BioWare's Anthem game release date finally has a month, March, after it's initial delay from Fall 2018 to a TBA 2019. EA's Destiny-like shooter will arrive on PS4, Xbox and PC in "the last quarter of the year  and in the last month of that quarter" according to a recent financial call. And, the way financial years work, that's makes it March.
BioWare and EA revealed its new Anthem game at E3 2017, revealing an open-world sci-fi RPG where players, known as Freelancers, party up to explore an alien planet in co-op using Javelin exosuits. Clearly a shot at Destiny 2's style of persistent-world shooter MMO, it looks to be a game full of loot collecting and raids for better gear.
Expect to see more of Anthem in amongst this year's E3 2018 games but for now, here everything we have on Anthem gameplay, raids, news and more.
- Anthem release date: March 2019
- Formats: PS4, Xbox One, PC
- Developer: BioWare
- Price: TBD (likely $59.99 / £54.99)
Anthem game release date confirmed for March 2019
The Anthem game release date was originally a clearly hopeful 'Fall 2018' when the game was first announced at E3 2017. That then slipped to a broader '2019'. More recently an EA financial call pinned it down to the last month of that financial year, which would make it March. BioWare fans might recognise that as the release window for Mass Effect Andromeda and Mass Effect 3 before it. With that series now on hiatus, EA are clearly pitching Anthem as the new 'core' sci-fi game in its line up.
Anthem gameplay shows a world full of opportunity, loot and raids
Our main look at Anthem gameplay so far comes from the original E3 reveal. You can watch that above, but the main take away is that it's a co-op sci-fi shooter where up to four players take the role of 'Freelancers,' using highly upgradable and customisable Javelin exosuits to explore an alien world. Anthem gameplay looks to taking a lot of cues from Destiny, with its focus on defeating enemies and taking missions to find better gear to access better missions to get better gear... and so on.
There is an Anthem game PS4 release, despite the initial Xbox reveal
Microsoft very sneakily revealed Anthem at its 2017 E3 show to a big fanfare, and scattered among several Xbox exclusives, leaving many with the impression the Anthem game itself was exclusive. It isn't. There's an Anthem game PS4 release, and a PC one because EA only make multi-platform games. Microsoft might be throwing money at promoting it, but Anthem will be playable on all three main formats (don't hold your breath for a Switch version though).
Anthem game news
Aside from the more game related info revealed so far we've also had some other Anthem game news since its reveal. For example, long time BioWare writer Drew Karpyshyn left the studio. He had been a writer on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect before leaving BUT then rejoining to help shape the Anthem game's narrative. BUT... he then left again in Match 2018:
It's Friday (at least in my time zone) and I'm finally able to go public with my big announcement! *******drumroll*******As of last Friday, I have left BioWare to pursue other creative ventures. For more details, go to my NEWS page: https://t.co/cmSV0up2SaMarch 9, 2018
Karpyshyn leaving was a blow to many who credited for a lot of the narrative success behind some of BioWare's biggest titles.
On more positive Anthem game news, it also sounds like any Anthem lootboxes that might exist won't be repeating the disastrous reception that greeted the Star Wars Battlefront 2 lootboxes. EA's chief design officer Patrick Söderlund has said “we can shy away from it and pretend like it didn’t happen, or we can act responsibly and realize that we made some mistakes, and try to rectify those mistakes and learn from them.” That suggests things might be very different for any Anthem lootboxes or microtransations. We know from EA that the Anthem game is a "fundamentally social experience" so it has to avoid even a whiff of pay-to-win advantages.
An Anthem beta will happen at some point
What form the Anthem beta will take isn't know yet but we'll definitely have one. game director Jonathan Warner tweeted as much in an answer to a fan in September 2017:
Yeah we'll have a beta! #PrepareForAdventure27 September 2017
More recently in May 2019, an EA financial call confirmed "new ways for fans to join the community and play early," specifically with a focus to "shape and refine the game with input and feedback.” Whether that's a full Anthem beta, or some part of EA Access remains to be seen but the Anthem game will be playable in some way before release.
Is the Anthem game another Destiny?
EA will never say it outright but it's not hard to see how the Anthem game borrows heavily from Destiny's raiding and looting. Especially after Meanwhile, EA's Patrick Soderlund described Anthem as "a game that we see, once we launch it next year, will be the start of, I think maybe a ten-year journey for us." That's highly reminiscent Destiny's oft mentioned 'ten-year plan' when that game was originally launched.
Elsewhere the comparisons are there too see: Freelancers are to Anthem as Guardians are to Destiny - the highly capable heroes that venture into the unknown to blast hostile creatures and gather any precious loot or weaponry they might drop. Just as Destiny has The Tower, your main hub in Anthem is Fort Tarsus, a safe haven for humanity that sits high above a perilous jungle.
Fort Tarsus is protected by The Wall (now where have we heard that name before?), which separates everyday citizens from vicious animals and plotting marauders. It's here that you'll meet up with NPCs and rack up quests, like saving marooned workers hired by the pleading foreman Praxley seen in the Anthem gameplay trailer. Anthem's hub areas are effectively the reverse of Destiny, where you mill about town in first-person before embarking on third-person adventures. That close-up perspective should give you a better look at Fort Tarsus' high-tech bazaar - complete with a colossal quadrupedal robot lumbering overhead - and the highly detailed, uncanny-valley-triggering faces of its many human denizens.
Anthem game classes come via Javelin exosuits
Javelins are full-body exosuits along the Iron Man idea providing weapons, protection and the ability to fly. In the Anthem game Javelins act as classes with their own unique abilities, and you'll have the freedom to collect multiple suits to diversify your playstyle. Anthem's game director Jonathan Warner points out that Javelins will be "heavily customizable so they look and play how you want" in his narration of Anthem's debut gameplay trailer.
Two Javelin types have been detailed so far: the Ranger, which sounds like a beginner-friendly DPS class that Warner describes as "balanced and all-purpose", and the Colossus, the "tanking powerhouse" that should be able to soak up and dish out big damage in exchange for slower movements and cooldowns. It's still unclear if your Freelancer will level up independent of their Javelin, or if each suit will need to be leveled up individually. Like Destiny, each Javelin has two special abilities and an ultimate move; Anthem's trailers highlighted the Ranger's lock-on rocket barrage and the Colossus' heavy mortar shot. As you'd expect, your Javelin has numerous gear slots to let you outfit your personalized model with additional attachments and enhancements.