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Electronic Arts dedicated a decent chunk of their E3 2018 showing to Anthem. However, less than a quarter of the game’s coverage was actual gameplay. Today, developer BioWare uploaded a longer Anthem gameplay demo that showed an extensive look at the same mission. In it, we get a short look at the map, some menus, a boss fight, and more with commentary from BioWare Lead Producer Ben Irving.
The demo starts out the same way as it does in EA’s E3 press briefing but slows down the process and gives us a look at the map and how missions are set up. Players will start out in their Strider, a forward operating base where you can equip your Javelin exosuit and avatar. Once you jump into Javelin, a menu greets you, showing who you can invite and what missions you can tackle. It then loads the mission and your invited pals, if you’ve decided to play in co-op. Players can even join during a mission regardless of what level they are.
As they wait to embark, Irving points out that two Javelins in the party are in the same class but have different abilities. One focuses on melee while the other “trade agility for massive firepower.” They each also have unique paint jobs, further showing how different the same Javelin can be.
The giant Titan that they briefly showed early in the demo is an example of an emergent gameplay event. Irving says this is important because “every time you go out and explore the world, you’ll have a totally different experience that yields different rewards.” As they escaped the Titan, they dove underwater to get to a nearby Stronghold.
Strongholds are the four-player missions that give greater rewards in proportion to their challenge. These missions are hard but allow the team a decent array of options. Players are able to strategize here by choosing to go after the turrets, soldiers, or snipers in whatever order they please.
The video continues after where the E3 demo stopped, showing off the ugly Swarm Tyrant boss fight. Comboing abilities to devastate weak points, avoiding its attacks, and managing the smaller reinforcements all make for a hectic battle. The extended Anthem gameplay demo cuts right after the players use their ultimate abilities. While BioWare has told us a lot about Anthem, actually seeing it in action for a long period of time helps paint a more accurate picture of what the game is.