BioWare's recent loot n' shoot adventure may have met with thoroughly mixed feedback from reviewers and critics, but it can't be said that Anthem doesn't offer players enough content to keep them busy.
The primary sequence of missions, or critical path, is estimated to only require a timesink of roughly ten hours, but factoring in side missions and endgame content balloons that number exponentially. The offerings include agent quests, contracts, and stronghold missions.
Agent quests are your more conventional side missions, offering straightforward rewards and altering your relationships with various NPCs and factions. Contracts are smaller, slightly randomized sequences of objectives, and stronghold missions are big, tough, raid-like endgame encounters meant to be tackled by teams. Between the three of them, there's a lot to do - but let's look at them in a little more detail and see how they hold up. Here are twenty-five side missions in Anthem that we thought were worth a glance.
One little note to keep in mind is that contract missions can change objectives, choosing from a pool of predetermined scenarios and locations, so your mileage may vary a bit from what we've got listed here.
25 AGENT QUEST: What Freelancers Do
This is one of three agent missions that you'll be tasked with over the course of the story mission, Incursion. Freelancer Yarrow is the man with the plan, and he dispatches you to assist Freelancer Rythe with a few Arcanist problems.
You'll be squaring off against Scar enemies for the most part, as well as a few Wolven. And somewhere towards the middle of the mission, you'll need to fight against some armored turrets that are weak against acid and fire attacks - you may want to remember that. The mission's final stage will see you helping Rythe and the Arcanists defend themselves against a Scar onslaught led by a legendary Scar Enforcer, so be ready for a lengthy fight.
24 CONTRACT: Protection Duty
After accepting this contract from the board by Yarrow in Fort Tarsis, you'll set out to combat a variety of foes and rescue a few of your less fortunate fellow Freelancers.
One key point to remember that'll help you to speed your way through this one is that rescuing Freelancers should take absolute priority when it comes up - do that first, fight later. You'll also need to destroy a Scar stockpile later on. You can't fly while carrying the necessary explosives, and you'll need to stay in their area until they're armed. Leaving the area halts and reverses the arming timer, dragging it out longer than it needs to be.
23 AGENT QUEST: Preventative Precautions
For the Sentinel's leg of Incursion, you're going to buddy up with Brin, a less than friendly operative of theirs. They're going to put you to work investigating why the Scar have been ransacking Arcanist machinery.
The bulk of this quest is going to be invested into recovering fragments of a Shaper relic. You can only take one at a time and they restrict your ability to fly, all the while the relic is producing enemies for you to fight. Needless to say, this can get a bit tedious, but focusing on returning the fragments will shut the relic down in no time.
22 STRONGHOLD: Tyrant Mine
Let's hope that you've got a thing for silencing relics, because, well, you're going to be doing a lot of that. Speaking of which, you'll need to gather echoes to do so. While it's tempting to dash out ahead and collect them, try to keep your squad at least somewhat together, especially in harder difficulties. It's never fun when someone goes down in a bad spot.
The boss for this stronghold is a gigantic, spider-like monstrosity that's sure to feature in your nightmares. The good news is that it has a total of four weak points that you can target to lay a little extra hurt on it.
21 AGENT QUEST: See In The Dark
Matthias is the guy you'll be talking to for the Arcanists' portion of the Incursion main quest, and he has a few runes he'd like for you to take a gander at. Your initial opponents will be Wolven as you clear out the first area.
You'll be dealing with a lot of Skorpions as you collect the echoes you'll need to unlock the terminal, as well as a camp full of Scar that's guarding the last few. Be mindful of the Scar snipers there - they project a red beam of light when aiming, so take care to dodge them when you notice you're being targeted. You may want to prioritize taking these guys out, as they really can hurt.
20 CONTRACT: Freelancer Work
This contract can turn out to be a pretty wild ride. After claiming this one from the board near to Yarrow in Tarsis, head out to fight some outlaws, recover some lost gear, find a missing Freelancer and explode some Scar caches. Oh, that's not all. You'll also be taking on a pair of beastly Ursix, just to make sure you get your dose of excitement for the day.
The Ursix are tough, and they have a deceptively long reach to keep you on your toes. They'll show up one after the other, so stay ready for another fight after you've defeated the first one. The best strategy here is pretty simple, just focus your strongest attacks on their heads.
19 AGENT QUEST: Hidden Depths
The Arcanists' very own Matthias wants you to recover the incredibly well-guarded Elysian manuscript, and it's not going to be a walk in the park. You'll probably want to ensure you've got a good team for this expedition.
After you've recovered some runes and done a little point defense to reveal the manuscript's location, prepare the meet its guardian - a titan. This thing will either summon or be joined by lots of other enemies over the course of the fight, but try to stay focused on the titan itself. It has a deluge of scary attacks, but most of them involve exposing its weak points, so take advantage of this when possible.
18 AGENT QUEST: Cautious Cooperation
The Sentinels need some beacons brought back online, and you're just the Freelancer for the job! No one else seems to be volunteering, anyway.
This mission is pretty straightforward. You'll be flipping the switches on beacons and fighting loads of Scars, just mind the Scouts that'll be sniping at you. The last stage of this one will take you to a Shaper relic that likes to spit air elementals out at you. No big worry, just deal with them accordingly before they have a chance to become a problem.
17 CONTRACT: Hazard Pay
This can turn into a surprisingly lengthy series of events for a contract, and you'll get this one from Yarrow. During the first stage, if you're protecting the Arcanists, make sure to repair the downed Sentinel Javelins whenever possible. You'll earn a nice bit of bonus experience this way.
If fending off Outlaws wasn't enough excitement, don't worry! You'll also need to repair a couple of generators, fight off Scar and down some Titans. Then, finally, you'll square off against a Luminary - a big, tank-like thing that doesn't like you very much. Its weak spots are obscured by heavy armor on its legs, blow it away to reveal them.
16 AGENT QUEST: A Simple Job
The title here might be just a little misleading. This time Brin wants you to check up on a team that's looking into a Shaper relic. However, things quickly go sideways as a bunch of Scars have begun tearing up a nearby generator.
After fending them off you'll need to head over to the Sentinel base to counter an attack that the Scar have launched while you were occupied. Hives will pop up near the relic at this stage, so you'll want to focus your efforts on those to stem the tide of baddies pouring in. After a little bit of mopping up, you'll need to move the relic itself, which will spur further Scar attacks until you've finished with it.
15 STRONGHOLD: Temple Of Scar
As you might infer from the name, this bit of endgame content features loads and loads of Scars to take down. It'll become available after you've finished the "Return to the Heart of Rage" critical mission. The first few bits are fairly straightforward, you'll need to blow up a few turrets, so have a primer and detonator handy.
The boss encounter is where things get interesting. His name's Scelos, a big, tanky machine, and he's surrounded by a powerful shield. In order to deactivate the shield, you'll need to disable the three generators powering it by targeting their weak spots. You'll likely need to do it several times, and a bunch of his Scars friends come out to play every time they're reactivated, so get comfortable with the pattern here.
14 AGENT QUEST: A Favor To Ask
Yarrow has... well, a favor to ask. You'll be visiting a few memorials to Freelancers a little less fortunate than yourself to pay your respects. And also to fight, because why would this mission exist if there weren't some bad guys to liberally stomp?
This Freelancer mission in particular is a breeze, so there's no reason not to do it, really. Chase off the Skorpions, take down a few outlaws, loot up and reap your rewards. All in a day's work!
13 CONTRACT: First Response
As is usual with contracts, just hit the board in Tarsis and gear up to investigate a Corvus agent's distress signal and rescue the crew aboard a fallen Strider.
Rescuing the crew is going to be the more involved portion of this venture, and you'll want to be mindful of the fact that it will probably take place in a respawn restricted area. First you'll need to recover and install a battery, fighting off a horde of outlaws all the while. There's likely to be a leader as well as a legendary outlaw that will both pop up as you try to get to the Strider's crew, so focus on them directly when they make an appearance.
12 AGENT QUEST: A Cry For Help
Yarrow wants you to check out a report concerning a downed Strider, but he doesn't seem to know much about it. After clearing a few Wyverns off the scene, you'll meet its escort, Freelancer Diggs. After helping him recover some repair equipment and parts from the ambush site, you start to notice his story about a Scar attack damaging the Strider doesn't add up.
No time for pondering, however, as Wolven have closed in on the Strider and you need to head back to intervene. After clearing them out, you'll be greeted with a much bigger threat taking the form of an Elite Ursix. Keep light on your feet and aim for the head. You're done afterwards, but it won't be the last you hear from Freelancer Diggs.
11 AGENT QUEST: Tempting Target
After getting your details from Yarrow, head over to the research camp to combat the attacking outlaws. You'll search the wrecked camp for clues to what happened afterwards, eventually finding an unsent distress signal directing you into some nearby caves.
As you work through, you'll eventually be halted by a door with a puzzle attached. Just interact with the lock on the left until the symbol is yellow, and the lock on the right until it is purple. After you're through and you've found the Arcanists you're looking for, you're in for a fight. Focus your efforts on Fire-Faced Kern when he shows - he's a Storm Javelin with some pretty damaging capabilities if left unchecked.
10 CONTRACT: Scar Control
Oh boy, I bet you'll never guess what you'll be fighting over the course of this Sentinels contract! Oh, well yes. That's right, a lot of Scars. How ever did you guess?
After heading out and destroying a few Hives, you'll be tasked with recovering several Sentinel signets. One good tip to take into consideration is that you don't necessarily need to blow up every Scar in sight for this section. Just blazing through to snag the signets and making a speedy exit will suffice, and save you quite a bit of time and effort.
9 AGENT QUEST: Elysian Secrets
After getting this quest from Erryl, you'll head out and down a few Wolven that are hanging out in your target area. After that's said and done get ready to do some good, old-fashioned puzzle solving.
You'll need to repeat this puzzle several times over the course of this agent mission, so get comfortable with the formula. All you really need to do is rotate a series of pillars until they're in the right configuration. Clues on the correct sequence are spread throughout each of the puzzle areas, so a little nosing around should go far enough.
8 AGENT QUEST: Secrets of the Auspex
Once you've claimed this task from Matti in Tarsis, you'll be heading to the marked location to place an Auspex and defend it from the bad guys that'll show up to give you a hard time about it. You'll rinse and repeat this process two more times, but mind the last one, as your ability to respawn will be restricted.
A Symposium agent will pop in to liven things up at that point. He pilots a well-shielded Storm Javelin, but isn't so tough once they're depleted. Just pour it on him with everything you've got and watch his shields melt away.
7 CONTRACT: Archive Hunt
Matthias needs some Arcanist beacons that have gone haywire given some attention, and you're a really helpful sort of person. Or you're the kind of person that likes to do a job and get loot in the process. Either way, you're headed out.
After you've cleared out the attending Scar tough guys (being particularly wary of the extra tough Enforcers) and powered up the devices, you'll bounce to another locale to blow up some local predators. After that simply proceed to another location where you'll need to scoop up some collectibles and do a little point defense to finish things up.
6 AGENT QUEST: Ancient Footsteps
Matti will send you out to gather some intel for him, but as you're probably used to by now, it's never that simple. Your initial rune hunt will be pretty uneventful, but the next location they lead you to will put you face to face with an angry Ursix. Aim for the head, naturally, and hunt for more runes once it is down. Then it's onwards to crack a vault.
Or so you think. After you've done the work and held off against the Skorpions that will try to ruin your day, Matti's going to call you back up to the surface because he's found himself in a bit of trouble, as a bunch of outlaws have downed his Strider while you were fiddling about with that thing. All's well once you drive them off and get the Strider's battery back in place.
5 STRONGHOLD: Heart of Rage
This stronghold doubles as the climactic final story mission for Anthem, with the key differences amounting to being able to ramp up the difficulty for a bigger challenge and a better haul of loot.
The opening sections will involve a lot of turrets, so keep your combo attacks ready or pack some fire and acid damage to deal with them. During the final battle with the Monitor, be wary of the enemies that he summons in as they're capable of inflicting some inconvenient debuffs. His weak points will shift around as he performs different attacks, so keep an eye on them to keep dishing out that crucial damage.
4 AGENT QUEST: Overdue
You remember Freelancer Diggs? Well, it turns out that his Strider never made it to Fort Tarsis, and Yarrow wants you to figure the situation out. You'll be following its tracks once you embark for this expedition, and will find it in pieces, having been dismantled by Scars.
Things will heat up once you find some captured Arcanists held by the Scars. Defeat the bad guys and rescue the poor fellows to find they were sold to a particularly monstrous Scar, then press on to a nearby bunker. Inside you'll encounter Voraxes the Swarming after taking care of a few objectives. He's big, hard as nails and hits like a truck, but blasting away the armor plating on his legs will reveal critical weak spots that you can take advantage of.
3 CONTRACT: Decryption Research
Matthias needs you to go untangle a few Arcanists from a sticky situation. Quite literally, actually, as they're stuck in Skorpion webs. Just attack the webs directly to bail them out. Afterwards you'll be directed to a Shaper relic where you'll need to gather up and return some fragments.
As usual, you'll be hounded ceaselessly as the relic spits bad guys out at you. Just remember that your ability to fly will be restricted while you're transporting the fragments and you should do fine. The rest of the mission should play out by the book, barring the section where you're tasked with destroying Dominion machines - it's easy to forget that you're under a two minute time limit here, and it can breeze right past you if you don't stay on target.
2 AGENT QUEST: Bad Deal
Diggs and some outlaws are trying to auction off some stolen Shaper fragments, and Yarrow believes it's up to you to crash the party. After exchanging your pleasantries with him and getting the details, you're off to the first site.
It's abandoned, but you'll handily locate a map with a promising lead. That promising lead will initially seem to be a bust as well, until several outlaws emerge nearby to ambush you. The last site you hit will be the jackpot, with both Scars and outlaws to fight while you recover fragments. The outlaw boss is a Storm Javelin with a shield, and the Scar boss is an Enforcer with a weak point on its back, so plan accordingly.
1 CONTRACT: Field Work
After snagging this contract up from Matti, take off in your Javelin and get ready to make a mad dash for some Shaper fragments. This contract has the potential to be really easy, as you don't even necessarily need to fight while you're gathering them, and these objectives can make up the vast majority of it.
Afterwards, you're off to clear an area of a Scar presence, culminating in taking out their leader. He'll be a bit tougher than your average Scar trooper, but you're tougher yet. Hopefully, anyway. Remember to pop the weak points on the backs of any Enforcers that you encounter to make the fight go a little smoother.