Unsurprisingly, Anthem's Upcoming Demo Will Be Different From the Final Release

This Friday, 25th January, people who have either pre-ordered Anthem or who subscribe to EA/Origin Access, will get a chance to play some of Anthem in the comfort of their own homes before anyone else.

The demo will be available on PC, Xbox One and PS4 and comes a week before a public demo is made available. It'll feature a section of gameplay from somewhere in the middle of the game's plot. As such, Anthem executive producer Mark Durrah has put out a couple of Tweets, trying to put players expectations for the demo in check.

Below are some of the differences between this week's upcoming demo, and the full game which releases later this spring.

Players will be dropped into the middle of the game, with no character creation, pilot selection, or tutorial. There may be additional bugs present, and the game balance and economy have been tweaked considerably to allow players a chance to experience as much as possible during the demo.

Players will also only have access to a single story arc, PC controls will be different from the final build, and some in-game items will be renamed, presumably so that it's easier to understand them without existing knowledge of the game world.

All of these are unsurprising revelations. To create a demo for a game, you have to stop working on the main game and focus on closing off the demo experience and locking it down to a specific set of content. As such, updates made to the main game cannot always be included in the demo, even if they exist in the final build before the demo releases.

So, if you play Friday's Anthem demo, expect to be dropped in without a huge amount of training, choice, and with an unbalanced version of the game designed to work better for a shorter experience.


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This post originally appeared on Kotaku UK, bringing you original reporting, game culture and humour from the British isles.


Comments

    I think it's great they are actually releasing a demo for it. I can't remember the last time a AAA game studio released a demo.

      Resident Evil 2?

        Nice pickup, I didn't play it. But it would be great to see demos as a thing which makes a come back. There is too much of this alpha testing and beta testing and releasing unfinished games.

        Demos would force companies to actually make a game people want to play, and take the feedback from the demo and make the final product better.

          I think you're getting the definitions of demo and alpha/beta mixed up.

          Demos aren't for feedback purposes since that's what the alphas/betas are for.

          Demos are to showcase the product.

    Unsurprisingly? I would say in this day and age that to see an actual demo is a huge surprise.
    Almost every demo and beta released these days is usually exactly what we get on release.

    Good on em though, clearly trying to do things right and taking it very seriously.
    I wonder if it's because a lot of big AAA games have been feeling the burn from bad decision lately and nothing is too big to fail anymore.

    I have to find the tweet but those who are in this weekend's demo have 3 codes they can use to invite their friends (or randoms)

    The game is due to be released in less than a month. HOW THE HELL are the PC controls not properly implemented by now?!

      The demo is a build of the game from ~6 weeks ago - so things have changed since then. It was followed up in other tweets and posts etc, they have done more work on the flying/swimming PC controls since the demo was "locked off" from the main development branch.

      To quote the main article;

      All of these are unsurprising revelations. To create a demo for a game, you have to stop working on the main game and focus on closing off the demo experience and locking it down to a specific set of content. As such, updates made to the main game cannot always be included in the demo, even if they exist in the final build before the demo releases.

      IMO its perfectly reasonable to assume that through development they had a set of original controls locked in. Through the Alpha test late last year and further refinement they could have been changed to an alternate set that provide more intuitive responses and better feel. this can explain his statement and differences between the demo and where they are now before release.

      The last lead producer stream had him on PC controls and said they have added improved mouse sensitivities (over a dozen sliders just for that) and are working to polish and calibrate those as well as add more settings.

      Consoles gave fixed options while PC master race will have a plethora more options that need to be scripted and UI developed mostly.

      The demo is often a version of the game from some time back, not necessarily where the game currently stands. Particularly for an online game. And a lot of the time, controls and the like are the last things they tweak, because they are reasonably easy to change.

      I wouldnt worry, the alpha I was in played fine on PC with your standard mouse/keyboard setup. If there's any changes to the controls between whatever build they're using and release, they arent going to be major.

      Because they learnt nothing from the PC port of Inquisition, I guess?

    I'd like to try this out but with my slow internet the demo period will probably be finished by the time I finish downloading it.

    Good to hear PC controls are getting looked at though. I read a lot of people's experience from the last demo and one of the main complaints for the PC version was bad flight/swimming controls. Apparently flight was set up around the idea of people letting go on the thumbstick on a controller and the thumbstick automatically jumping back to the middle position, which would level out your flight. But on the PC version instead of being built with how a mouse works in mind the mouse just emulated a stick. And of course a mouse doesn't just snap back to a middle position, so people were having a lot of trouble trying to keep their flight and swimming steady.

      how slow is slow? at least for this demo they've confirmed a 2 day preload if you're Xbox / PC

      but reddit rumors last read says the demo would be available for pre load for all meaning if you're waiting for the open demo, you have like a week to download

      The last dev livestream showed them playing with mouse and keyboard controls. There was a bug at one point where the quest did not advance so it had to be restarted.
      Loot was still awarded for what had been completed up to that point.

    *sniff* *sniff* i smell bait and switch here.

    This is the announced EA Subscriprion services and Preorder demo (beta). There is maybe another demo the first weekend of February that suppose to be an open stress test?

    Something tells me EA intentionally made the demo like this to trick people into preordering Destiny 2, Sorry Waframe. Shit again. Anthem. That's what its called right?

      If you pre-order, you get in this weekend. If you dont, you can get in next weekend, with the open beta starting on Feb 1 or 2 (cant remember which). So those that have already pre-ordered really dont get much of a beta benefit.

      If the Feb demo period convinces people to pre-order though, thats kind of its job. It IS a form of advertising after all.

      By the way, from what I saw its more Warframe than Destiny, at least with gear and skills. Gear varies with the perk's on them, leading to something similar to Warframes mods. Though it definitely had a Destiny feel about it from the actual gameplay side of things. It felt like a good balance between the two overall.

      if you casually follow Anthem, you can hop over to their youtube channel to see the streams they've been doing... I don't think there's really much to hide. it would be pretty incredible for them to run and develope two totally different game like some bait and switch thing

      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIfV-AOz4jZeazVDbzgT9lQ/videos

      if you're really hardcore, then BW is active on reddit, EA forum and twitter answering questions. at least this time round, BW is doing the opposite of what they normally do (stay silent until the game launches)

        No thanks

        I'd rather drink bleach than give money to EA.

          Harsh but fair.

            EA have ruined too many of my favourite series with their greed. EA is no longer deserving of respect or civility.

              you sound like my brother...

              well no he thinks that the corporate section of EA should be skinned alive.

              it's unfortunate because i want to play this game but now i have to wait like 2 years and for a steam sale so i can get it really cheap :(

              even then i will feel dirty because EA got money out of me :S

              Last edited 23/01/19 12:35 pm

                If we all did that maybe it would shake them up a bit... For some reason I feel like they'll just inject aggressive microtransactions into their product post launch. I mean they already treat their players like cattle to be milked, they long ago lost their 'benefit of the doubt' card years ago.

                  i would hate to see the results of them milking the male gamers....

    Don’t care either way, but no matter what they do, a bunch of babies will flame review sites and whine uncontrollably - of course after they give their money to EA.

      What if I don't give EA any money and still call them dickheads?

        Doesn't matter, as long as at least one person who complains buys it they can generalise everyone together to get that sweet feeling of superiority.

        The same way there are articles on news sites that say something like "The internet is outraged about the new x" and they have like 2 tweets as a source.

    The demo is likely 100% required.

    Myself and I'm guessing a very significant number of potential customers wouldn't touch the game without a giving the demo a test play first.

    Sorry EA, but our relationship ended a long time ago.
    I hope they loose the exclusivity to star wars rights.

    From my short time with the alpha on PC, I'm pretty optimistic about the game and have pre-ordered. PC controls were fine, just the sensitivity settings were a fair way off the mark by default, had to tweek them a bit. Also invert flight/swim setting wasn't functioning. Flying felt a bit sluggish and unresponsive but that was a general complaint in the alpha feedback, so I'm sure they will fix that.

    Either way it has the good game guarantee, so if I don't like it straight up I'll get a refund.

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