Anthem: Story Complete

I’ve now come to the end of the story content in Anthem. The main plot ended as it lived: forgettably. But that’s okay. The main story isn’t what makes Anthem special.

My storm Javelin prepping for a mission in AnthemIt is the side stories where Anthem reaches its full potential. The game captures the fantasy of the “Free Lancer,” a science fantasy knight-errant, very well as you explore contracts and freeplay, policing the wilds of danger and making life safer for the ordinary people of Bastion.

Interestingly, the side missions and conversations continued for quite a while after finishing the main story. I’ve played plenty of games where it was possible to keep pursuing side missions after the main plot, but I think this is the first time I’ve seen a wealth of side stories that only unlock after the big plot stuff is wrapped up. Seeing as the side stories and background NPCs are Anthem’s strength, I was quite pleased by this.

Oddly, even though I’ve now completed every last bit of story, I’m still two levels below the cap. Since there’s no content locked behind level cap (so far as I know), that’s not really a problem; it’s just surprising. How people were getting to thirty within the first week after launch I’ll never know.

I did manage to unlock my final Javelin, Ranger. The other Javelins took me a while to warm up to, so maybe I need more time with it, but so far this is my least favourite to date. It’s just a dude who shoots things and flings the occasional grenade. There’s nothing special about it.

At least the rocket barrage ultimate is satisfying, if a bit finicky to aim.

I remain quite happy with Anthem on the whole, but now that I’ve experienced pretty much everything the game has to offer, I will agree that it feels a bit anemic in places. It needs a bigger world, more strongholds, and more than anything else it needs more Javelins.

My ranger Javelin posing in AnthemThe current selection are all fun (some more than others), but since there’s little ability to customize the playstyle of each Javelin, there definitely needs to be more than four of them. We don’t necessarily need the ridiculous number of suits Warframe is offering, but we do need more options than this. Obvious choices could include a stealth Javelin, a support Javelin, or a pet-focused Javelin.

My understanding is that Bioware does hope to add more Javelins at some point, but that it isn’t a priority, which is concerning.

I do feel my time in Anthem is now winding down, though I may still pop in now and then. It’s good stress relief. But there’s upcoming free content updates to look forward to, and having gotten over sixty hours of good fun out of it, I’m quite satisfied I got my money’s worth.

It may not have blown me away the way Andromeda did, but Anthem turned out far better than I expected it to.


Free Stuff!

I’ve had the good fortune to have been gifted with a number of free gaming-related treats lately. Thought I’d take a moment to show off.

Dungeons and Dragons: Meet Mai

First, an artist friend of mine — the talented Jennifer Luu (jennifer0luu @gmail .com) — kindly offered to do a sketch of Mai, my most played character in D&D.

Artwork of my D&D character, Maigraith Numin, by Jennifer LuuI love it. The hair is spot-on.

ESO: New styles

I’ve also gotten some gifts in ESO.

Firstly, I won a new outfit slot courtesy of Chestnut from Gamer Girl Confessions for participating in IntPiPoMo at the end of last year. My thanks to her for her generosity. Due to logistical issues, it took a while for the slot to be delivered, but I’ve got it now, and my Bosmer is now sporting a shiny new look (click images for full size).

My sorcerer's new outfit in Elder Scrolls OnlineIn contrast to her normal tribal look, I wanted something more formal to show off her Aldmeri pride. Something she could wear while meeting with the queen. I did still include some bone elements as a nod to her more savage Bosmeri heritage.

My sorcerer's new look in Elder Scrolls OnlineThe developers have also been giving away free stuff. Following their racial rebalancing (which has rather ruined my main’s stealthiness, much to my dismay), they handed out a bunch of race and name change tokens. My main got a new surname to bring her in line with my current character naming conventions, while my warden used a race change token to alter her appearance, which I’d never quite been happy with.

My warden's new look in Elder Scrolls OnlineI’m still not sure I’m happy with it, to be honest. She looks a little harder than I’d like her to. It’s shockingly hard to make a High Elf in this game who doesn’t look like an awkward alien. Well, I still have two more tokens if I want to take another crack at it…

My High Elf warden's new look in Elder Scrolls OnlineFinally, I have also completed the grind to evolve my Nascent Indrik mount. As is so often the case with grinds like these in MMOs, I lost my passion for it about halfway through, came to view it as an unpleasant chore, and began questioning my sanity for continuing with it, but stuck it out to the end out of a sense of obligation borne from sunk cost fallacy.

My evolved Indrik mount in Elder Scrolls OnlineAt least it’s a nice looking mount.