E3 2017: BioWare's New IP Anthem Gameplay Trailer Breakdown
Anthem Is BioWare's New IP
At Microsoft's press briefing today, we saw the first gameplay from BioWare's new game, Anthem. It's a shared-world action game with RPG elements, and players take control of one of several different types of mechs. There's a lot that was revealed in the demo, so we've broken it down to look closer at what you can expect from Anthem.
Robo-Creatures on a Massive Scale
Within the first few seconds of the demo, we see a massive, robotic creature walking overhead. It's unclear whether these are autonomous robots or if they're actually vehicles, but their shape seems somewhat animalistic, reminiscent of the giant Tallnecks from Horizon: Zero Dawn. Later, one of these robots is destroyed.
Quest Givers and Mech Suits
Although it's unclear at first what that hulking figure is in the background, later we learn that this is one of the mech suits in the game. This mech seems content to just stand there, apparently chatting with another NPC.
In the foreground, that character looking at the camera is a man who will give the player a quest. There's some backstory to the relationship between the two; the man seems to have been tasked with a job that he cut corners with, while the player character is a Freelancer who must go rescue people who have lost contact.
The Mech Suits
Next, we catch a glimpse of three of the exosuits in the game. BioWare talked specifically about two of them, the Ranger and the Colossus. These suits serve to create combat classes, like in a class-based shooter. The Ranger is a balanced, solid mech, while the Colossus is a tank. These mech suits seem to have mobility skills in common, such as jetpacks and power jumps.
In this part of the video, the first signs of the social aspect of the game appear. Over the mech in front, an indicator shows the player's "Ally of the Week." The specifics of this designation are unclear, although it hints at some sort of leaderboard or stat-tracking system.
What a Beautiful World
In classic video game form, our view of Anthem's world comes from a high-up vista looking out over a gorgeous skybox and interesting terrain. A waypoint is visible, although we can only guess what that icon means. In any case, this world looks pretty alien, with its massive rifts and jagged faults.
Experience Levels and Special Stats
The ID icon for the player's companion, Paul, shows a couple of interesting things: first, Anthem will have a leveling system. Second, there will be specialized stats. Paul has +5% of something, although it's unknown what that something is.
Jetpacks and Flying Around
Anthem gives players the power of flight. The mech suits, with their built-in jets, allow for at least a certain amount of flying around, although it could just be a controlled fall. In any case, soaring through the forest in a mech looks pretty cool.
That High-Level Enemy Looks Menacing
The player in the demo chose to ignore this creature, which looks like a pretty intimidating monster that makes short work of those smaller creatures. It's hard to tell what it would take to kill one of these, but hopefully it'll have a big reward if you do manage to take it down.
In addition, this is the first time we see the HUD. This particular mech, the Ranger, has three skills visible: a cluster missile, which is used later, and two others. The icon for one looks like a directed energy skill, while the other might be a powerful slam move. Not surprisingly, these skills require some sort of stamina or energy to perform.
Exploration Gives You Experience
Shooting creatures isn't the only way to earn experience points. As seen here, exploring new places will net you a few points to help you level up. Hopefully there'll be several ways to level up outside of combat.
Also, it's pretty cool that the exosuit's jets work underwater.
The Giant, Towering Creature Goes Down
One of those long-neck creatures dies here, and it becomes a massive metallic ruin in the middle of this landscape. It'll be interesting to see if these creatures wander ambiently through the world, or if these scenes are scripted.
Hey, It's Sort Of Like Destiny!
Finding a high-powered, rare weapon is one of the most definitive parts of shared-world shooters like Destiny and The Division, and Anthem appears to be following in their footsteps in this regard. In addition, this weapon is found in a seemingly random pickup from an enemy, almost like Destiny's engram system. Its stats are what you'd expect: damage, accuracy, range, rate of fire, and ammo capacity.
Also, it's a "Volt Rifle"--maybe this indicates that there'll be different energy types for weapons?
Assembling a Squad
Continuing the Destiny and Division comparisons, Anthem will allow players to join together into Squads to take on harder missions. These additional people join up seamlessly, and they all have different stat advantages.
Flying Into the Storm
At the very end of the video, one player, controlling an exosuit with the ability to truly fly, soars into the heart of a violent storm. The storm appears to arise organically, so Anthem's world may feature ambient events like this. What is hidden in the storm is a mystery right now.
For more news about Anthem, keep an eye on GameSpot's E3 2017 hub all of this week.