Anthem: Follow-up

I wanted to write about the ME MP Challenges and Halls of Fame this week, but I won’t have time, so here’s a short follow-up on my experience with Anthem instead.

Playing solo, on easy difficulty, I finished the main story in about 30 hours (two weeks real-time), at pilot level 16. I did every mission that was available for the three factions, but I only spent as much time in freeplay as was required to do the tomb-opening challenges, and I only played the Tyrant Mine stronghold once, with random teammates. I talked to everyone in Fort Tarsis and did not sprint through it, but I didn’t dally around either. All in all, as a single-player game, Anthem has about the same amount of content as, say, Mass Effect 3.

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Anthem: First Impressions

I’ve been playing the newest Bioware multiplayer game, Anthem, for a week now and I’m enjoying it immensely. It’s stunningly beautiful, easy to get into and incredibly fun to play. The foundational world-building concepts are a fresh take on the magical-artifacts-of-an-ancient-civilization trope with a musical twist that I find irresistible. Despite the occasional lapses in logic, the narrative is engaging and well-executed. Among the substantial cast of characters, not all are rendered with equal depth, but they are all competently written and voiced. Where Anthem doesn’t shine, it’s decent, and there’s next to nothing in it that annoys me. That’s quite an accomplishment! My overall feeling is that this is the game Mass Effect Andromeda was supposed to be, if it only had the time and nourishment to mature properly.

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Dinner at Deviant’s Palace

By T. Powers

Of the three books by Tim Powers I’ve read so far (the other two were The Drawing of the Dark and The Stress of Her Regard), I liked this one the best. It takes a while to get started, and it took me a while to finish it (about a month of semi-regular daily reading), but it’s a solid story, with no outstanding thematic problems, depicting a fairly believable dystopian future where alcohol is the main currency, cities have turned to warring states, and ancient shells of rusted cars are hauled by horses as a status symbol.

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The Elder Scrolls Online

I’ve been a fan of The Elder Scrolls (henceforth, TES) franchise for a very long time now. My first contact with it was in 2002, with Morrowind, which blew my mind, and I played every major TES game that came out since. I was very excited by the idea of The Elder Scrolls Online (henceforth, ESO) at the time it was announced, but the demo which I played in 2014 left me unimpressed. I only bought the game in 2016 after Bethesda had made the monthly subscriptions optional.

ESO is huge. In every conceivable way. This is why I’ve been reluctant to write about it. Every aspect of it would need of a post of its own if I was to do it justice. So this is by no means going to be comprehensive and exhaustive. It’s just a collection of random facts and impressions.

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Wish They Left the Stars Out of Star Trek: Discovery

I’ve seen about half the first season of Star Trek: Discovery. It’s riddled with stupid plot-twists, unlikable characters who behave nonsensically and bad design decisions. But among all these legitimate things to complain about, none annoyed me as much as their stars.

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