Thoughts From The Snake Pit – Anthem VIP Demo

Anthem Articles

The Anthem VIP Demo has come and gone, leaving all kinds of polarizing conversations in it’s wake.  How could all of these issues not have been known about before launching the demo? Should it have been labelled a beta instead of a demo?  We only get an additional Skin for all of our troubles?  No Demo Extension?

I was not one of the chosen few who was able to load into games without issue.  Being an Xbox player, I could not connect at all on the first day.  Although to be fair, my play time was very limited and connectivity was fixed after I was unable to continue for the day.  Once able to connect, I was constantly plagued with the dreaded 95% bug, requiring that I close the game and relaunch it to reconnect with my party.  The worst issue I experienced was having it crash after getting to the Stronghold boss, only to have the game load back into a fresh start and losing an hours progress and the loot that accompanied it.  It is unfortunate that these issues marred what was otherwise an incredible experience.

The internet lynch mob is waving it torches and pitch forks wildly in the air, looking for some kind of recompense from Bioware or EA.  I can’t help but feel sorry for the development team who worked tirelessly through the weekend, trying to resolve all of the issues preventing the community from fully enjoying Anthem’s demo.  I have to commend Mike Gamble, Mark Darrah and Chad Robertson for keeping their cool under fire.  They maintained transparency throughout the entire process and kept us informed during what must have been an incredibly chaotic situation for them.

Was I frustrated by the issues that prevented me from fully enjoying my time?  Yes.  Do I feel like I am owed something? Absolutely not.  I pre-ordered their game because I was excited to play the full release.  The fact that they included the chance to play a pre-release portion of the game as part of that pre-order was just a bonus.  I would much rather they caught these issues 4 weeks before launch day than be sitting at my desk experiencing them for the full release.  Receiving extra vinyls or the ability to try out all Javelins in the next demo may seem insignificant to some, but I see it as them giving us something extra that doesn’t require pulling resources from fixing the problems.  So, I say thank you Bioware!

Anthem is a beautiful game!  The lush environments are full of life, the open world has verticality like I have never seen before.  Flying around, being the best Iron Man I can be felt absolutely fantastic.  I feel like I could spend hours with the Javelin customization alone, there are so many awesome combinations of materials, textures and colors.  Gunplay was solid, with each weapon type feeling different and satisfying to use.  What little story we have seen, seems to be well written.

I am excited to jump into the open demo this coming weekend and hope to see you there too.  I am confident that the development team is working hard to analyze the data they collected and fix the issues found during the VIP demo.

Mike (AKA SnekPlayz) has been playing games since the days of the Commodore Vic 20 and enjoys playing most genres from Action Adventure to FPS to Racing. He is a part-time streamer on Twitch at https://twitch.tv/SnekPlayz

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