Anthem, The Next Frontier
Last week gamers everywhere had a sort of “Mid-Year Christmas” descending on E3 with roughly 70,000 in attendance. One of the most searched and talked about games was Anthem. Last year we got to see some scripted gameplay during a trailer at the Xbox E3 conference, but this time around gamers were able to get actual hands on experience. Outside of this though, there isn’t too much info out there to know exactly what is going on in the game for mechanics, gameplay and so forth. What you’re about to read has information that is not completely set in stone just yet. This list also is not 100% everything that is currently known about the game, but makes up for a vast majority of the information that is available.
Here is a compiled list I’ve taken directly from the Twitter account of Mark Darrah, an Executive Producer at Bioware working on Anthem. He did an extensive “AMAAAA” (Ask Mark Almost Anything About Anthem) answering questions from fans online. There has been so much information given through this channel, it’s kind of insane but here it is! Enjoy!
“Anthem is an action RPG where you take the role of a Freelancer. You pilot Javelins; suits of powered armour that let you fly and swim. Javelins also let you survive in the hostile world of Anthem, a world left unfinished by the Shapers.”
“Your primary enemy in the story will be the Dominion, a human nation bent on subjugating the other people. The Dominion believes that they can control the tools of the Shapers and bend them to their own purposes. The Dominion are an ancient enemy with a secret in their past.”
“The structure of the game is encapsulated in the concept of ‘Our World, My Story’. Our World – When you are out on a mission, you are focused on that the world is shared across everyone and changes. You share cataclysmic storms, and time of day even with people you aren’t playing with. This offers a kind of storytelling that hasn’t existed in BioWare games before. My Story – When you are done a mission, you can return to a base like Fort Tarsis.”
“Here you will talk to characters, customize your suit, and see the results of your actions. Your base is a single player experience, removing social pressure from those who want to spend time with the characters of Fort Tarsis. Character interactions evolve and grow over time, allowing you to build friendship.”
“A lot more on this in the future but some basics. You have more than one suit, unlocked through the story you are not forced into a specific suit when playing with others. You can change the play style of a Javelin by changing its weapons and gear on the Javelin. You can change the look of a Javelin through a separate personalization system.”
“Progression drives this kind of game and we will have a lot more later but here is a bit. Your Freelancer has a level and perks that affect ALL the Javelins you use. There are loot drops in the world with different rarities that give you gear and weapons.”
“There is crafting. There are top tier gear and weapons that have special properties. Gear is designed to be a long chase giving you a lot of goals.”
Co-op and Online
“Anthem is designed to provide a story while also the engagement of playing with your friends and others. You can play story missions alone but I believe that the experience of grouping is fun even for people that don’t play that way.”
“All mission types will have matchmaking so you can get your group to 4 if you want. Anthem uses dedicated servers even when you play solo. The shared world requires a connection to maintain that shared experience.”
“No PvP. This decision allows us to have a much wider array of weapons and gear and makes the loot chase more interesting.”
“We don’t have plans for cross play at the moment. I am looking into cross platform saves as we speak. We are looking into being able to optionally turn off the damage floaties. We will likely do that.”
“We will have purchase-able vanity but you will see what you get before you buy No loot boxes No pay for power You can also earn your vanity items.”
This was just the beginning of his week long spree of answering questions. Here are some further tidbits you may like. Just a reminder, this is NOT absolutely everything that is currently known but a vast majority of it. These bullet-points we’re taken from quick fan responses that Mark Darrah replied to over the past week. Please refer to the link near the top of this article for the start of that info.
- During story missions in co-op, each character will view their own during cutscenes, not the party leader.
- There is an under water breath meter, you can run out of air
- All 4 Javelins will be available at launch
- You character does have a backstory
- Character interactions in the hub does affect their lives.
- Actions during missions also MAY affect character lives.
- There will be relationships, but no romances
- Entire game can be played Solo
- No AI companions
- If you have helped a friend complete a mission you’ve already done, there will be special rewards for “Mentoring”
- There are 5-6 rarity item levels
- Loot is instanced per player, meaning no fighting over items!
- There is a character creator
- All content will have match-making
- Progress is shared in co-op
- There will be in-game lore to discover
- A Cypher is your “Handler”, someone who interacts with you while in the suit during your missions
- There will be emotes
- The world is open to explore, every time you go out your not forced into missions
- No loot boxes or season pass. ALL post content is free, regarding actual content. Javelins that arrive post-launch may or may not have to be purchased.
- The world was left unfinished by the “gods” leaving a wide range of possibilities for end game content
- In free play, you can run around and explore and help others with objectives/enemies without needing to join the group
- Cosmetics can be earned through gameplay, that means ALL available cosmetics can be purchased can also be earned in the game
- No 3rd person at all in the “Hub”
- The map is apart of matchmaking, allowing you to see what others are up to at the time
- There is an earned in-game currency
- Personalization and Customization of the javelin are separate. I.e, loadout and cosmetics
- Dedicated servers for everything outside of the player Hub
- There is no branching in the story
- In-Game chat will not be needed for most of the things you do
- FoV slider possible? (not confirmed)
- Each javelin has a melee attack
- Multiple genders for your character to choose from
- Game cannot be paused (of course)
- Loot is important
- Currently no player-to-player trading
- There will be “Challenging end game mechanics”
- Rewards for exploration
- Strongholds will be difficult, 4 player excursions
- Creatures have weak spots
- Loot is based off your level and suit you’re currently in
- You cannot fly for an unlimited amount of time, but can be upgraded to extend the flight longer
- You can replay missions you’ve already completed with others
- You start off with the Ranger javelin, and acquire the others later
- There will be ammo and health drops
- Shaper storms are open world events
- 4 people per server
- Online required
- You will get notifications for mission starting on your network that you can join
- There will be melee weapons
Samuel Tolbert gives his hands on impressions for Anthem here as well from his trip to E3 last week. You can view it here (worth the read, trust me): https://ticgamesnetwork.com/platforms/xbox/e3-2018-anthem-impressions/
This is where I am going to have to cap off the information. There is so much to learn and discover in the world of Anthem that it’s difficult to really fit all of it in one place without it being bloated. This could be the next big step for Bioware for a new IP and from what we can see it’s bold and awesome. Anthem launches onto Xbox, PS4 and PC February 22nd.