Executive producer Mark Darrah has been fielding numerous questions about “Anthem” on Twitter this month. The upcoming BioWare game served as the centerpiece for EA’s June 9 press conference ahead of E3.
Here’s what we’ve learned so far:
- Freelancers’ Javelin exosuits are between seven and ten feet tall.
- The player’s thrusters generate heat during flight, so they’ll have to land their Javelin periodically to cool them down. Leveling up will allow players to fly for longer distances.
- You’ll be able to create the look of your human character, but BioWare has put more effort into customization of the various Javelin exosuits. Weapons and most abilities will be tied to custom loadouts specific to each Javelin type, and those can only be changed in the Fort Tarsis social hub.
- The game won’t ship with a PvP component.
- Players can play solo or in a group of up to four players. There will also be matchmaking for all activities. (Missions are designed for squads of four.)
- Players can change from one Javelin type to the next without having to juggle multiple character saves or profiles.
- The game’s main story will feature key non-player characters to interact with.
- There is fall damage.
- You’ll need to be online to play; the game will have dedicated servers.
- You’ll be able to replay missions you’ve already completed (e.g., when playing with friends or in a matchmade group).
- “We are not doing gender variations on the Javelins,” Darrah wrote.
- Health will drop from slain enemies.
- Other players outside your squad can still interact with you (e.g., to revive one another when you fall in combat).
- “Your primary enemy in the story will be the Dominion, a human nation bent on subjugating the other people,” Darrah tweeted. “The Dominion believes that they can control the tools of the Shapers and bend them to their own purposes. The Dominion are an ancient enemy with a secret in their past.”
- For now, the game features no friendly fire.
- Action takes place in a third-person viewpoint, whereas the Fort Tarsis hub will be a first-person experience.
- Expansions, additional missions or story content, and new environments will be made free for all players as the game grows and evolves over time.
- Microtransactions will be for vanity items — never for “power” — and won’t be hidden behind randomization or loot boxes. These can be earned through play.
- Loot drops are player-specific; you won’t have to fight for rewards.
- “‘Anthem’ is a world without microchips and a world without mass production,” Darrah wrote. So those elements may end up being key to the game’s story.
- The game won’t feature romantic relationships.
- Freelancers (players) will have a human “Cypher” who interacts with them while they’re off adventuring in the larger game world.
- Javelins cannot be permanently destroyed.
- “Anthem” offers a color-blind mode.
- Players, or “Freelancers,” will choose from four different Javelin classes that grant unique abilities and skill sets: the Ranger, the Colossus, the Interceptor, and the Storm. Javelins have the same movement speed outside of combat, but mobility is different for each Javelin type.
- There are currently no plans for cross-platform play.
“Anthem” is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi shooter in which player characters wear “Javelin exosuits,” delve into strange ruins, and battle various creatures and marauder factions to save humanity from extinction. The new intellectual property was first announced at E3 2017. After getting pushed back from its original fall 2018 release window, publisher EA announced that the game would instead launch in early 2019.
“Anthem” launches on February 22, 2019, for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.