Well, Anthem certainly started with a bang. At the very beginning of the EA E3 2018 press conference, we saw a titan from Anthem crawl out of a screen and two player characters attack it. The titan withdrew and the show began. Unfortunately, EA did not continue with Anthem until later on.
When the time came, they revealed that Anthem will be coming out February 22, 2019, on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The story of Anthem is centered around a kind of post-apocalyptic fantasy world where “the gods vanished and left our world in chaos.” The only thing these gods managed to leave behind, is the Anthem.
This seems to be along the same lines as Gaia in Horizon Zero Dawn, a strong source of power that creates hostile creatures like the titans we saw. The anthem can destroy too, however, something that another faction, the domain, have been wanting to utilize for centuries. They haven’t been successful until now and with a “storm is coming,” there is sure to be a war. The walls of your haven cannot protect you forever.
It is up to the player to go out on a hero’s journey and stop the thing that “wants to destroy us all.” You play as a freelancer, uniquely skilled to pilot the javelins, the exo suits we have been seeing in all the trailers. The world outside your haven is a shared one, alive with other players and the many anthem-created creatures that inhabit it.
If it is raining for you, it will be raining for all your team members. That said, every mission out will be the same. The world of Anthem is “constantly being reshaped,” which might imply a lot of things like a procedural generation. However, it seems more likely that only a select few things are procedurally generated, like the kinds of creatures you meet and where you will meet them. If landscape changes as well, that would make for an even more interesting game.
The idea is for the experience to feel alive and constantly changing, ripe for more story and content to be added later. If you’re not so into the multiplayer sections, you can feel free to focus on the RPG elements within your haven, or base. These are supposed to be characters players are sure to have a deep connection with and stories that won’t seem tacked on to the multiplayer mode. The developer’s slogan for the game is “our world, my story”, ensuring that story and multiplayer are well balanced and immersive for all players.
When going on a mission with your friends, you’ll be able to converse with an apparent AI by the name of Owen who will guide you through the mission. You can still explore with your team, of course, but there will always be plenty for you to do. While you are swimming and flying through the world of anthem, you will be able to choose your class of suit before you go out every time. As such, depending on the make-up of your team, you can always be sure you’re balanced.
There are four classes: ranger, colossus, intercepter, and storm. They were only able to focus on the ranger and colossus, but it is easy to guess what the other two classes will be. Ranger is up close and personal combat, a faster fire rate at a distance is necessary. Colossus is your basic tank, made for taking a hit and giving one too, but it’s slow.
If you’re worried that all the suits look the same, BioWare is offering a deep character customization for the suits, both in shape and color. There are plenty of options to choose from, including microtransactions in the form of cosmetics. EA made sure to state clearly that there will be no way to level up or gain any advantage with microtransactions, all be purely cosmetic.
The similarities to Destiny is certainly strong, but Anthem might be the game that disappointed Destiny players are looking for.