Microsoft closed out their E3 2017 press briefing this afternoon with a seven-minute gameplay reveal for BioWare’s latest title, Anthem. Electronic Arts (EA) officially announced the game (previously named Dylan) at their E3 briefing yesterday, with the promise of more details and an official gameplay preview coming during Microsoft’s pre-expo conference today, running on the console manufacturer’s newest piece of hardware, Xbox One X (formerly code-named Project Scorpio).
EA’s Patrick Soderlund was on stage at the Xbox briefing today, touting the impending reveal of their latest intellectual property, something that hasn’t happened in several years. It’s the first time since 2009 (with the release of Dragon Age: Origins) that BioWare has a new IP on its hands. People may remember that, three years ago, the video game developer announced plans to release a new game, titled Shadow Realms. BioWare Austin later canceled the game and subsequently began focusing on developing more content for Mass Effect: Andromeda. Andromeda suffered from underwhelming reviews and sales due to faulty mechanics and lackluster story; Anthem just might put them back on track.
BioWare senior producer Jon Warner appeared on stage at the briefing this afternoon to walk audiences through the seven-minute gameplay demo (video above) for the studio’s newest game. The gameplay was captured in-game, in real-time, running on Xbox One X. Microsoft has been touting BioWare (and, thus, Anthem) as one of their first partners for the new system, and that’s why they selected this game to show off all the bells and whistles of their new flagship console, particularly the system’s 4K capability.
In Anthem, players control characters known as Freelancers, who are tasked with not only exploring the surrounding world but also defending civilians against any threats that lurk beyond the fortified walls. To do this, players equip “heavily customizable” exosuits called Javelins. There are multiple suits, and each one is specifically designed for varying forms of play. For instance, the Ranger is an all-purpose exosuit intended for balanced gameplay, whereas the Colossus is a “tanking powerhouse” suit.
Unlike BioWare’s previous titles, Anthem appears to be a fully cooperative, semi-MMO online game (with drop-in multiplayer), in the vein of titles such as Destiny and The Division. People are meant to join together in squads that can fit up to four players with the purpose of completing large-scale events, which can be heavily influenced by the game’s dynamic open-world setting — and harsh storms. We should find out more about Anthem as we near the game’s release in fall 2018.