Recap – Anthem VIP Demo

This past weekend, I ventured out to EB Games and pre-ordered Anthem for PS4. Normally I don’t pre-order games anymore since I felt the burn of No Man’s Lie Sky upon release, but when I found out EB Games lets you pre-order without paying any money and they’ll still give you the VIP code, well, why not?

The experience overall of the VIP demo was separated between love and frustration.

Electronic Arts (EA) and BioWare, the developers of Anthem, appeared to be caught off guard by bugs, server issues, and more. The majority of VIP gamers were faced with struggles to even get past loading screens – which has been deemed the hardest boss encounters of the game. The loading bar would progress to roughly 95% and just stop. The fix was to close and re-open the demo and try again. For me, my time with Anthem was about 60% of this scenario.

You can use one of four suits called Javalins. Suddenly you feel like Iron Man, which is awesome.
You can use one of four suits called Javalins. Suddenly you feel like Iron Man, which is awesome.

Due to all the problems everyone was encountering, BioWare allowed users to unlock all four Javalins instead of just two. This, along with all other progress VIP demo players made, will be carried over to this coming weekend’s open demo, which anyone can download and play. No codes or pre-orders required.

However, the good news is that the remaining 40% was where I could actually play the VIP demo of Anthem, and it is amazing. The graphics are stunning. The controls are, in my opinion, quite easy to pick up. The enemy encounters are challenging yet fun at the same time. The weapons are cool. The Javalin concepts are unique enough and how you need to keep your suit cooled to keep flight active (like flying through a waterfall). The sounds of your suit, guns, the environment and the enemies are very well done.

The Javalins

If you haven’t played the VIP demo but do plan to play the upcoming open demo, I highly suggest you do your best to try all of the Javalins before making your decision on the game. Everyone starts off playing as the Ranger.

The Ranger.
The Ranger.

The Ranger is the most well rounded of all of the Javalins. Many tend to not like the default choice in video games, but after trying all of the options, I really came to like and appreciate this one. The Ranger just suits (pun!) my style of how I like to play in these type of action games.

The Storm.
The Storm.

The Storm Javalin is my second favourite, but a first for many gamers out there according to Reddit, Twitter, etc. It’s hard to argue this one certainly looks the coolest as it casts lightning from above, and shoots ice from its hands. All the while being able to hover in the sky for a very, very long time compared to the other Javalins.

The Colossus.
The Colossus.

The second Javelin I had unlocked (and thought I was stuck with before the developers unlocked all four Javalins) was the Colossus. I thought I would really like this one considering it’s practically a tank and looks menacing. However, I found myself unhappy with his slow movement and I couldn’t quite grasp the fact you have to put your shield away to shoot and know to put it back up again. With the other Javalins, you don’t have to worry about them in a manual way like that. I’ll try this one out more in the next open demo to see if different load-outs help at all.

The Interceptor.
The Interceptor.

The Interceptor looks very flashy. It turns you into a robot ninja as you flip around, moves quickly, and throw exploding ninja starts at everyone. The melee attacks are also strong and look wild. All that said, you have to stay on your toes because you’re also the weakest. I found myself having to go into the middle of the fight to be effective, but then everyone is shooting at me and I wasn’t lasting long. For now, this one is a pass from me. I know a ton of people like it though, so be sure to try it for yourself.

It was worth it.

Despite all the issues with this VIP demo, I for one was happy I made the effort to go get a pre-order and VIP code. Game time may have been minimal, but it has already sealed the deal for me. I haven’t been this hyped after a demo since I played the early beta for Destiny (1). I’m already looking forward to playing Anthem again this coming weekend. Fingers crossed the connection issues and bugs have been lessened!

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