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Everything About Anthem’s In-Game Stores Is Bafflingly Bad

Illustration for article titled Everything About iAnthem/i’s In-Game Stores Is Bafflingly Bad
Kotaku Game DiaryKotaku Game DiaryThe latest thoughts from a Kotaku staffer about a game we're playing.

Every time I log into Anthem I stop by one of its in-game stores, and every time I am disappointed. The selection is bad. The three-day refresh is bad. Even the locations of the in-game shops are bad. It boggles the mind.

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Pictured above is Prospero, the first vendor players come across in Anthem’s home base of Fort Tarsis. Prospero talks a big game: He says he’s helping Freelancers bring the thunder and lightning by selling new armor, emotes, and decals to decorate their mech suits. Propero has six things for sale at a time, rotating out every three days or so. Six whole things.

Illustration for article titled Everything About iAnthem/i’s In-Game Stores Is Bafflingly Bad
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As of this writing, Prospero is selling a “Tell it to the Hand” emote, the coveted “Heavy Air Guitar” emote, three decals, and a fabric texture. Players can spend their hard-earned coin on these items or buy them with “Shards,” Anthem’s real-money currency. Shard packs start at 1050 Shards for $9.99.

It’s all cosmetic stuff, which is fine. No one can use real cash to purchase anything useful. But with only six items in rotation at a time, chances of a player finding anything they want in the store are slim.

Illustration for article titled Everything About iAnthem/i’s In-Game Stores Is Bafflingly Bad

Let’s visit another vendor. How about Sayrna, voiced by the outstanding Kristen Schaal, AKA Louise from Bob’s Burgers. She runs Anthem’s Regulator Store. Let’s see what she has for sale.

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Illustration for article titled Everything About iAnthem/i’s In-Game Stores Is Bafflingly Bad

Oh. The same stuff. Well, Fort Tarsis is pretty big. I suppose it is nice to have access to the store in different locations for the sake of convenience.

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Illustration for article titled Everything About iAnthem/i’s In-Game Stores Is Bafflingly Bad

Yeah, I don’t know why there are two stores feet away from each other selling exactly the same things. Confusing things even more, sometimes, when I open Prospero’s shop, it triggers a voice clip from Sayrna thanking me for dropping by or telling me she’s got the best stuff in Fort Tarsis.

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Confusing matters even more, entering the main menu of the game and navigating to the “Featured” tab brings up the same damn store no matter where you are in the fort.

For extra added fun, Sayrna’s voice clips even activate when opening the in-menu shop.
For extra added fun, Sayrna’s voice clips even activate when opening the in-menu shop.
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The placement of the stores makes no sense. Neither does the six-items-on-rotation thing. During a Twitch stream several months back, BioWare developers showed off a slew of material types, decals, and parts that could be acquired in-game to spruce up players’ rides. Now the game is out and we’re being fed a slow trickle of items. A handful of decals and one or two materials are on sale at any given time. We’ve seen some special mech parts show up in the store since launch, but it looks like there are only four variations for each of the four mech classes so far.

Players can also purchase parts, decals and emotes directly from the Forge loadout menu.
Players can also purchase parts, decals and emotes directly from the Forge loadout menu.
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We’ve got too many places to buy too few things, with days of waiting between in-game shop refreshes, hoping something cool shows up. It’s nice to see EA and BioWare going light on the microtransactions, but how is my robot suit supposed to be as pretty as it can be if I don’t have access to more options?

I know, she’s super pretty as she is.
I know, she’s super pretty as she is.

Kotaku elder, lover of video games, keyboards, toys, snacks, and other unsavory things.

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DISCUSSION

Ravenous Sophovore

I wanted this game to do well because I want Bioware as a studio to survive and make more games.

I wanted this game to fail because I definitely don’t want Bioware to make more games like this instead of the single player experiences I love.

I don’t know if I should feel anxious or relieved that the majority of articles I read about this game are negative.