EA has outlined Anthem’s 90-day post-launch roadmap. This blueprint further details the publisher’s promise that plenty awaits players in the adventure’s endgame. The game, developed by Mass Effect and Dragon Age developer BioWare, launched in full February 22 (though it arrived one week earlier on the 15th for certain Origin subscribers).
Anthem stands as BioWare’s first crack at creating a shared multiplayer shooter. Players take on the role of heroic mercenaries called Freelancers who pilot Javelins, Iron Man-esque mech suits, to explore a hostile alien world and defend humanity. Though the game encourages players to band together, Freelancers can also go it alone, albeit making the game significantly more difficult. EA first unveiled Anthem during E3 2017. Despite early excitement, the game has since garnered criticism for its fragmented release schedule that encouraged players to buy-in on the game early, recurring technical issues, and questionable reactions to negative reviews. Anthem launched to a tepid critical response (check out our own review here).
For the dedicated fanbase, the post-launch outline details what type of content they can expect month-to-month up to May. Act 1 of these plans, Echoes of Reality begins in March. Next month players will have a new Freeplay event titled Cortex Locked along with Legendary Missions - Phase 1. Players can also expect new Elysian Stronghold Caches containing new cosmetics and other items. Subsequent months will introduce additional Freeplay missions, progression updates, as well as guilds and leaderboards. Additionally, a new Stronghold (Anthem’s equivalent of dungeons) called The Sunken makes its way to the game in April.
Act 1 culminates with the first Cataclysm event kicking off in May. EA previously described these time-limited events as “world changing”, and introduces extreme weather, formidable new foes, and a fresh batch of mysteries to solve. Two more Acts will follow Echoes of Reality, though BioWare is keeping a tight lip about what those entail for now.
Despite Anthem’s apparent flaws, this roadmap helps reaffirm BioWare’s commitment to both improving and expanding on the title. Games such as Destiny and The Division have proven that live service titles can grow into exponentially better experiences over time if the developer and community stick with it. That doesn’t necessarily excuse Anthem’s launch state, but having a guarantee of future content helps (or, at the very least, cements that gamers may be better off buying the title later than sooner). It'll be interesting to see if anything that gets added will be enough to overcome Anthem’s fundamental issues, such as its excessive load screens and narrative that often clashes with its gameplay design.