Silence is broken–and so is Anthem

I swear, I am going to quit saying I’m getting back to regular blogging. As soon as I do, something happens. In this case, it was an attack by the muse–and by the editor that lives within me. Nocturnal Revelations is nearing publication date (Feb. 19th) and it has been butt in chair as I get ready. The book is with beta readers now and I’m waiting to see what their final thoughts are. In the meantime, I realized one small detail I needed to back and thread through the novel, so I’ve been doing that.

I have also been working on the next Eerie Side of the Tracks book as well as the next Honor & Duty book. Yes, it means I feel like I’m being torn in a number of different directions, but it’s been fun. 

Add in my blogging efforts at Mad Genius Club, According to Hoyt and Victory Girls and, well, there has been a lot of writing happening. Just not here and for that I apologize.

In the meantime, I took part in the Anthem VIP demo this weekend. Or, perhaps more accurately, I tried to take part. I should have known EA would screw it up. I even expected it. What I didn’t expect was how badly they would do so.

It started with the download. I was somewhere between 85-90% finished with the game download when the servers we AWOL. An hour or so later, I was finally able to finish the download. Not that it did me any good. Once the game was installed, I couldn’t log into Origin. Worse, Origin/EA was so fucked that all my games disappeared and no Bioware games were playable (yes, there were workarounds, but the initial WTF moment of seeing no games on my dashboard was the thing of nightmares.) That finally was fixed but I was soon to learn it was only the tip of the iceberg of problems.

It took several more hours before I could finally log into the game (and this is why I absolutely abhor online always games). Finally, I was in. I accepted this was a pared down version of a section of the game. It’s a demo. I’m old enough to remember real video game demos long before we went the way of beta trials. But I also expected the “demo” to be a basic example of what game play would be like. Dear God, I hope Bioware/EA/Origin gets their collective head out of their asses or Bioware very well may be done.

This was Bioware’s chance to win back a lot of lost good will after Mass Effect: Andromeda. To say it failed to do so, at least to the degree it could have, is an understatement.

What were the technical problems? Sound cutting in and out. Load screens freezing at 95%. Unable to connect to servers. Server droops. You name it and it probably went wrong.

Add to that missions that felt repetitious and, well, all I can say is there needs to be major improvements by this weekend’s open demo or Bioware and EA are going to face some very serious backlash from fans.

But it wasn’t all bad. When I could actually get into the game and go far enough–get past loading screens–to play a mission or go to Free Play, the game was a lot of fun. The graphics are beautiful. Using the jet packs is a lot of fun. Personalization of your character easy and fun. Controls are fairly easy to learn (although flying using a keyboard and mouse on the PC is more challenging than using a controller.)

This is what we were promised:

Instead, we got a demo that for much of the time was unplayable. I miss the days when you knew a game coming form Bioware was a must buy.  I will see what happens this weekend but no, I have not pre-ordered the game. I won’t be buying it until Bioware and EA prove this isn’t yet another game rushed to release, portions of it sub-contracted out to companies without a clue about how to make a quality video game.



  1. You got further into Anthem than I was able to this weekend. I know it was a demo, but it has a release date 4 weeks away and their entire system is still so jacked up that nothing works ? ain’t looking promising.

    1. I agree, Doug. That said, what I did get to play, I enjoyed. Unfortunately, the frustration of not being able to play far outweighed the enjoyment. Hell, it almost had me saying Fallout 76 is a better game and that game is still one mistake after another.

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