Anthem’s Latest Controversy
For those who have been following Anthem, it has gone from a story of gloom, to now one of doom. The initial reports were vague but now confirmation is there that Anthem can cause a full system shutdown of Consoles running the game. A full system shutdown is akin to someone pulling the plug on an active system, complete with the attendant risks of system damage, data loss and even bricking the console. While not everyone is affected, the minority affected is still a significant minority and have swarmed Reddit, and Twitter.
Even Greg Miller of IGN is having the same problem. The issue in question was also covered on a Giant Bomb Pod Cast. Developer BioWare and publisher Electronic Arts have been very…vague in their acknowledgement of this issue, which was not fixed in their February 23rd 2019 patch to Anthem.
Then the controversy escalated when users who had experienced these hard crashes and power shut-offs, reported that their consoles began to brick. Redditor u/TheMadTitanGauntlet was the first to report the bricking of his console here. News began to spread when Kotaku Editor Jason Schreier posted the following to Twitter. Please note that the email he refers to comes for “a game dev.” Whatever defect in the game’s programming or code is causing this defect means that Anthem now poses a legitimate threat to player’s gaming hardware.
Unbrick your PS4 Brick. Step by Step.
There is however, hope. Redditor u/katcher12 has posted a thread stating that not all hope is lost and that it may be possible to rectify the problem. He claims that Anthem is “corrupting the PS4’s file management system,” and that “THIS DOES NOT AND SHOULD NOT MEAN YOUR CONSOLE IS BRICKED.”
Having played Anthem on PC, I cannot verify the technical authenticity of this fix but the step by step is provided below: –
- Boot your console in Safe Mode
- Hold the console power button (not the controller’s) until you hear two beeps.
- Once in Safe Mode, select the option “Rebuilt Database”
- DO NOT select Initialize! This option will wipe your HDD/SSD.
The user goes on to state that his post is not about defending Anthem but on giving people a chance who have potentially bricked their console a chance to unbrick their console, and then play something else in the “off chance something more severe rears its ugly head.” Jason Schreier has since commented on his own Twitter post regarding this solution citing that it did work for someone.
An Issue Blown out of Proportion?
Those defending Anthem stating this is just a minor issue that has been blown completely out of proportion, and some go as far as to cite other games as having similar “forced shutdown issues” including God of War and Elder Scrolls Online. However, in those instances, they were isolated and if one follows the thread through, solutions were found that revolved around either system age or maintenance requirements.
There is no defending how or why Anthem was shipped by BioWare and Electronic Arts, and approved by Sony in its bug loaded, glitch infested state that causes forced shutdown, risking data loss and damage to gaming hardware. It remains the only game to date to consistently cause a complete shutdown of the Play Station 4 console. The obscure solution was not even provided by the developer or publisher, but by another user on Reddit. The average consumer probably does not know you can boot a PS4 to safe mode or manually rebuild a database!
The fact remains that there is no telling what damage continually playing Anthem could do and just because a console is not being bricked outright, should not make it acceptable for players to have to become repair technicians to play games that they have already paid a full retail price for.