BioWare’s new loot shooter Anthem really nails the feeling of flying around in Iron Man-style exosuits, except when dive-bombing. As players have learned, it turns out the fastest way to get around in the game’s world is by simply falling.
While it’s nice to pause every once in a while and take in the beautiful sights, of which Anthem has many, the fact that it’s a game based on grinding for loot means players spend a lot of time doing the same stuff, in the same places, over and over again.
Repeatedly playing through one of the game’s Stronghold missions, like the Tyrant Mine, means getting to know it like the back of your hand and figuring out how to finish as quickly as possible. So it didn’t take long for players to discover that falling in one of Anthem’s Javelins is a lot faster than flying.
How much faster? I did a handful of tests of my own in the initial starting area in free-play right outside of Fort Tarsis to find out. Every area in Anthem has an invisible ceiling. Fly up to it and the game will eventually envelope you in a wind tunnel and redirect you back toward the ground.
Going up to this point right above the first waterfall in the Ranger Javelin, I used the stopwatch on my phone to track how long it took to hit the ground.
In free fall it took 4.84 seconds the first time. Pointing my Javelin straight down and using its thrusters at max throttle it took 9.72 seconds. I did this four more times and got similar results. Based on these preliminary tests, falling in Anthem is about twice as fast as flying.
It might not sound like much, but Anthem’s world has a ton of verticality. A lot of the map is divided into high plateaus abutted by large canyons and just about every underground cavern has at least a couple of large plummets. Of course, some players have found even more exotic means of getting around faster, like linking together canceled melee attack animations to conserve momentum. Where there’s loot, players will find a way.
Logically it doesn’t make much sense, but that hasn’t stopped a number of players from debating science fiction physics on the game’s subreddit. Some argue that of course the pull of gravity aided by a rocket should be faster than gravity alone. Others claim that since flying downwards in Anthem cools off your engines, the added air intake is probably what’s slowing the Javelins down.
Either way, the end result is that no one piloting a Javelin’s going to be able to save someone falling from a crumbling building anytime soon. Unless they start falling, too.