A developer live stream on Twitch revealed a good bit of what Anthem is shaping up to be as a game. Lead producers of the game. Mike Gamble and Ben Irwing hosting the stream and showcasing the Storm and Interceptor Javelins in an Anthem Alpha gameplay demo. Here’s what we know about Anthem’s Alpha gameplay, the Anthem release date, and the Anthem demo.
What We Know So Far
So what is Anthem itself? Bioware and EA have basically teamed up to bring a new MMO to start off 2019. Anthem takes players to a planet whose name is yet to be revealed by Bioware, most likely waiting for the Anthem release date. What we do know is that players meet-up at Fort Tarsis, the HUB of the game like the Tower was in Destiny. This HUB is where factions can be formed and squads can be made.
The players themselves are in high powered Exo-Suits known as Javelins that grant the abilities of flight, combat, and defense. The specific abilities of the Javelins are more dependant on what classes are chosen by the players, more on that below.
A major selling point of the game, one that was showcased in the Anthem Alpha gameplay was the open world of Anthem. The planet whose name is yet to be revealed is seamless in size. Players basically being encouraged to just exit the HUB and fly wherever they want. The flight itself is a toggle, with multiple maneuverability options once in the air.
Players can be encountered in the open world of Anthem, but not more than four players can be seen at once. This means that if you go out with three of your friends, you won’t be encountering anyone else. Similarly, when you’re playing on your own, you can do the story missions by yourself should you please.
The Javelins also have limitations to how much you can do, such as a cool-down system. One that can be refreshed by flying through waterfalls or skimming across lakes for example. The open-world can be accessed in the game’s free play mode. The producers showcased this during the Anthem Alpha gameplay, saying it could be accessed from the main menu.
Activities And Events
Once you’ve gotten about exploring the free open world of Anthem. Next, comes the stuff you can basically do in the game. The planet has several live events that take place as you pass by areas that host them, a common occurrence in any MMO game. These events can be done alone, with friends or with people you meet in the Anthem world.
The Anthem Alpha gameplay showcased two live events. One involving gaining access to an Arcane vault while simultaneously clearing out waves of enemies. The showcase had both players at one point unintentionally leave the mission zone. This caused the event to fail, there was a prompt to retry it, however. The second live event tasked one Javelin with flying through a cluster of orbs to calibrate…something. After which a zone protection objective popped up. Prompting both players to stay within the zone and keep enemies out of it.
Anthem’s combat is another major factor of gameplay alongside the vast exploration. The combat combines gunplay, close quarters combat, and ability usage. The ratios of each being dependant on how the players chose and modified their Javelins.
The Anthem Alpha gameplay showcased two Javelins in particular. Those being the Storm and Interceptor classes. The Storm Javelin was shown to be using a mid-range DMR while hovering over the battlefield. Providing overwatch and simultaneously serving a supportive role, using abilities to stun enemies. The Storm Javelin’s ultimate involved an area of effect style meteor shower that took out enemies within a selected radius.
All that was done while the Interceptor class went in close to use powerful close-range attacks to finish off weakened enemies. Ben Irving who played the Interceptor used an auto double-barreled shotgun. This was paired with a kit of melee abilities such as lightning kicks. As well as a melee ultimate combo that was designed to decimate a single picked out enemy. Particularly the tanky enforcer.
The abilities of both Javelins, including their flight, were connected to their shields. Being depicted by a blue bar. Once this bar was depleted, Javelins go into a sort of lockdown like state. During which they can only run around and shoot enemies. Not fly and dash around while using their abilites. Shields were shown to be regenerated over time while not being attacked. However, Irving shared that some shield recharge tactics revolved around what Javelin class was in use.
Healing, on the other hand, wasn’t showcased much. The producers did share some insight on it though. Specifically stating that health could either be reclaimed by using red goblets of health that enemies dropped. Another method mentioned was that Javelins can repair each other in sort of a revival/repairing system to keep each other in the fight. The choice to respawn outside the combat zone was also there.
Although the Anthem Alpha gameplay showcased two Javelins in particular. Here’s what we know about the others so far.
The Ranger Javelin: A scout type Exo-suit that sort of functions as an all rounded build. Suitable for multiple types of scenarios or situations. The Ranger Javelin is the default suit as well and is fairly easy to use. In hindsight, it may not be able to specialize in any one task, due to being a Jack of all trades. So while it fills out any role, it doesn’t do it better than a specialization.
The Interceptor Javelin: An assassin/rogue type exo-suit that acts as a way to jump in and out of enemy hordes. Dealing massive damage along the way on each trip. The Interceptor is a high risk-high yield type of playstyle where one mistake could cost all your health. But proper effectiveness can also end up pacifying the entire situation on your own.
The Storm Javelin: A mainly support type exo-suit that basically hovers over the battlefield. Maintaining the high ground and providing a sort of overwatch for their companions. Able to rain down elemental attacks on the enemies with AoE effects to stun or weaken them for the other Javelins to finish off. It’s important to maintain a distance from the fight as a Storm since they’re not very durable.
The Colossus Javelin: A mix between being offensive and supportive. The Colossus is a walking tank of an exo-suit basically. Armed to the teeth with heavy artillery and durable armor, able to decimate either horde of little enemies by charging straight in. Or rocket barraging a singular tough one to nullify and destroy their shields/armor. The only downside is their staggeringly slow speed.
Although each Javelin has an established role, it’s still up to the player as to what abilities are used and how. It’s still possible to play a support Interceptor or an offense Storm should one want. Customization regarding spray paint and armor parts was also mentioned but not showcased.
The official Anthem release date for PS4, Xbox One and PC is set for 22nd February 2019. There will be two demos before the full release, however. One being the VIP Anthem demo for those that pre-ordered the game, which will take place from 25th till the 27th of January. The other being the regular Anthem demo for the general public, available from the 1st to 3rd February.
The game shows promise to be this year’s titular MMO since the exploration was appealing. The idea of flying wherever you want with your friends through a good looking locale can be appealing. Bioware does have a good reputation due to Mass Effect, and the visuals were appealing. Although the Anthem Alpha Gameplay slightly looked tedious. Since all they did was fly around, shoot some things. Fly some more, shoot a few more things, etc etc. Since the enemies were mostly just bullet sponge types. The launch post the Anthem release date may change my take, however. Also if anyone’s modifying or building a new PC, here are the specs you need to run Anthem.