Following a substantial delay beyond its original May release window, Anthem's first major post-launch update is finally available to all players. Seemingly out of the blue, players received a new quest called The Oncoming Storm a couple of weeks ago, signally the oncoming arrival of new content. Update 1.3 finally brought the storm which not only includes new story content to dig through, but plenty of new gear to chase, quality of life updates and more. For those looking to jump back into the shooter, here's how to play through the new Cataclysm content that has popped up around the world of Bastion.
In addition to new Legendary and Masterwork gear, the Cataclysm update adds seven new arenas to battle through inside a brand new map in Anthem. Each one has its own puzzles to solve as well as enemies to overcome. While these arenas can be played solo, keep in mind that BioWare created these spaces to be played as a group activity.
Eye of Magnus
The first of seven arenas is the most straightforward of the bunch. Players will need to work together to expose the central crystal in the center of the map. In order to do that, all seven control rods which encircle the crystal must first be stabilized by flying down to them and interacting with each one. To add a layer of difficulty, this arena throws waves of enemies at the players as this is going on, and the control rods will only stay stabilized for a limited time. This means that players will need to work together to stabilize all rods once the process has started.
One potential strategy is to have one member of the group fly around to each of the control rods to stabilize them while the remaining members of the group hold off enemy spawns. For those going solo, it's possible to either stabilize the rods right at spawn or handle the waves of enemies fully until a boss with the tag 'Fury' is defeated. If the rods are stabilized fast enough, players can get a Valkyrie enemy to spawn, which eventually leads to a special achievement and additional score at the end of an event.
Located Northeast from the map spawn point, this arena requires that players collect five echoes located throughout the zone before the crystal barrier is lowered. The trick here is that players need to work together to use pressure plates to remove the shield covering each of the echoes. Once four echoes have been obtained, fly through the underwater tunnel to start depositing them into highlighted devices to unlock the final one. Head back to the surface to then deposit them into the devices there to finish the mission.
This arena is nearly impossible to solo for all javelins outside of the Storm as its dash ability allows it to teleport warp. Gain some momentum in the direction of the pressure plate and echo shield so that once the plate is crossed and the shield lowered, dash warp to the exposed echo. Unfortunately, the other three javelins are too slow for this trick and will require teammates.
The third arena tasks players with silencing the relic by delivering four fragments. Upon entering, the relics will scattered around the zone behind gated doors. However, each door has a barrier that removes the fragments if passed through. Some doors are on cooldown timers while others will deactivate once flown through so players should either wait for the barrier to disappear, or fly back through the way they originally entered since the barrier will be deactivated. With all four fragments collected, the center crystal will be exposed and can be destroyed to wrap up the mission.
The puzzle in this arena involves finding relics and matching them to symbols around the map. The relics are highlighted around the zone, so finding them won't be an issue. The relics are the key to opening barriers in this zone, so take note of the symbols above the doors and place the relics on the matching pedestals to lower each door to find more relics to use.
Repeat the same process to open all doors and then look to the center platform where the crystal is. On the four walls are four symbols, so place a relic on a pedestal that matches to lower the shield and expose the crystal.
This arena is entirely combat focused as players will need to clear Dominion waves until the Rift Master appears. When this boss character is defeated, it'll drop a key that can be used to access the control panel to deactivate the shield protecting the crystal.
Sea of Takaro
The penultimate arena features a reverse waterfall and asks the players to deliver three echoes. Just like most of the other events, the catch for the Sea of Takaro is that it has protective barriers that remove any equipped echoes. In addition, there are three objects that need to be picked up and placed on pressure plates to lower the echo barriers. When picking up these objects, players will not be able to run, so if doing this solo, clear out as many enemies as possible first. Also make sure to avoid crossing any yellow looking barriers as those will remove any held objects.
With all three placed and all echoes gathers, fly up the waterfall to place them and expose the crystal.
Crucible of Astrid
Finally, the seventh arena is likely the only one that is nearly impossible to solo. Some users have found glitches that can be used to help solo players, but for those trying to do it legitimately will have a difficult time.
Just like the other arenas, players need to track down 4 echoes and 4 objects to place on pressure plates. There's a big tunnel that connects the two areas, though to safely navigate it, players will need to work together to fire a beam to destroy barriers. Grab the first crystal right outside of the barrier and bring it to the device overlooking the cliff on the left side of the arena. This will fire a beam that destroys a barrier holding in four echoes. Use a different player to grab the fifth one from the activated beam device and then take it back to the device next to the tunnels. This player will add the echo to the device to control the barriers so the other members of the team can safely make it through to the other side. Once in the back room, place the remaining echoes in the devices.
With the first part of the puzzle complete, the next part involves the pressure plates. If there are four players in the group, simply have each person stand on one plate to expose the final device. Smaller groups can use the heavy objects in the arena or use the Storm dash to trigger two plates at once. A new control device appears, interact with it to expose the crystal to finish the event.
Anthem continues to be in a confusing place at the moment. On one hand, getting a substantial update such as Cataclysm is definitely a good thing, even if it's months later than most originally expected. On the other hand, neither EA nor BioWare have not indicated where the game will be going post-Cataclysm, leaving many wondering if this is the last major update. Worse yet, EA's most recent investor call only briefly touched on Anthem, offering little in the way of substance or current details. Both publisher and developer have continued to show support for the troubled game, but without any information on future plans, it'll be interesting to see if this content is enough to bring people back into the fold.
Anthem is available now on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.