Anthem is the next big IP from Bioware, the creators of the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series. First revealed at E3 2017, the epic sci-fi RPG aims to bring together single-player, multiplayer, shooting, and RPG elements in a similar vein to Bungie’s Destiny franchise — albeit from a third-person perspective.
Most recently, we saw a host of new footage from the game at E3 2018, and got an announcement of the game’s intended release date, too. Trusted Reviews has compiled everything you need to know include all the latest news, release date, gameplay and more!
Anthem – What is it?
Anthem is an open-world RPG that takes place in a strange, hostile alien world where humanity lives in a giant walled city, hiding from giant monsters. You take the role of a Freelancer; a heroic group that act as humanity’s guardians and scouts beyond the wall in Iron Man-like suits of armour, known as Javelins.
Anthem release date
Anthem has officially been delayed to 2019 to make room for Battlefield 5 in October 2018. The upcoming RPG will now launch for PS4, Xbox One and PC on February 22nd, 2019, which is a little before the March 2019 release date EA suggested the game would have in a recent earnings report.
Related: Call of Duty Black Ops 4
BioWare is known for making expansive story-driven games, often RPGs, that fall short when it comes to combat. While delivering amazing narratives with player agency at the heart of everything, the Canadian developer has often struggled to deliver a compelling experience on the other side of the coin. Anthem is unlike any BioWare game I’ve played. It’s meaty, it’s gritty and the gameplay is absolutely incredible sci-fi. Getting a chance to play it at E3, I was blown away.
Anyone who’s come into contact with Anthem has had their socks knocked off. Every trailer and gameplay demonstration has been incredibly impressive, and playing behind closed doors and viewing the game at EA’s press conference only further emphasised this point.
The suits that players control feel amazing. Everything in the game has such a sense of weight, aided by superb sound design where you’ll hear a satisfying ‘whoosh’, ‘thunk’ and ‘slam’. It’s like Pacific Rim meets Power Rangers.
Getting the chance to drive the Ranger suit, we start the demo as it does in the trailer, and immediately get the chance to fly through the lush jungle terrain. Flying is as cool as you might have imagined it from every demonstration; it just feels so good.
Steering is controlled on the right stick, while speed is handled by pushing up on the left. There’s also a barrel roll, which is superb for dodging enemy projectiles, although the temptation to do it just for fun is ever-present. Clicking the right stick allows you to hover mid-air to fire off shots at enemies, and you can dash-dodge shots while in this mode too.
Sign up for the newsletter
Get news, competitions and special offers direct to your inbox
All of this causes your suit to heat up; overheating will send you to the ground. But there’s no fall damage, so it’s more an equaliser than a punishment.
The demo moved at such a rapid pace it became hard to keep track at times. My 15 minutes were filled with explosions, intense combat against more enemy types than I could count, in the same mission you’ve no doubt seen in the E3 gameplay trailer. The aim is to deliver Echoes into a giant relic, which is radiating some form of sonic beam, all the while giant robot turrets and enemies are doing everything possible to ruin my day.
Combat offers a superb balance of making the Javelin suits feel super-powered while also making each enemy feeling like a tough challenge – if not individually, then at least when they attack in packs.
The crowd-control abilities of each suit can also be combined to form combos. If the Ranger fires an ice grenade into a group of enemies, then follows this up with an energy blast, it can cause huge damage on the unfortunate group, for instance.
You can also combo together abilities with other players’ Javelins, but it’s really smart design from BioWare that allows players to pull off combos solo, so you’re not entirely dependent on solid co-op gameplay to feel successful in combat.
Related: Devil May Cry 5
Then there’s also a super ability, the Ranger’s being a rocket barrage that locks onto a group of targets then unleashes a bevy of small rockets – it’s so satisfying to watch.
The demo ends with us completing the objective. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to move onto the next part of the mission, but even with this small snippet of gameplay, Anthem did enough to show me how immense fun it is to play in groups. In addition, there’s the promise of an exciting BioWare story to come. It seems like the developer is set to deliver the complete package.
Anthem is one of the most exciting new projects in years. BioWare is creating something unlike anything to come from its studio before, and the fact the team is pushing the gameplay aspect – rather than narrative – to the forefront early on in promotion is a smart move. It shows the team is well-rounded, able to deliver incredible action as well as a compelling story.
I was in my element navigating around this lush world, watching a beautiful scene get blown to pieces and flying around huge expanses with absolute ease. Fans are absolutely right to be hyped for this game.
Anthem news – EA Play trailers
After teasing us with a short trailer prior to EA Play, EA delivered a full cinematic trailer at its show just days before E3 2018 was due to begin. You can watch the new trailer below.
As well as a new cinematic trailer, we also got to see some more gameplay from the game as four players embarked upon a co-op mission together.
Anthem Microtransactions – Will it have them?
Again, following criticisms of Star Wars Battlefront 2’s microtransactions, fans are querying whether EA’s subsequent titles will include similarly invasive forms of loot boxes. EA has since confirmed that it intends to keep microtransactions to cosmetic items only, and has also confirmed that Anthem will not feature loot boxes.
Are you looking forward to Anthem? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter @trustedreviews.