BioWare is definitely shaking things up a bit with their new IP Anthem and I recently got to spend a whole lot of time with the online game. You can read my full thoughts with my hands-on time right here, but there was one aspect of my playthrough that I feel that needs to be shouted out to the world. Though definitely its own thing, I can't shake that Anthem is the Iron Man game I've always wanted!
One thing that Mass Effect Andromeda was given a lot of praise for was its incredibly smooth combat mechanics and fluid movement. Anthem took those mechanics and made them even better with total player freedom in mind. You want to spend most of your time flying around like Iron Man? Do it. Want to be firmly boots on ground? Weird, but ok! Do it! The best part is that players really aren't forced to play in a way that they aren't comfortable with, which is something I can't stress enough. That, and the flying is SO MUCH FUN.
Though it took me a little bit with underwater travel, the Javelin operation both above and below ground is stupidly addictive. It felt so free, so light, and literally it felt like the world was my oyster. I had total control, it made me feel like a badass that would make Iron Man himself proud. And that's a big reason why my squad and I kept making suits that look like Iron Man -- it's the Marvel game we all wanted without being tied to Marvel in any way shape or form.
The main theme - despite a harrowing story and intricate characters - of Anthem is total freedom, at least when it comes to mechanics. The thing that makes Iron Man such a desirable character for a game is the same thing that made Insomniac Games' Spider-Man PlayStation 4 title such a hit: the movement. Every game you can run, sprint, walk, crawl but that immersion is always kicked up another notch when there is another way to travel -- a way not conventionally felt in real life. It's another way for players to get deliciously lost in another story and that's a big reason why an open-world Iron Man game is so appealing.
Though there's no Ms. Potts in Anthem, the mechanics are very similar to what I picture when I envision my perfected Marvel game. When taking a break from the main storyline of Anthem and the important side quests, I would often find myself moseying back over to the FreePlay portion to just roam and fly. Sure, I'd drop down if I saw an interesting enemy or if I was gassed out, but the pure beauty of just exploring? That was perfection.
"Iron Man was an inspiration, as was the Hulk, Doctor Strange," Lead Producer Mike Gamble told me when I sat down with him to chat about Anthem and its comic similarities. He then added, "Scarlet Witch, we sort of pulled from a lot of those especially for the mage class, which is the Storm. The size of the colossus with the Hulk and the Ranger was obviously inspired by Iron Man. The inspiration was endless."
After hearing him delve a little more into those inspirations, I could see it a lot more - even the Doctor Strange one which I didn't connect at first. It's definitely a cool aspect of the design and flow of the game that makes you kind of do a double take regarding first impressions. There's so much more to this game and honestly, I'm kind of stoked to see what everybody else thinks about it because all I want to do is play more.1comments
Anthem releases on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on February 22nd. To play early, you can check out our previous coverage here to find out how and how to invite your friends.
You can geek out with -- or just contact -- the author of this story over on Twitter @DirtyEffinHippy.