts at $199 (roughly Rs. 14,200) and the phones have been launched first in Brazil and Mexico.

Microsoft Expands Availability of Latest Surface Devices to 2019-02-08 03:44:08Microsoft is expanding the availability of its Surface Pro 6, Surface Laptop 2, and Surface Studio 2 devices to 20 more markets.

Vivo V15 Pro to Sport 48-Megapixel Camera Sensor, 2019-02-08 03:28:27Vivo V15 Pro is set to launch in India on February 20.

Apple's Next HomePod May Support 3D Hand Gestures 2019-02-08 03:24:38Apple's future HomePod speaker could support 3D hand gestures, Face ID, and a lot more according to a recently published patent application.

Microsoft Backs US Facial Recognition Bill as Amazon 2019-02-08 03:13:38Two months after calling for laws to regulate facial-recognition software, Microsoft is lobbying on behalf of a first-of-its-kind bill in its home sta

Vimeo Revenue Jumps 54 Percent in 2018, Paying 2019-02-08 03:00:59The figures highlight the rising interest in alternate video platforms which are much smaller than market leader YouTube but are growing by serving a

Apple Says Apps That Covertly Record Screen Will 2019-02-08 02:59:16Apple has cracked down on misbehaving apps asking them to either remove or disclose the code that enables these unethical practices, or face the event

GoPro CEO Still Sees Growth in China, Despite 2019-02-08 02:55:01Sales from the Asia Pacific region are a boon for GoPro, with growth rates in Thailand, South Korea, and Japan running several times faster than in Ch

Opera Browser Beta for Android Gets Free, Unlimited 2019-02-08 02:51:18Opera has launched a free, in-built VPN for the Opera beta browser on Android that offers unlimited, log-free service.

Amazon Invests in Self-Driving Car Startup Aurora 2019-02-08 02:49:43"We are always looking to invest in innovative, customer-obsessed companies, and Aurora is just that," Amazon said in response to an AFP inquiry.

Moto G7 Play vs Redmi Note 7 vs 2019-02-08 02:44:55Moto G7 Play price in the US is set at $199 (roughly Rs. 14,200), while the Redmi Note 7 is available with a starting price of CNY 999 (roughly Rs. 10

Uber Lays Out Its Plan for Long-Term Self-Disruption 2019-02-08 02:37:12Some of Uber's new lines of business may actively dissuade people from calling one of its cars.


Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.