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Multiplatform Game Review: Anthem

Anthem is a shared-world action RPG, where players can delve into a vast landscape teeming with amazing technology and forgotten treasures. This is a world where Freelancers are called upon to defeat savage beasts, ruthless marauders, and forces plotting to conquer humanity.

 

 

Anthem, the would be savior of bioware, the game that was going to compensate for letdown after letdown. The great equalizer, Is in reality, just another letdown from the once great Bioware.

 

Bioware is dead folks. It died when the founding doctors left it after Star Wars The Old Republic and Mass Effect 3 were released. To see proof of this look no further than the shitastic Anthem. I hate saying this because I had such high hopes for this game but it’s less of a game and more an example how not to make a looter shooter (hint, don’t use frostbite engine for one) and how to make a load screen simulator!

 

 

The very first thing that stands out about Anthem is how beautiful the game is. The second, is the insane amount of long load screens that should not exist in a game in 2019. Bioware code named Anthem: Dylan, after the singer in the hopes that Anthem would revolutionize the way we view games like Bob Dylan changed how we view music. They failed on this front like they have failed on so many aspects of Anthem. Need to change your loadout? LOAD SCREEN! Need to respawn? LOAD SCREEN! Spawn into a mission set to public? Get ready for three or four load screens back to back as the game teleports you to the rest of the group who are now half way through their mission. Oh, by the way, the missions take less time to complete than they do to load, and this is on a good pc with superfast broadband speeds and a fast storage device!

 

 

The game also suffers from invisible enemies and random frame rate drops on the best pc hardware you can get for gaming! (Did I mention I have an awesome pc?) The game is terribly optimized, using the frostbite engine which does not have the framework in place for basic looter shooter functionality, or real inventory. This is why we can not switch out equipped weapons in the field, contrary to that drivel Bioware fed us about it breaking game flow. They already broke that with abilities that have drastically different cool downs, which prevent you from doing combos more often, thus making the combo system feel clunky and broken, but man is it so nice to watch a swarm die to a combo!

 

 

On top of all of this the game’s main focus of loot is a broken mess with inscriptions (affixes to those familiar with Diablo) not working or not being relevant to the weapon or gear you have equipped. The loot grind is poorly executed at best with nothing really unique and only four different gun models in the game. Bioware has fortunately recognized this and are working towards fixes to make the loot system work better and are even removing common and uncommon items from the lvl 30 loot tables after listening to feedback given by diablo 3 veteran and main man behind itemization; Travis Day.

 

Remember that awesome E3 footage that showed the strider walking and then getting attacked and the freelancer receiving a legendary item? That was an entirely scripted and acted scenario that never once appears in the game. Walking striders and competing factions just sadly do not exist. It would have been a nice touch if such things could happen as showcased in that E3 video, but that’s how things work though in building hype for a game, we usually are never shown actual live gameplay but a scripted video instead.

 

 

The missions are a terrible repetition of two different types with little diversity. You have the defend the point against waves of enemies and collect items while killing enemies. That’s it, and while the actual gameplay can be fun it is confined to this weak and broken system that get rather boring quickly. Added to this list of terrible choices and things is the fact Anthem was meant to be a story driven experience but the great storytelling Bioware is known for just is not present! The story is generic at best with some cool events here and there, but with dialogue choices that ultimately lead nowhere and do not matter, and no memorable characters except for Owen. I will fight you on this, Owen is the best thing about Anthem!

 

 

That all being said, Anthem does have promise and potential if EA lets bioware have the chance to fix it. Pass this one up for now and check back in 4 to 6 months when they release new endgame content (or in a sale ~Lone) and have had a chance to update and fix what is broken, if they even can. Currently, endgame is just repeating the final story mission of the game over and over.

 

Right now, a dissapointing 1 out of 10 though.

~Darsch


March 9th, 2019 by Darsch
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Xbox | No Comments »

ATLAS: Ongoing Player Diary [Day 2]

Darsch Pugs here with the second of my Atlas journal entries. These will be done in character as I feel it is more fitting since I am playing on a role play server. I will however break character in the journal when needed to explain things or game mechanics.

 

 

I write in my journal today with a heavy heart. There has been a split among the crew, everyone but the admiral and I have left us high and dry and created their own company. I thought we were doing just fine together and only had a few minor setbacks. Apparently though they thought differently. A few days have passed and the admiral has moved us to a new island, we have joined the atlas alliance, and we have a new first mate. I’m still but a lowly seaman for now. Many would be indignant over this but I’m okay with it, I’m not a leader, I function better left to my own devices with little responsibility.

 

I have mastered the armor smith’s art, have made much headway in the skills required to be a treasure hunter, and I have more knowledge of the crew of the damned. The knowledge I have gained has allowed me to land ever more damaging strikes on these poor souls that form the majority of the undead and cursed horde that is the damned. They seem to pop out of the ground at every treasure chest discovered. If you harm them but don’t finish them off quick enough they will submerge themselves in the ground to burst forth moments later whole. My knowledge of treasure maps have made me an expert at finding buried treasure, something the first mate has seen first hand.

 

 

The first mate and I went forth on a treasure hunt, maps in hand and supplies loaded on the small ship we decided to use for speed we set forth just the two of us. We found the island the treasure maps were for just a short sail from our home island. The first chest was easy to find, we anchored our vessel a mere breadth away from it, a small rock bar infested with giant snakes.

 

 

Once we cleared out the snakes I approached the mound of dirt that was clearly where the chest was buried, that’s when a group of 5 of the crew of the damned burst forth, I was quick with my pistol and lay waste to two of them, the first mate was even quicker with his bow and made short work of the rest with my assistance. This would continue on with the other three chests we discovered. In the end we found over 700 gold coin and many journeyman blueprints for plate armor and other items, all in all I would estimate a grand haul valuing roughly 1,500 to 2,000 gold. Not bad for my first treasure hunt, and this has lifted my spirits. I am rather fond of the adventures I have whilst hunting for treasure and can think of no better life than this.

 

 

We have begun work on a galleon. This will be a massive vessel and a massive under taking. The sheer amount of resources required is worth a king’s ransom. It will take time and effort but in the end will will have the largest seafaring vessel known to man.

 

 

We hope you enjoyed Day 2 of Darsch’s player diary of ATLAS, if you want to chat about the game, please join us in Discord and remember Darsch will be joining Katoe streaming Atlas on Tuesday and/or Thursday night’s, 9pm GMT on the station twitch!

 

Here’s Katoe’s stream from last week [it went better than last stream, however, the game didn’t hold up, so we changed stream plans! ~Lonesamurai]

 


January 24th, 2019 by Darsch
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, PC | No Comments »

ATLAS: Ongoing Player Diary [Day 1]

Darsch Pugs here with the first of my Atlas journal entries. These will be done in character as I feel it is more fitting since I am playing on a role play server. I will however break character in the journal when needed to explain things or game mechanics.

 

 

Journal Entry 1

 

I am Mirac Pugs, first of my name. With no recollection of my past I woke up on a desert island in a free port, the former crew I sailed with were missing and my memory of all event prior to awakening with them. All I remember is a rowdy drunken night in a tavern and that is it. [this was the very first load into the server after character creation, you load into a free port naked]

 

I awoke to finding myself with nothing but the shorts I had on and a hangover. I meandered along the paths of the free port and the small outlying area just outside of the port looking for some supplies and that is when I met my friend Ming Tao. Ming was in a similar situation to mine. We made a pact to find our lost memories together, or to make new ones and move on. Together we worked to build a raft and left that island behind in high hopes. My hopes however were soon shattered as I fell sick from what I assume to be a vitamin deficiency and fell overboard. [my vitamin levels dropped to low and I started to die, then my internet connection went out so my limp body fell off the raft and I died]

 

 

The current dragged me to a new island with a larger free port and here I stayed for a couple of days resting until I was reunited with Ming. [the role play server did a relaunch after a wipe and so myself and the player of Ming decided to keep our characters rp and this is where I logged into a new free port upon creating my character]

 

Ming had made contact with a group calling itself the Take and Trade Company, and he happened to be in port looking for new recruits, so naturally I signed up. We travelled to the company’s temporary base of operations to find it over run with large wolves baying at the doors and trying to break in. By the gods I have never seen such large wolves in my life, they were damn near the size of horses and just as quick! My introduction would have to wait as I grabbed a bow and helped to defend against the beasts, we killed 6 in total with four falling to my bow that day.

 

 

After the wolves were dealt with I was introduced to Adustus, the company’s admiral, the company’s chef Angel bonny, and another Captain, Ezekiel. All a right friendly and lively lot. Each with their own specialized skill set and desires. I regret I have as of yet to fully get to know anyone outside Ming though. My duties as a seaman kept me busy harvesting resources and fighting off the many beasts I encountered.

 

The island we were on was full of elephants, wolves, rattlesnakes, giant snakes, giant spiders and scorpions. There were plenty of boar and horses as well as beautiful parrots and sneaky monkeys. It was during one of my many incursions into the forests off the beach the shipyard was set up at was that I encountered both a giant spider and a giant snake. I was quick with my bow and defended myself against the spider, it had trapped me in some webbing and managed to bite me, the giant snake struck me from behind, I could feel both sets of venom coursing through my body sickening me, m,y vision becoming blurry, I barely managed to escape, but I made it back to our base, and then it happened, I was stung by a scorpion on my way into the base, and fainted once I made to where I intended to lie down to rest. I may have a strong bit of fortitude, but even the most hardy of men eventually succumb to enough venom and I was asleep for three days.

 

 

I woke to find myself on a raft, our base destroyed, all my gear gone, and a note saying to come to Gorgon’s Haven island, apparently while I still was recovering we relocated to a new island. I immediately went to work harvesting more supplies upon my arrival on Gorgon’s Haven. [I was killed by a wolf through the wall before the relocation started and logged in after the relocation was finished]

 

After some time, maybe two to three days, Admiral Adustus and myself went on a voyage to hire some more crew, the admiral and other had collected some gold and our new ship was finished, it was a small but fast vessel, and I was overjoyed to man the sails on it. With the admiral at the wheel and me in the cows nest and handling the sails we would soon make it to the free port to hire some crew. We would first though have to brave the dangers of the open sea, we sailed through several hurricanes, dodged and weaved through water spouts, skirted the dangers of ghost ships and made it to port in one piece. We hired a stalwart crew [of the npc kind to man the sails and ship repairs] and made the return trip home. We would never make it home however. Disaster struck, one of the ships of the damned caught wind of us, and their vessel was just to quick for our dear Gorgon’s Whore to outrun. Their cannons made quick work of our ship with their demonic roars and that eerie green smoke trailing behind those hellish balls they fired, and we lost all the new crew we hired as well as all of our gold in just a few cannon salvos from the undead bastards. [Both Adustus and I died to the sharks in the water when we had to abandon ship]

 

 

So it is with all these event’s that I decided I should set pen to paper and chronicle my adventures, lest I forget anew what has transpired in my life, and for future generations to know my tale.

 


 

We hope you enjoyed Day 1 of Darsch’s player diary of ATLAS, if you want to chat about the game, please join us in Discord and remember Darsch will be joining Katoe sttreaming atlas on Tuesday night’s, 9pm GMT on the station twitch!

 

Here’s Katoe’s stream from last week [it didn’t go well 😀 ~Lonesamurai]

 


January 7th, 2019 by Darsch
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, PC | No Comments »

ATLAS: Early Access Start and Ongoing Play Diary

ATLAS: The ultimate survival MMO of unprecedented scale with 40,000+ simultaneous players in the same world. Join an endless adventure of piracy & sailing, exploration & combat, roleplaying & progression, settlement & civilization-building, in one of the largest game worlds ever! Explore, Build, Conquer!

 

[New reviewer Darsch will be taking on ATLAS, the new MMO from Grapeshot Games, in an ongoing diary of gameplay, join us in Discord if you’re playing and chat about your experiences! ~Lonesamurai]

 

 

ATLAS. The pirate survival MMO I never knew I needed, surrounded by controversy over its rough early access launch rendering it unplayable for many players. Then there are game files which are copied from ARK Survival Evolved and its expansions. Many people believed upon this revelation that the game was just an ARK asset flip. Players bemoaned the “launch” saying the game was not ready. More on this in a moment first I want to tackle the ark asset flip accusations.

 

 

What is Atlas? For starters it sure as hell is not ARK. The only thing the same about the two are shared game file names, the survival theme, and game engine. Ark had stat points and engrams which are just blueprints you learned to be able to craft items, Atlas has skill trees that modify everything about your character, unlocks special abilities, teaches you how to make things, and unlocks additional skills lines, while forcing you to specialize. For example my character unlocked the bow skill line as well as the taming skill line from the basic survival skill line. From there I went down the bow skill tree learning how to make fire arrows and zipline arrows and how to do the special attack penetrating shot which penetrates armor and hits all mobs in a straight line. These special abilities are called feats and are something ark does not possess. Atlas is not an asset flip, all the art assets are new, new game mechanics such as managing your vitamin levels, having to catch the wind with your sails at the correct angles to even be able to move your ships and raft are all new, the files sharing the same name as ARK’s I can completely dismiss as Atlas feels so much different.

 

 

“Well the game was launched incomplete, broken, buggy, and laggy!” some would say. They are just plain wrong and ignorant of what early access means. So time to get this off my chest, early access is a fucking paid alpha people, its an incomplete game sold at a discount to get money to continue development and test the game! The game has not even officially launched yet, that won’t be for another two years as the devs have said in multiple interviews.

 

 

Yes the game’s early access start was terrible with server pings of 250 ms, terrible frame rate , and some game breaking bugs. The devs worked non stop on the game, some putting in 24 hours a day even to get this game playable. The servers have 120 ms ping still on official servers but I have not experienced any more lag or frame drops. Considering everything wrong and that they did numerous patches the first week that we went from version 1.0 to 7.0 and higher now is astonishing and the devs even apologized for the the rough early access start. I have never in all my years been this impressed and humbled by a game dev team, color me impressed. The was playable on the 27th of December 2018. On top of all the hard work they were doing on their own game servers they helped groups like TwitchRP set up and fix their own private servers

 

 

The devs have gone above and beyond the call of their duties, worked endlessly on the game, and care about their players and game. They continue to fix things and balance things while trying to give us the best play experience possible for a game still in the development stages and in testing. Also this game is fucking great.

 

 

ATLAS is available now in Early Access on STEAM – https://www.playatlas.com/

 

 

Keep an eye here for more news and play diary’s as we dive more into the game

 

~Darsch


January 1st, 2019 by Darsch
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, PC | No Comments »

Fallout 76 Speed Paint:- Exclusive Game Of The Month Artwork

To celebrate the release of Fallout 76, Sanitarium.Fm’s patrons received exclusive artwork of the games Scorchbeast boss by our artist in residence, PhaseChan.

 

Check out the process behind the portrait below:

 

 

Love this illustration? Sanitarium.FM patrons get exclusive Game Of The Month artwork every month, support the station today to start receiving your prints.

 


December 6th, 2018 by PhaseChan
Posted in Game of the Month art, Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Xbox | No Comments »

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