Anthem lead producer details changes coming to PC controls

Anthem executive producer Mark Darrah said a couple of weeks ago that the VIP and public demos would be different from the full release in several ways, including the controls: Darrah said they'd be "slightly less nuanced" in the demo than they will be in the final version. Lead producer Ben Irving said more about that today on Reddit, where he ran down some of the changes in the aiming and flight controls that BioWare is working on.    

The mouse sensitivity slider for flying and swimming will offer more than double the range that was available in the VIP demo, enabling a wider range of mouse DPI settings "to better fit into our in-game swim/flight sensitivity settings." The PC flight box is now a circle, which will enable better turn and speed management, and auto-centering for swimming and flying is now enabled by default: When you stop yanking your mouse around, the cursor will, after a delay, automatically go to center. 

Bugs have been fixed, including one that was causing a "symptom of negative acceleration" with raw mouse input and another that was messing with the hold-to-fly button. Raw mouse input can now be used for flight by setting the flight/swim response and precision sliders to 0 percent, and default flight and swim sensitivity settings have been tweaked as well. Flight/swim response and precision default settings and curves have also been tuned. 

I thought Anthem's flight controls in the alpha test were adequate but a little twitchy, the sort of thing I could get used to but would never really like, but hopefully these changes will add up to a better experience in the air. Flying with a mouse is never going to be ideal, but if BioWare can at least minimize the "get used to it" phase, it'll be a big plus. (I'm totally onboard with James: Hossing Javelins around in the sky is the one thing about Anthem that really stands out.) 

Anthem comes out on February 22, and the public demo is live now.   

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.