Bioware, the Edmonton, Alberta game developer and makers of Mass Effect and Dragon Age, have released the first teaser trailer and gameplay reveal teasing some new IP: Anthem. In what can be considered EA's direct competitor to Bungie's Destiny, Anthem is an open world action RPG set in a futuristic landscape where mankind's continued existence is threatened by giant monsters that live "beyond the wall".
You play as part of a group of "freelancers" who are essentially Guardians of the wall. They are the only ones capable of venturing beyond, into the hostile environment of monsters and exotic beasts. Rather than a more traditional take on class based gameplay, Anthem emphasizes the importance of "javelins" or close-fitting mechanized exo-suits, each with different customizable weapons and abilities. There is the Ranger - a DPS, all around fighter, and the Colossus, a tanking powerhouse.
Players will be customizing their javelins with items they purchase back at the base, or with rare equipment they can collect after defeating powerful enemies. In the Anthem gameplay reveal, we can see that the pilot of the Colossus has equipped a mortar, a long-range explosive device. The Ranger pilot finds a nifty-looking gun in a gold diamond after fighting off a wave of monsters.
The world of the game is sprawling, filled with natural environments that range from the jungle to the mountains. The human settlement, called Fort Tarsus, is separated from the wider world by a large wall and is all that remains of mankind. It must be noted, the setting is very reminiscent of the popular anime show, Shingeki no Kyojin, or, Attack on Titan as its known in the west, which features characters defending the last of humanity, hemmed in by a wall from man-eating giants.
The Anthem gameplay reveal shows the settlement in all its dazzling visuals, thanks to the Frostbite 3 engine. There is dynamic weather and emergent wildlife systems in place, adding to the stark realness of the visuals. Birds fly in formation, gigantic beasts run through vast, green jungles in herds. But the jungle is not simply natural - it's grown over the remains of artificial structures from ages past. Underneath the jungle are vast, water filled chasms. The scope is epic, and feels genuinely breathtaking. There is a sense of strong story and a well developed world.
Anthem is set to be released in Fall of 2018, meaning it's quite far off, but if these two trailers are anything to go by, it will certainly be worth keeping an eye on.