At this year’s E3, BioWare teased gamers on day one. It was during the EA Play conference that they showed us what they had been working on for five years. After the initial tease, a message stated that more would be revealed at Microsoft’s E3 Conference. So finally, at the end of the two-hour press event held by Microsoft, the last game featured was BioWare’s new online “Destiny-killer”: Anthem.

A full-out online adventure, pitting the human race at the bottom of the barrel, you explore the vast lands in your ‘Javelin’, an exosuit designed to keep you alive when leaving the safety of the settlement’s walls. The main settlement, which acts as a ‘hub’, allows the player to customize Javelin suits and take on more missions and quests.

Stunning graphics, visuals and lighting, the gameplay footage seen at E3 2017 looked as smooth as any game to date. Taking the role of a freelancer, you explore outside the barrier of the walls of Fort Tarsis, to protect humanity and make new discoveries to further aid the human race. The gorgeous, expandable, open world full of unknown mysteries and surprises, along with what the Lead Designer of the project, Corey Gaspur calls “an amazing BioWare story”, is enough to hype plenty of fans looking forward to expanding their online expeditions.

Though previewed with online play and a large focus surrounding online co-op quests, BioWare states that Anthem is completely playable as a solo campaign, reaching out to those not interested in sharing the experience with other players. With deadly threats and ambushes throughout the world of Anthem though, online co-op might be what saves your life in dicey situations.

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The upgradable Javelin suit gives your player personality in and out of battle. Different variations of the suits, like the quick and nimble Ranger, or the mega strength Colossus model – good for taking out dangerous enemies – as well as other models not yet mentioned, leave a strong sense of uniqueness to each exosuit. Said to be “heavily customizable”, these suits give you the creative controls to make your Javelin look and play as you wish. In the demo footage from E3, the Javelin is also shown submerging underwater with a continuous thrust from the jet-pack, making traversing the vast world as exciting as it is impressive.

The combat system in Anthem looks similar to BioWare’s Mass Effect, with cover and shoot gameplay, along with special abilities equipped on the Javelin – like the mortar bomb attached to the colossus or the missile barrage on the ranger displayed in the demo. With talk of various additions to add to the Javelin exosuits, you can expect more options and weapons to make their way into the world of Anthem.

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Dangerous foes and giant beasts are not the only threatening disturbance in the dynamic realm. Shaper Storms and other world events will see you fighting through furious winds and lightning, and upon completion of these, more events will be unlocked. At the end of the E3 demo footage, the player is shown, purposely, flying directly into the heart of the storm where other players wait.

Not many details were released about Anthem’s overall playability. The healthy dose of gameplay was more than enough to get fans excited for the new IP however. We also know that Anthem is set to release on the PlayStation 4/Pro, Xbox One/One X and PC, sometime in 2018. Be sure to check back with D-pad Joy for more updates on BioWare’s exciting new game.

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