Review for Bioware’s Anthem on Gameplay, Exosuit Classes, Weapons and Gears


Consoles, PC, Reviews / Thursday, December 7th, 2017

The Anthem game is an Action-RPG first and third-person shooter that has quite a bit of a Destiny’s vibe to it however it has a lot going on for itself, for instance all the combat and action takes place in Exosuits called Javelins. You are a freelancer who is seemingly kind of a bounty hunter/explorer for hire in a sci-fi civilization that is actually vibrant and alive as you play the game.

Watch below the real Anthem gameplay you haven’t seen before

Beyond civilization there is a landscape of ruin, non hostile activity takes place in Fort Tarsus – an enclave of humanity behind walls seemingly to protect from behind walls seemingly to protect from the outside world. Right now we have a lot of possibilities regarding environment and story, so we’re going to talk a little bit more about how the game is played what systems are in place and so on.

fort tarsus

Inside Fort Tarsus

First off I mentioned Destiny, so is this a solo game, is this a multiplayer game or what are we talking about? Now you could play this like a single-player shooter if you really wanted to, bearing in mind it is a shared world you may encounter other players but that doesn’t mean you have to team up with them.

In a Twitter exchange the lead gameplay designer of Bioware, Corey Gasper was asked if it would be single-player friendly and he said yes of course, the game is designed so you can join an amazing Bioware story and can join an amazing Bioware story and explore the incredible open world alone or with friends.

Now here’s something that’s very important to know, the action we saw was a little bit like Mass Effect in that it was a third person game but the hub area that we saw (like I said sort of an enclave of humanity by the name of Fort Tarsus) was experienced in first-person.

anthem review bioware ea

We don’t know if the hub perspective is forced but I have to guess that you’ll be able to switch back and forth; it is a Bioware game and they generally tend towards third-person, however it would seem a little bit odd if both perspectives are in the game, and you’re forced into one depending on what you’re doing; it wouldn’t be unheard of but I sincerely doubt they would do it especially in the game, it seems as though it’s meant to compete with Destiny which is very much about what you want to do with the game and how you want to play it. Therefore, I don’t see them forcing you into it.

The director of the game Jonathan Warner said he wanted to emphasize that you can play it how you want, it is going to be a frictionless experience, so personally I’m taking that as not only are you going to be able to customize your character a lot, but the actual way you play the game itself is probably going to be somewhat up to your whims.

What about the Exosuit Classes?

anthem exosuit classes

As a freelancer you will venture into the world beyond the walls using an Exosuit which will have different classes that will provide you with different abilities. When Bioware was talking about the game, they mentioned specifically that they were designed for different play styles, but to go a step beyond that, if they do manage to make a nice variety of gameplay scenarios with a lot of diverse types of mission structures it may end up being that you own multiple suits that you use for different purposes. The Exosuit is equipped with a jet pack which is seemingly how you get around; this is where what we’ve seen of the game, I think it diverges pretty significantly from Destiny and because you’re wearing an Exosuit and have a jet, pack I’m slightly reminded of Titanfall which doesn’t bother me at all and I have to imagine that’s partially why they included the third person. I think some people obviously are going to want to play with a jet pack in a manner where they have a little bit more of a peripheral vision.

Let’s look into Anthem’s Weapons and Gears

As far as weapons go we seem to have the obligatory assault rifles, but we do have some more interesting ideas in the equipable gear, for instance in the demonstrated gameplay we saw a heavy user mortar, we also saw a really cool shell volley in which the player character locked on to multiple targets and just sort of unleashed holy hell upon them. It was a really effective tactic in defending against what was called a scar ambush and it yielded what seemed to be a power-up or a weapons drop, basically looked like an orange diamond shape which rewarded the players with a weapon called Jara’s Wrath, which was a level 5 legendary volt rifle.

anthem weapons gears

The game is open-world, you do have your central hub which kind of functions as a fort, base and as a safe zone where you don’t have to bother with fighting, you can make your preparations, change or upgrade things, and there’s some indication that this area exists at a fairly high altitude; when the player leaves to enter the open-world area you essentially jump off to what appears to be a large technological wall, activate your jetpack and go down into the world below. People are calling this the dive, and Corey Gasper confirmed that it’s going to be used for various different scenarios, for instance diving through enemy fire.

Jonathan Warner also said that story is still an emphasis, this is a Bioware game after all, although he did not confirm any types of details and dodged question on romances, laughing about it because they are a Bioware staple but who knows. He also wouldn’t answer when asked about PvP, emphasizing that humanity is not high on the food chain and the Exosuits are needed in order to even interface with the world itself, at least if we’re talking about outside Fort Tarsus.

There is one thing I wanted to point out that makes me just a little bit whimsical for what could have been and this is the facial animation; this game has apparently been in development for about as long as Mass Effect Andromeda and it’s not out and has significantly better facial animation in the latter. Just wondering why that is and that’s obviously a very minor grade but there are people that aren’t particularly happy about this and I wanted to acknowledge it but all in all I think things are pretty positive for this game, it really looks phenomenal.

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