Anthem was off to a rocky start back when it first released; initially excited players quickly found that there wasn’t exactly a lot to do once you really got past the story and into the nitty gritty of things. Quests were repetitive and took place in the same pretty yet retreaded over world. Weapons were scarcely that different from each other in any distinguishable way, and there were only three raids available for looting anyway. All in all, it wasn’t pretty, but BioWare and EA have stayed committed to their promise of post-release content, and with patch 1.3, that content is finally here.
The Cataclysm expansion is Anthem’s first big world event. We knew about it for some time now, but had no idea when it was supposed to actually release until now, when it showed up in patch 1.3, which also included some game tweaks and balance changes. The biggest, and probably most anticipated change, is the addition of new story missions for endgame players. These missions are available if you’ve completed Incursion in the main story mode, and include modifiers for special missions, leaderboards, and a new seasonal store with accompanying seasonal currency.
Another important change is Inversions, which affect how your suit, the Javelin, interacts with enemies and the environment. There have also been changes to the luck system and the alliance functionality, and a score of bug fixes, weapon balancing, etc. It’s pretty obvious that the update is focused on providing endgame players with more variety and diversity in loot and missions, so they have more to do.
EA CEO Andrew Wilson did admit recently that Anthem had many serious problems at launch, but still stated that he believed the game could grow into something special. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to shake the stigma of a bad launch; fixing all of the problems that existed initially is already difficult, especially when some of them are part of the core gameplay elements. And even when the problems are fixed, some people will only remember their bad experience from their first time.
Still, BioWare was once regarded as one of the greats, and it would be something if they could reestablish themselves as a developer that makes amazing games. That being the case, fixing Anthems issues and making it a truly enjoyable experience for long-term players is a big part of achieving that. Whether or not the updates in this most recent patch make that happen or at least alleviate the boredom of endgame players remains to be seen, but the initial impression from most gamers seems good. No doubt both EA and BioWare hope to see that trend continue as the update ages.