E3 2018: BioWare’s Anthem has soloable co-op open world, no lockboxes, a sweet trailer, and a February 22 launch
At this afternoon’s EA Play, EA and BioWare have revealed Anthem’s brand-new trailer. The game is now slated to launch on February 22nd, 2019.
During the developer discussion, BioWare said it recognized the problems inherent in storytelling in a multiplayer shared world (reiterating Casey Hudson’s dev blog from not that long ago), but it thinks it’s found a way to reconcile driving the story without sacrificing multiplayer gameplay.
Characters will play as “freelancers” piloting Javelin exosuits, trying to survive in a hostile environment, and fighting the bad guys trying to exploit the power. There are four Javelins, each with a different way to play the game: Ranger, Colossus, Interceptor, Storm. “You are not your suit,” BioWare cautions; you can flip between them depending on the gameplay you want to take part in from moment to moment.
Customization and personalization of weapons – paint jobs and suit geometry changes – are all on the table.
As for monetization, there will be “cosmetic and vanity items” for sale in the ongoing service. “There are no lootboxes and no ability to pay for power,” BioWare says.
The game was first revealed at E3 last year as what we characterized as a shared-world multiplayer action-RPG – basically, a Destiny clone in a more organic setting, with a story penned by famed Star Wars author Drew Karpyshyn. Last year, EA was plugging it as part of its 10-year plan. But then the game’s gameplay designer, Corey Gaspur, passed away suddenly, and at the beginning of 2018, EA announced that Anthem had been moved to 2019 (the company resisted the word “delay,” but that’s what it was). A few months later, we learned that multiple developers had left BioWare and Anthem, including Karpyshyn, and that BioWare had shifted some SWTOR development to the new game.
The company’s last financial report pegged the game for March 2019. The press conference today now says February 22, 2019.