Hello likely former Freelancer! I have a simple question for you today. Is it time to give Anthem another go? What's it going to take for you to get back into your javelin? If you're anything like me, when you saw the footage of Anthem at E3 you were geeking out of your pants and ready to throw all your money at BioWare. I mean, it's BioWare, they can do no wrong and Anthem looked INCREDIBLE.
Then, on February 22nd 2019 it dropped. And so did my heart. Bastion was beautiful and flying around in such a stunning environment for the first time was incredible. The game looked great but I was so disappointed with Fort Tarsis, the NPCs that all sell the exact same thing, and the fact that you really couldn't form any relationships with any NPCs which has been a signature in BioWare games since way back in the Old Republic. Needless to say, after my first couple conversations with each NPC (Except Neeson voiced by Joe Jo Truglio of Brooklyn 99 who brought the sole bit of actual comic relief of the game) they meant next to nothing with me and I had no desire to go back (I still did but it felt like a chore), and after a couple hours you've pretty much seen all there is to see terrain and enemy wise. With my expectations set sky high, the game as a whole was a swing and a miss for me. I still put in a ton of hours because I bought the super deluxe version of it and I wanted to get my moneys worth and I did have a good time for the first bit in spite of everything while trying to farm for legendary items but even the farming got old incredibly fast.
Then came The Cataclysm event! Ending this week, the Cataclysm event added a bit more to do and a big new boss battle. I got excited, hopped in and enjoyed it up until the boss battle that was incredibly repetitive and quickly turned into a battle of attrition of my own will power to finish than a difficult boss. But it did bring in quite a few new players and brought back some old ones (such as myself) but now what? Now, Anthem has been placed into EA access which is not good news for the former potential mega-hit which really puts it in limbo. Is EA going to keep sinking money into a game that they are almost giving away for free? BioWare has announced they are scrapping their road map and moving away from theirs Acts structure all together instead, will be providing "seasonal updates". "We hear your concerns on core issues with Anthem (Editors note: Woof! Not how you want to start a quote) those systems require a more thorough review and re-working versus quick fixes. We've got a team working on that now, and the early results are promising" says Chad Robertson, Head of Live Services for Anthem. Basically, they've been trying to put a band-aid on an arm that's falling off and they are finally performing surgery to try to reattach.
I'm excited and I wish them the best of luck. I think they have a great base to start from and a game like this could always benefit from time and tweaking. Unfortunately, they dug themselves in such a hole a tweaks aren't going to do it. Here's hoping that corporate daddy EA doesn't give up on it and we'll get a chance to be a freelancer again.