Bioware’s Anthem is right around the corner but choosing the best way to pick it up looks like a demanding task. At the moment, there are 5 different ways to preorder the game and 4 different bonuses available. The problem is that not every bonus is available for each platform, and what’s worse is that there’s more than one version of the game available. To try and clear up the confusion, publisher EA released a full-fledged chart available below.
I don’t blame you if you’re confused. To make this as easy as possible we’ll start at the top of the graph.
So, the first option available is the standard preorder which is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
For $59.99 you’ll get a few extra goodies, including the Legion of Dawn armor skin, a Legendary weapon, and a Founder’s Player Banner. Technically you also got access to the demo, but that already passed on February 1st.
If you purchase this version, you’ll be able to play the game on its official release date – February 22nd.
Legion of Dawn Preorder
This version comes with a price hike of another $20, costing you a total of $79.99. For that extra 20 dollars you’ll get all the previous bonuses along with 3 different sets of Legendary armour, a Javelin gear attachment and the game’s digital soundtrack. For those unfamiliar with the Anthem, a Javelin is the exo-suit that lets you fly in the game.
You’ll be able to play the Anthem on the 1st, just like the standard edition.
EA Access on Xbox One
While there may not be any more preorder bonuses, there’s still a total of three more ways to play the game, starting with EA Access on Xbox One. EA Access is EA’s premium subscription service that grants users early access to games along with other bonuses.
If you’re a subscriber, you’ll be able to play a quick 10-hour trial of the game a week before its official release on the 22nd. You don’t get an actual copy of the game though, only a quick peek. If you want the full game, you’ll have to shell out at least another $60.
Origin Access on PC
Origin Access is EA’s PC equivalent to their EA Access service that’s available on Xbox. What makes this even more confusing is that there’s two tiers available.
Basic: If you’re a subscriber you’ll be able to play the game for a total of 10 hours on the 15th.
Premium: You’ll get the entire game a full week before everyone else, albeit it’s an “early access” version.
Hopefully I explained that in the least confusing way possible, but if the chart still has you scratching your head, you’re not alone.
At this point, EA is pretty notorious for having overly complicated release schedules. Before its release in November, Battlefield V had a similarly confusing chart, once again cluttered with staggered release dates and “Play First” bonuses. The problem with the model is that no one’s really “playing first”, there’s just people playing last.
For all intents and purposes, Anthem should be releasing on the 15th. While EA is no stranger to releasing unplayable titles, gamers already have an idea of exactly how the game plays thanks to EA’s Early Access demo on the 1st. Instead, EA is forcing fans to pay extra to play the game on time. I haven’t even mentioned the fact that PS4 owners are out of luck no matter what, since they’re forced to pick up the game on its second release date (February 1st).
While I can see why some avid fans might be open to dropping some extra money on collectors and special editions, this is getting a little out of hand. Fans are already spending $60 plus on your game, to demand extra for a title that isn’t even out yet is flat out insulting. If EA really wants to improve sales, maybe they should try treating their fans more like players rather than wallets.
If you still want to buy Bioware’s Anthem, you can pick it up on PS4, Xbox One and PC on February 22nd. If you want to get it early, see the mess above.