Anthem (opens in new tab) has been one of our most-anticipated E3 2018 games (opens in new tab) for a while, and EA obliged with a pretty good three-part look at the online RPG during its Hollywood press conference. Through a new trailer, an on-stage developer interview, and a decent chunk of actual gameplay, we picked up a lot of new information about the game - and yes, that does finally include an actual release date. Let's take a look!
When Anthem's coming out
After years of shifting release windows, EA has given Anthem an official release date: February 22, 2019. It'll come out simultaneously for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, though it's a safe bet that EA Access and Origin Access will offer their usual Play First Trials several days earlier on Xbox One and PC respectively.
Home is a solo experience for story's sake
One of the big questions about Anthem has always been how BioWare will fit its usual penchant for grand, player-centric stories into a multiplayer-focused experience. The big answer came on EA's stage today: when you're at home you're on your own. Unlike Destiny's Tower, a social space that always brims with players dancing around and/or ignoring each other, you'll have this little part of the world to yourself (aside from the NPCs, obviously). That means BioWare can use this space to tell your story without dancing interruptions, and it can also more powerfully reflect the consequences of your decisions. Put on your Javelin suit, boost out into the wilderness, and you can team up with other players again.
You can customize your Javelin suits a ton
Since other players will only ever see you decked out in your mecha armor, you'll obviously want to make it as rad as possible. On top of choosing your preferred class of Javelin - which will dictate what kinds of weapons and abilities you use - you can also thoroughly kit out your suit. Change the paint job, apply decals (one design looked suspiciously similar to the Mass Effect N7 suit), and even change the shape of the suit itself to suit your fancy. EA hasn't gone anywhere near the concept of stat-altering loot yet, but at least we know we'll be able to look rad.
Anthem's story is about gods and robo-suits
A bunch of ragtag mercenaries fighting giant monsters in robo-suits kind of sells itself, right? But this is BioWare we're talking about. Anthem's world isn't just a generic sci-fi-with-a-dash-of-Western wilderness: it's a land that was built by actual gods (or entities that people think were gods, anyway). For some reason the deities abandoned their creation midway through and left their world-shaping tools behind. Various factions want to control these tools, including the eponymous Anthem of Creation, for good and not-so-good purposes. That's where your freelancer comes in.
The world is built to change
That story isn't just for background - the world will indeed change in permanent ways as BioWare continues to support Anthem after launch. Certain dramatic events may alter the weather or make other temporary adjustments, often foreshadowing bigger changes like the reveal of all-new areas. New storylines will arrive as well as smaller things like extra moments to enjoy with favored NPCs.
Keep track of our E3 2018 schedule (opens in new tab) so you don't miss any of the big reveals as they happen.