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Feature Article

BioWare's Anthem At E3 2018's EA Play: What We Hope To See

Keep your heart, play your part in BioWare's new game.

There's a lot of excitement around Anthem leading into E3 2018 since it's BioWare's next big project and new IP. Expectations are high given this is a franchise debut from the same studio that brought us a slew of iconic RPGs: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect, and Baldur's Gate to name a few. To prepare you for what's ahead, here's what we know about Anthem, as well as what we're hoping to see from it at this year's E3.

What We Know So Far

Currently, we know that Anthem isn't going to be structured like the developer's previous story-based RPGs and instead will take on qualities of loot-based online shooters, like Destiny and The Division. However, BioWare boss Casey Hudson said the game “will feel very distinctly BioWare” and is more accurately described as “science-fantasy.” While the initial reveal at E3 2017 kicked off with a few minutes of narrative and world-building, it quickly delved into a two-player co-operative PvE gameplay sequence where you fight robotic enemies and wildlife both big and small. Towards the end of the reveal trailer, a shaper storm (where weather turned hostile) formed and two additional players jumped in making a party of four. It has also been confirmed that the game will still be playable on your own.

When it comes to the world of Anthem, we understand that players belong to a faction of operatives known as freelancers who don mechanized suits called javelins--think the Fallout power armor, but much more flexible and with jetpacks. The first descent into a lush, tropical environment showed off the versatility of movement with the player weaving through the terrain. In combat, we saw the javelin suit capable of a lock-on rocket barrage--one of the abilities on cooldown at the bottom of the HUD. And we witnessed a co-op partner execute a sort of ground pound ability for area-of-effect damage.

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Given the style Anthem is going for, loot will be the centerpiece for equipment, which we had a glimpse of in last year's reveal; a level 35 legendary volt rifle called Jarra's Wrath was a reward at the end of big firefight. Based on information shown on-screen during the reveal, weapons will have specific statistics like range, damage, accuracy, rate of fire, and ammo count.

BioWare stated that it's solely focused on development for Anthem after making it clear that Mass Effect: Andromeda will not have new content or story-based DLC. Despite the all-hands-on-deck approach, Anthem was delayed from its initial Fall 2018 release window to sometime in Early 2019. As with many EA-published games, there will be a period in which subscribers to EA/Origin Access can play the game ahead of its full launch date. EA CEO Andrew Wilson also stated, "Anthem is a fundamentally social experience, and we will open new ways for fans to join the community and play early, enabling us to shape and refine the game with their input and feedback." This could imply a beta period, which is common for multiplayer-centric games. If anything, EA is anticipating continually tweaking the game with post-release updates and content.

Even though it was specifically showcased during Microsoft's E3 press conference last year, Anthem will release for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Oh yeah, and there was a sweet trailer where game director Jon Warner takes us to a corn maze.

What's Confirmed For E3?

Anthem will be heavily featured at EA Play, which is EA's own off-site E3 event that runs from June 9 to June 11. Alongside the upcoming Battlefield V, Anthem is one of the focal points according to publisher. It hasn't been confirmed if the game will be playable to those who attend, but EA said it'll offer a closer look at the game. And even though Anthem was revealed during Microsoft's stage show in 2017, it's unclear if it'll be part of the Xbox showcase again this year.

What We Hope To See At E3

With this being a new BioWare IP, we hope to see how the developer's knack for storytelling is woven into a multiplayer experience. This could come in many forms; perhaps some backstory to accompany playable sections or a more in-depth showcase of the world that the freelancers inhabit. What exactly is it they're fighting for? What is the prevailing force behind its hostile world? BioWare isn't a stranger to this given its work on the MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic, but it's a whole other challenge when building a franchise from scratch.

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Another important aspect we hope to be addressed is the depth and breadth of content that makes up Anthem. That's to say, we hope the game is taking note of where Destiny 2 falls short. It's fair to say that many players are concerned about having meaningful goals to work towards. Almost anyone going into E3 with Anthem excitement wants to know about quest structure, mission types, how progression works, and how it can be more than just compilation of combat sequences. It'd also be nice to know about the loot system and what types of weapons or javelin modifications we can mess with. It appears that javelin suits come with their own set of powers and could be a factor in making combat more complex. The teaser trailer focused a great deal on these suits, which has us thinking that Anthem's progression system is centered around building these suits and customizing their capabilities. We'd love for BioWare to unpack what javelin suits can do seeing as their abilities affect both combat and traversal.

We had a taste of Anthem's world in E3 2017, and its scale, verticality, and varied terrain certainly caught our eye. The ability to fly through the sky and take huge leaps across the environment has piqued our interest, but we want BioWare to tell us more about what there is to see on the other end.

Further Reading

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Michael Higham

Associate Editor at GameSpot. Southeast San Diego to the Bay. Salamat sa iyong suporta!
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GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

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sippio

I (honestly) feel sad for the disappointment for those unfortunate gamers who are still thinking EA/Activision/Bungie/Dice will deliver a product that isn't geared swindling gamers from extra money...

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Pupchu

I allready had a taste of this "social experience" with Destiny. And i didnt like it at all. This game is absolutely a no buy for me.

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Bulletproff

Dear Gamespot, would you please stop disabling the comment section in the articles you put out? You have done so on every article there has been criticism regarding either criticizing the the article itself, or criticizing an announcement of some game.

Here are two examples. One is from this article.
https://www.gamespot.com/articles/battlefield-5-boss-defends-female-characters-sayin/1100-6459228/

I am guessing this article had the comment section disabled because you guys found someone saying something inappropriate. But there were also a lot of people who had some valid criticism, such as it was not clear whether the trailer was singleplater or multiplayer match. As well as historic inaccuracies about WW2. Which we can all agree is not something the world is very fond if it is meddled with. *Cough* Holocaust deniers *Cough*

The next article is from this one
https://www.gamespot.com/articles/deadpool-2-and-solo-are-both-worse-thanks-to-one-t/1100-6459359/

Which is an opinion piece from you guys, the comment section was not even enabled here, I am guessing it has to do that there are probably some who do not agree with this opinion piece. Would it not be more productive if you knew what other people think about this opinion piece? Rather than just stop people from commenting?

In essence what I am trying to say is that criticism is not something to be afraid or feedback, as it is the only way you guys can really understand what people think. So please stop disabling the comment section, and yes idiots and trolls do exist but they will always exist.

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sippio

@bulletproff: BulletProoff My Man get used to it...It's the liberal sjw way..

~They know that 90% of the world isn't on-board with this weird nonsense movement they have so they silence opinions that show exactly that...

~Only the mainstream media has changed. the people haven't..

~The gamers didn't want a alternate sexual prefferenced character in Buldur's Gate remastered and similar, but the media spins it like 'Yes the people do want this..Any other stance/opinion is racist or bigoted etc....

I agree & support Bulletprooffs request to stop deleting comments sections because it reveals a truth that isn't in line with the agenda....

~also/lastly,,MSM.com did this 1+ year ago right after the election when the comments we're revealing that the majority wasn't in sync with the weird nonsense media was pushing & it was only matter of time before it leaked into sports & gaming..

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Anodyn3

@sippio: 100% YES!!! They(liberals) love to fabricate the “numbahs” to give the illusion of majority support for whatever insane, communist ideals they are trying to force down everyone’s throat. “Hillary will win by a landslide. Everyone wants unisex bathrooms. Because SCIENCE (except when it comes to gender). Hands up, don’t shoot (the massive LIE that started the anti-American/ anti-cop/ anti-white BLM circus)

Thank GOD the silent majority is waking up from this tyranical trance the liberal/Luciferian media/corporations had them in

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Thanatos2k

@bulletproff: The laughable part is comments were open in the first article for days. Gamespot looks awful every time they do this.

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wellsoul2

There are so many of these MMORPG games and no good AAA single player RPGs anymore.

Last good AAA RPG was Fallout 4. But I'd even settle for another Mass Effect Andromeda if they actually supported the game unlike EA. I had some fun with MEA for one play thru at least.

Sorry but I want to be able to play by myself. It's ok to have multiplayer though as long as you don't spend most of the resources on it.

I dunno..it seems like the rest of the culture computer games are going for money grabs from the dumbest people and not quality story and characters.

We used to have quality music and books and TV - at least some of it- now we have lowest common denominator cranked out over-hyped mediocrity.

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sippio

@wellsoul2: Wellsoul,,did you play DragonAge2?

I assume you did but then again it was very popular to bash & hate on the game for various reasons...

~I loved the game & it was one of the 1st games I bought DLC for..

~The biggest beef was that they reused the same map for the 2nd act but with different enemies... I had no issue with this as it meant that I already had it memorized ;)

well just a FYI in the rare case that you didn't play DragonAge2 then you are in for a treat..

Esp because they released a lot of DLC. I didn't even play the last couple larger DLC because like most of us= we don't return to games we finished just for some DLC...This has been a problem forever & a huuuuge reason why I wait on titles I know will get DLC.

Like Farcry5,,StateOfDecay2,ShadowofWar and I did with Fallout4..

Wellsoul,,,if you didn't play DA2 then hit me ^ so I can try and push it on you ;)

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wellsoul2

@sippio: Oh yeah. I played DA2 for many hours and enjoyed it despite the re-use of maps/areas. I just wish there were more AAA single player games where you could customize your characters, especially first/third person games. Thanks for the reply.

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el_swanno

@wellsoul2:

Have you tried Ni No Kuni 2?

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wellsoul2

@el_swanno: No. From what I can see the player character is fixed so that makes it less of a draw for me to buy it. But thanks for the reply.

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el_swanno

@wellsoul2:

You can play as any of the characters in your party but if your concern is that you can’t create your own character then you are correct, you have to play as the characters they provide. Apart from that it a pretty slick traditional single player JRPG.

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Darren_Evans

The thing that made BioWare what they were was the leadership vision from Muzyka and Zeschuk and the team of like-minded creatives they gathered around them. I suspect most of those people are gone. We shouldn't display the same level of reverence for the developer because they inherited the name BioWare. Treat them like a completely different developer and judge them on the gaming goods they ship. Sadly, Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect: Andromeda tell me there is indeed nobody left on the team from the original bunch and / or clueless EA suits are interfering too heavily in game design decisions where they have no right being.

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sippio

@darren_evans: I sadly accept the Bioware I grew up loving is NO MORE..

~Bioware wa sthe one company I wouldn't need to wait & see or read a review...it was guaranteed if I liked the genre...

~I didn't even like games like KOTOR but knew it was Bioware..

And Mass Effect1 was soooo good..

Right Now hear the music from memory of the main menu. BRILLIANT!

And the voice acting & story was absolutely amazing.. I actually read 2 ME books.

And the one about How Saren screwed over Captain Anderson(Black Admiral dude)

from being the 1st human SPector was excellent....

~Destiny was supposed to follow in that similar footstep of amazing epic science fiction open world experience & Bungie,,don't get me started..i now boycott everything Bungie..

RIP Bioware…. StarWars Galaxies was so much fun compaired to how lame The Old Republic was..i tried 3 different times to get immersed in TOR and all 3 times I bored quit.

And the last time I played a week...Sadly StarWars kinda falls flat Outside of Luke Skywalker,The EMpire,,Vader,Palpatine,Kenobi etc...Unless you have a rare gem Like KOTOR..

Anyone play KOTOR without lightsaber? talk about fun experience right there...

Two blasters PWNS! I did this in KOTOR2 and it was a blast..

God Bless obsidian!! Fallout Vegas & KOTOR2 are two of my greatest gaming experiences..

Esp the Vegas DLC Utah Mountains & OldWOrldBlues...goodtimes! remaster Vegas please!

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Heartagram_03

I'm cautiously optimistic Anthem can deliver something unique. That said, Bioware has fallen from grace. I couldn't finish DA:I or ME:A. both had terrible open areas with nothing exciting to explore.

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Thanatos2k

I want to see a 50+ hour single player RPG with quality story and writing.

You know, what Bioware was good at?

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PSYCHOV3N0M

@Thanatos2k: What Bioware games from the past do you recommend I play?

I've only played the Mass Effect trilogy.

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el_swanno

@PSYCHOV3N0M:

Dragon Age Origins is flawed but awesome, if that makes sense. Alistair is one of the greatest NPCs ever seen in a video game and the random banter between the characters is better than the dialogue in a lot of movies. Sadly, the rest of the Dragon Age games never really lived up to the promise of this first entry.

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Thanatos2k

@PSYCHOV3N0M: KOTOR, Baldur's Gate, Dragon Age Origins. Neverwinter Nights.

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Sikkens

@Thanatos2k:

Once they were,most of the talent left,the rest is corrupted. Seems like no grey wardens were available IRL.

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Moondrake

What we know and want is for Bioware to stop wasting their talent (if there is any talent still remaining) making multiplayer games like Anthem and The Old Republic. They've spent years on that junk. We want them to make the great single player RPGs that propelled them to success... ones with tactical depth and great stories. Since they seem to be incapable of making those anymore (based on the mediocrity of Dragon Age 2, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Mass Effect Andromeda, and even Mass Effect 3, with that horrible multiplayer requirement embedded in it), I'm afraid we'll be witnessing the fall of a once-great development company. Sad, that.

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sippio

@Moondrake: Mooondrake,,denial is a mofo!

You already know the Bioware we loved is NO MORE...

Sucks for all of us & we've been in denial for awhile..

For me it was The Old Republic & DragonAge Inquisition..

there;s a fine line between Denial & Hope...

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PSYCHOV3N0M

@Moondrake: What Bioware games from the past do you recommend I play?

I've only played the Mass Effect trilogy.

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Moondrake

@PSYCHOV3N0M: I liked Baldur's Gate II, Jade Empire, Dragon Age: Origins, Knights of the Old Republic, and Neverwinter Nights (the two expansion campaigns are good). All might be enjoyable depending on your tolerance for aged graphics. I still play some games that run at 640x480, so dated graphics don't bother me much if the gameplay is good.

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Mogan

@Moondrake: Yeah, but not only do big AAA single player games not make the kind of money the big AAA games-as-a-service games do ... BioWare hasn't knocked one of them out of the park in a long time. I think they need to prove they're still relevant pretty badly at this point, and I think they've got just as good a chance to do that with a game like Anthem as they do with a single player RPG. Maybe better.

Online
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thomas01

@Mogan: I have to disagree about the AAA single player games the Witcher 3 made a ton of money. I think many of the developers have lost sight of who they want playing their games. I read a story today about Star Citizen offering some kind of special package for $20,000. The developers are looking at the couple of people who can afford that and not the millions who would pay $40 range.

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Mogan

@thomas01: The Witcher III sold a lot (and deserved it) ... but Battlefront came out the same year and sold more, plus it had a bunch of DLC. And keep in mind, BioWare hasn't had a game sell Witcher III numbers since ... Origins? Mass Effect 2 or 3? Maybe not ever? If EA is looking place the biggest bets, for the biggest money (and they are, because they're one of the biggest companies in the industry) I don't know that they're looking at a BioWare single player RPG as the best place to spend their AAA resources anymore.

Online
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Barighm

@Mogan: They haven't hit one out of the park because there is no Bioware. It's just a zombie with a label at this point. Something like 80% of the studio's talent has left since EA took over.

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Mogan

@Barighm: Yeah, it's a studio that's over 20 years old, I'd be real surprised if they hadn't seen a bunch of turn over no matter who owned them. That's why I try not to get too into the grand old video game brand names; they don't necessarily mean anything. That said, I've liked their post-EA stuff about as much as their pre-EA stuff.

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lokar82

I just want more Dragon Age with co-op possibilities like Divinity. No interest in this.

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Mogan

@lokar82: If Anthem works out, the next Dragon Age might well be a co-op game.

Online
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BAKGRIND

Anthem. That game where the developers at Bioware diverted resources from their other projects such as SWTOR and Mass Effect Andromeda so it would be the better game than both of them combined. The fans of both of those titles deserved better than what Bioware has been giving and or gave them. It really is sad that for myself, a past fan of Bioware I have zero interest in this game. Bioware, burning the good will from their fanbase since 2012.

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GustavoB

"Anthem is a fundamentally social experience..."

Pass.

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Smokin105

I could care less about any multiplayer aspects as my friends and I simply don't have time to get good enough at a game to become competitive. Give me a good game to play alone or cooperatively with friends against the computer and we're sold.

I do like the idea of exploration quite a bit and that perhaps different things happen at the same place at different times as well to keep the world more alive and dynamic.

Microtransactions are fine be me so long as they're not required to progress at a reasonable pace. If it helps other people have more fun by paying more to get items more quickly, let them have their fun and let Bioware have their money but I won't use them.

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ramblingandpie

@Smokin105: Same. I work 40-50 hours a week and have two young kids. By the time Anthem comes out, the youngest will hopefully be sleeping well enough that I'll reliably be able to grab myself 1-2 hours of gaming after they go to bed, and that only a few times a week. I get that not all games will be targeted to me, nor do they need to be. But Bioware already lost me a bit by not having any DLC or continuations for Andromeda, so unless Anthem gets stellar ratings as a single-player experience? I'm one person who's thrown a bunch of money at them in the past, and I'll be passing.

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BigDaveX

What do we want? Some sign, any sign that this won't be that game that finishes BioWare off for good.

But I'm not holding my breath.

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snugglebear

Im gonna keep my hopes up until i find out anything disappointing. And see some less staged actual gameplay.

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Barighm

People are excited?

Battlefront 2, Andromeda, ME3's ending, Dragon Age 2...

Still excited?

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Mogan

@Barighm: Kinda, yeah. I want to know more about what Anthem is going to be; it's no skin off my back if it turns out bad.

Plus, I liked Dragon Age 2 as much as Origins, and ME3 was still the best game in that series despite the final five minutes not being as satisfying as I wanted.

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Sikkens

@Mogan: I really wanted to skip posting here,but "liked DA2 as much as DA:O" is an insult. Weak story and companions ,world that feels dead and enemies spawning out of thin air combined with combat system that's closer to God of War? Eh... ME3 though i agree. It's not that i hate Bioware,but many of the talent left and i really don't trust EA,and neither should anyone.

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Thanatos2k

@sikkens: Mogan is legendary for loving Dragon Age 2. He defended it relentlessly on the gamefaqs board back in the day.

Everyone else knows it's a pile of rushed trash.

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Mogan

@sikkens: Don't take it personally. I thought Origins' story, characters, and art style were all pretty weak and kinda boring. World building was real good, but that was the only thing about Origins that stood out to me. DA2 fixed a lot of the problems I had with Origins, but took one step back for every step forward, so I ended up liking them both about the same.

Online
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Mogan

@nibbin1191: Plus, ME3 has the Citadel DLC, which is maybe the single greatest piece of writing BioWare's ever done. : p

Online
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watercrack445

I hope anthem has something great to offer. I have faith in bioware that is why I'm looking foward to this game development.

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PlaystationZone

What I want a single player and no microtransactions but I won’t get that . Because going be a lot micro transactions and no single player.

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sippio

@playstationzone: Shadows of Mordor/War

~I recently played SHadow Of War & loved it!

I didn't spend $1 of real money & didn't feel like I was missing anything.

**Actually,,Opening the loot boxes you earn w/ in-game money dampened the experience for me..It made the random Orc Captains irrelevant as I could just make&shape them instead of relying on random....My next playthrough whenever that is will be void of any crates. so what if they are purchased w/ in game earned monies..it's still effected...

The game is special but the developers are kinda wack!

The DLC so far & all last game always make a new playable char instead of building on established..this sucks...And the Elf girl was boring & lame to play. I bored-quit after couple hours….

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SofaJockey

@playstationzone: I think there will be microtransactions, but they will be entirely skippable.

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wicked_laugh

Loads and loads of microtransactions!