EA finally revealed more about the enigma that is the upcoming shooter MMO ANTHEM during this year's press conference at E3 2018. We now know that it's a shared-world shooter like Destiny 2, that it features a single player story to follow, and that there's a bunch of usual BioWare trimmings like classes, statistics, and stuff like that.
In this guide, we're going to tell you everything that we know about ANTHEM, including what it is, the release date and platforms, and how it plays. We'll update this as we learn more so keep checking back, and use the comments section for outrageous speculation.
ANTHEM - What It Is
ANTHEM is an online shared-world shooter by BioWare, the developer of Dragon Age: Inquisition and Mass Effect: Andromeda. It plays in a very similar manner to Destiny – you'll pick up missions in a hub world and head on out into the world to explore various different regions.
You can take up to three friends along for the ride, and there are four different classes of character in total. The class system is tied to the type of Javelin exosuit you wear, and you can level up both your character and Javelin.
Multiplayer options include exploring the world, performing missions together, and taking on dungeon or raid-style missions known as Strongholds. You can't explore each other's hub world together, though you can access a shared hub to make changes to your character while performing missions.
ANTHEM has a loot system that's quite similar to Diablo III's. You'll find new weapons and gear that will have an individual level and tier (epic, legendary, rare etc). There won't be loot boxes, but you will be able to purchase cosmetic upgrades with real cash.
You can also find various Javelin modifications and cosmetic options while exploring the world.
ANTHEM - Release Date & Platforms
ANTHEM was supposed to launch in autumn this year, but has been pushed back to February 22, 2019. It will launch on PS4, PC, and Xbox One.
ANTHEM - Gameplay
BioWare describes ANTHEM as a 'shared-world shooter', and the closest example of that we have right now is Destiny 2. There's a wide open, seamless world to explore and you can do so with up to three friends.
There is a class system, but it's tied into the type of Javelin you choose to wear. These are fancy exosuits that would make even Iron Man pause to appreciate them. So far, there are four confirmed Javelin classes: Ranger, Colossus, Interceptor, and Storm. We're not clear on how they all play together, or how they differ. You can customise your Javelin with upgrades and cosmetics that you'll find as you explore the world.
That exploration largely takes place throughout a variety of missions, and you'll find both story and side missions in the world of ANTHEM. The side missions are generally tougher than story missions, and you can repeat them for extra rewards.
When you break it down into the three different types of missions, it really does sound remarkably similar to Destiny. You can freely wander the world and complete tiny missions for rewards, take on story missions, or beat strongholds - instanced areas that provide a greater challenge.
ANTHEM features a typical levelling system. Earn enough XP, and you gain a level, at which point you'll grow in power. You have two separate aspects to level – your character level and your Javelin level, but it's not clear at this point exactly how each of them works. Presumably, your character level dictates the abilities you can unlock, while Javelin level dictates the upgrades you can slot in your Javelin. That's just conjecture though.
You can play all of the content with players of any level, and lower level players will be scaled up so there isn't a massive power gap between the players in a group. This allows you to always play together no matter what it is you want to do.
In terms of content, you can do anything in ANTHEM with other players, be it story missions, exploring, or raiding strongholds. We're not sure at this time if there'll be any PvP though, or what it will entail.
Where it differs from Destiny though, is that the hub world will not feature other players. It's called Fort Tarsis, and it's where you'll do all of your equipment modifications, story progression, and various other activities.
There is a shared hub known as the 'Strider' though, that you can access while exploring the world to customise your gear. You and your party can both access this together, though we're not clear how or when you can do so.
Finally, it's worth mentioning that ANTHEM will be online only, so you won't be able to play it without an internet connection. You can play by yourself though, if you so choose.
Breathe a sigh of relief – there are no loot boxes in ANTHEM. You will be able to purchase items using your own money, but they will only ever be cosmetic in nature. By that we mean you might look nicer, but you won't have a gameplay advantage.
As you explore the world, you'll pick up a bunch of different loot. Weapons will have a level and a tier – the typical epic, legendary, and rare tiers most likely. That's all we know about the system at this point though.
ANTHEM - Setting
ANTHEM takes place on a fictional, artificial planet that was created by God-like figures known as Shapers. These guys used a powerful piece of ancient technology called the 'Anthem of Creation' to create the planet, but were clearly interrupted while working on it because they suddenly vanished, leaving all of their tools strewn about.
These tools will serve a gameplay purpose in ANTHEM, allowing you to cause widespread change to the planet and its ecosystem at any moment. We're not clear on how exactly that will all work, but it sounds awesome.
ANTHEM - Story
You play as a surviver who lives on this fictional planet. Known as a freelancer, it's your job to survive on the planet by salvaging what you can of the ancient technology littered about. You'll use that to build yourself Iron Man-style armour known as 'Javelins'.
Meanwhile, an opposing faction called the 'Dominion' is trying to locate the lost Shaper technology for some unknown and almost certainly evil reasons. You'll want to put a stop to them while you're at it.
ANTHEM - PS4 Pro Enhancements
BioWare has not announced anything regarding PS4 Pro Enhancements just yet. However, the recent Mass Effect: Andromeda did feature PS4 Pro upgrades, so we can hold out up that BioWare will give us something fancy to look forward to.
How do you feel about ANTHEM? Will it claw you Destiny 2 players in? Are you interested is a BioWare fanatic? Let us know with a comment below.