EA went all in on Anthem at its E3 presentation this year. Opening and closing the show with clips and gameplay footage, developers announced a release date of Feb. 22, 2019, for the upcoming action RPG.
Anthem is a game with plenty to prove as its the first from Mass Effect and Dragon Age studio Bioware since the critical flop of Mass Effect: Andromeda and a restructuring of the developer’s Montreal studio in 2017, but its flashy showing at EA’s briefing was a step in the right direction.
Set on a world abandoned by gods who have left their creation tools behind unmanned, Anthem will be a co-op, story-focused experience. Player characters, called Freelancers, will don one of four specialized mechanized suits known as Javelins to do battle in an open-world environment. Bioware developers at E3 stressed that despite being a multiplayer experience, Anthem, and its future add-on content, will prioritize story and character in the way Bioware fans have come to hope for.
In an audience Q&A, the Bioware team behind the game teased a kind of central hub world where single-player story and character interactions will take place as well as a larger open area for co-operative combat missions. They also debuted a number of visual Javelin customization options, noting that vanity items, but no gameplay altering items, will be available for purchase as non-loot box micro-transactions.
Watch the entire Anthem presentation below.
Gameplay showcased at the event primarily demonstrated the versatile Ranger and tanky Colossus Javelin models, but the Interceptor and Storm models were also confirmed. Combat shown, in which a team of Javelins took flight and soared, swam, and shot their way to a poisonous enemy, combined the third-person sci-fi shooter aesthetic of the Mass Effect franchise with some class-based shooter vibes a la Destiny.
Watch the Anthem trailer above.