Bioware's Anthem is a Beautiful Open-World Action Game with Flying Exo-suits

By Matt Wales on at

Bioware has finally shown off Anthem, its huge new open world third-person thingy, set in a universe that's "savage, mysterious, and ever changing".

In Anthem, you as play as one of a group of rogue freelancers, tasked with exploring the unknown and protecting humanity. The mission we're demoed during Microsoft's E3 Xbox Briefing shows two players (the final game will feature four-player co-op) setting off to investigate the world together.

As the demo begins, we're introduced to the world through a lengthy first-person conversation, and good news: it looks like Bioware has nailed its facial animation issues. In fact, the game looks utterly beautiful in general, with our first look at Anthem's world offering ample blue skies, rich foliage, floating islands and cascading waterfalls.

Anthem's big gimmick, it seems, is its exo-suits - called Javelins - that let you fly Iron Man-style through the world. Early on, we see our main character lifting off and zipping through a gob-smackingly detailed jungle, rich in flora and fauna, before scooting through ruins and then dropping down into the depths of a flooded ravine.

Once we've seen the sights, we get to the meat of the action: some third-person shooting and spirited treasure hunting. Each exo-suit, we're told, offers its own play style - Rangers are balanced, while the Colossus is a tanking powerhouse, for instance - although there's not too much of that to see in the footage we're shown.

It's hard to really gauge what Anthem is doing differently from a pure gameplay perspective, but to be honest, I'm not sure I care when everything looks this pretty. We get a glimpse of some huge robot creature stomping through the jungle canopy, and things reach a climax as the group pushes onward through a sudden, beautifully realised storm. That, however, is when the whole thing comes to an end. My appetite is whet though, and we'll hopefully get more info soon.

Anthem is due out on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC next year.