Anthem Release Date, Pre-Order Bonus, Gameplay, Tech Analysis, BioWare - Everything We Know

BioWare's Anthem is a brand new IP, and we've got all the release date, gameplay, and platform details you need for the title right here.

Guide by Tom Orry, .

Anthem marks the first big new IP from famed developers BioWare in quite some time, and it'll be releasing in the first quarter of 2019. In this Anthem everything we know guide, we'll be compiling all the information we have so far on the game, including the final Anthem release date, all the slices of Anthem gameplay we've seen so far, as well as the full range of Anthem pre-order bonuses, of which there are a few options to choose from.

Anthem Release Date

At the EA Play event as part of E3 2018 on June 9, the Anthem release date of February 22, 2019 was announced for the upcoming sci-fi shooter. February is fast becoming a big release month, with many publishers skipping the packed end of 2018, but now finding that Q1 2019 is pretty stacked too.

Anthem was at PAX in early September, and EA has now posted the full panel online. At about an hour long, this is an excellent look at the upcoming action game. The panel includes Nick Tarabay, voice of Anthem's Haluk, Executive Producer Mark Darrah, Lead Producer Michael Gamble, Level Designer Sabine Rosgren, Co-lead Writer Cathleen Rootsaert, and Creative Director Victor Krengel.

Anthem E3 Demo Tech Analysis

The video above is from our friends at Digital Foundry. The video game tech analysis site looked at the 20-minute E3 2018 demo and found it to be very impressive indeed. While the game was confirmed by EA to be running on PC, it seems the visual settings might have been tweaked to be more inline with what console players will experience. Even so, the demo is praised for its lavish attention to detail, with suggestions that Anthem might look even better on strong PC hardware.

Anthem Pre-Order Bonuses

In addition to the reveal of the final release date for Anthem at E3 2018, EA also announced several pre-order bonuses for the sci-fi game. Those who pre-order the game wil "receive VIP demo access and a unique in-game Founders banner" according to EA. If you pre-order the Legion of Dawn edition of Anthem, you'll receive the "the full set of Legion of Dawn Armor Packs (including the Ranger Javelin Legion of Dawn Armor Pack), and a Ranger Javelin gear attachment", and you'll bag yourself the Ranger Javelin gear if you pre-order the standard version of Anthem

Anthem was a huge part of EA's EA Play event during E3 week. Get all the details on our EA E3 Press Conference page.

A comment from Bioware Head Casey Hudson has given fans some belief that Anthem won't repeat the same mistakes as Mass Effect Andromeda. According to Hudson, Bioware has learnt from the failures of Andromeda, and that Anthem will be " unlike anything you've played." Bold statement, indeed.

It should also be noted that, although Anthem gameplay was shown off for the very first time at Microsoft's presentation, there is no exclusivity deal for the game whatsoever.

New Anthem Gameplay Reveal

As the Anthem gameplay demo began, we found ourselves in a futuristic market setting. The futuristic nature of Anthem was largely revealed during a brief teaser in EA's presentation on June 10, but this was the first time we actually got a proper look at the world in which Anthem would be taking place.

The gameplay demo began in first person mode (although the game is played from a third-person perspective), as the player was approached by another character, requesting their help with a matter outside The Wall, which is said to shield all of humanity from the dangers of the vast, open world.

Accepting the mission, our character got into an Exosuit, which was revealed to be the more all-round version named Ranger, while our partner got into an Exosuit type named Colossus, this latter model being the tank class of the game.

The Exosuits, or Javelins, as the commentary called them, allow for humans to gain superhuman abilities, for example being able to fly or propel themselves underwater, as well as special abilities like missile barrages, and a shockwave that at one point the Colossus class sent out.

It looks like there'll be a loot angle for Anthem, as at one point the main character picked up a new, better weapon off the corpse of a fallen enemy, and both her and the character in the Colossus Javelin remarked at how much nicer this weapon was. Perhaps the character of Anthem are in on the whole 'farming' items joke.

The weather, while out in the wide open world, can also have a dramatic affect on each of your missions. We saw a severe storm interrupt the gameplay in this demo of Anthem, as all plans went completely out of the window, and all the main human characters were forced to beat a hasty retreat and shelter from the storm.

An extremely varied set of wildlife can also be found throughout the open world, as while some are friendly, others will attack you on sight. We saw several smaller, horse-like creatures galloping past the two characters at one point, only for a few of them to be lifted up into the air and killed by a far larger monster, which the humans then had to make a quick retreat from.

Digital Foundry also took a look at Anthem running on the Xbox One X, and examined whether the game could in fact deliver on the promise of native 4K gaming on the console.

There was some speculation that the Anthem gameplay demo shown during Microsoft's E3 2017 conference was in fact running on PC. This has now been debunked, with EA's Patrick Soderlund telling Digital Foundry that the demo was in fact a real-time demo running on Xbox One X.

What Kind of Game is Anthem?

Anthem looks set to be a large scale shared-world shooter in the vein of Destiny (although played from a third-person perspective), but it seems story will be a major part of the experience.

Drew Karpyshyn, a BioWare veteran who has worked as a designer and writer on multiple projects including Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 (lead writer), is working on Anthem. That's excellent news for anyone worried the game would eschew narrative in favour of multiplayer combat.

In terms of what kind of tone Anthem is going to be, BioWare's Aaryn Flynn (studio general manager and vice president) has stated (via Eurogamer) that the game is going to be more "science fantasy" rather than the "hardcore science fiction" of Mass Effect.

"It's in a genre we call science fantasy, very much like Star Wars, very much like the Marvel Universe. You see a lot of amazing things happening but we don't worry too much about why they are happening or how they are happening; the science of it."

"Mass Effect is more a real hard core science fiction IP," Flynn added. "[Anthem] is much more about just having fun in a game world that is really lush and exotic and really sucks you in."

This might be all the information we have to go for now with Anthem, but make sure to keep this page in mind, as we'll be updating it with all future info that we obtain on the game.

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