BioWare unveiled its new sci-fi action IP, Anthem, during yesterday’s EA Play event, but the big gameplay reveal came today during Microsoft’s E3 2017 press conference. Anthem was shown running on the Xbox One X and the demo took us through a mission that spanned several environments.
Gameplay opened in a first-person perspective with a walk through a market in a desert-like environment surrounded by tall buildings. The player was controlling a female protagonist and was approached in the opening seconds by an ally who says he hired “freelancers” and that trouble has ensued. You then engage in a mission titled Hell or High Water.
Exo-suits named Javelins are a key part of the game, which are equipped with jetpacks that seem to operate somewhat similarly to those in Mass Effect: Andromeda. As the character walked into the suit, the perspective is switched to third-person. The player then got into an elevator to jump into a vast and lush jungle-like environment by using the jetpack to fly around. Giant creatures came storming but were avoided by jumping to an underwater area named Deadlight Caverns.
There are RPG elements in Anthem with XP, which is rewarded for (among other things) the discovery of new areas. After they emerge from the water, we see the player fire shotgun blasts at smaller enemies, before going on to discover Longfall Ruins. Dashing through the tropical environment, we then see another human-controlled character in co-operation as he takes down a huge walking tank.
The character being played in the demo unleashed a rocket ability that locked onto multiple target to take them out, earning an XP bonus. Here, we caught a glimpse of the type of weapons and loot available. A level 35 Legendary volt rifle called “Jarra’s Wrath” was looted and stats for damage, accuracy, and other elements were on display.
As the two players continued through the jungle, a massive storm began with rain and lightning enveloping the environment. This is when the demo ended with the quote, “Our story is out there.”
Anthem will have Xbox One X enhancements such as ultra-high-definition 4K resolution and HDR lighting. The game is set to release at an unspecified date in 2018.
EA had been teasing that BioWare was at work on a new “action IP,” but little was known about the mysterious title aside from the fact it would be “built around a live service” that features a “disruptive new social design.” In order to further improve the live service, EA pushed the project back to its fiscal year ’19, which runs from April 2018 through March 2019.
The publisher has confirmed that Anthem is being developed by BioWare Edmonton, the studio behind Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. For all the announcements from Microsoft’s E3 2017 press conference, be sure to check out our Microsoft news roundup. You can find other news, impressions, videos, and more from this year’s show at GameSpot’s E3 2017 hub.