During its E3 2018 press conference, Electronic Arts gave BioWare fans their most comprehensive look at Anthem yet. Things kicked off with a developer interview that highlight some of the goals of the Anthem team and how the game will marry story with multiplayer. And then the conference concluded with a longform Anthem demo, featuring a cooperative area called a Stronghold.
But even though BioWare spent a good chunk of time showing and talking about Anthem, it feels like the developer has barely scratched the surface. Luckily, in our extended Anthem demo, we learned a few additional things about the game that might intrigue fans.
1. Difficulty Levels
Prior to the start of the gameplay demo, there was a brief look at a menu screen for the mission that was about to take place. It included some basics like an invite option for friends, a launch button, but the most curious part was a difficulty option.
While BioWare has not yet talked about it, Anthem may feature different difficulty levels for its missions. The one seen during our demo and the E3 2018 press conference reveal was on Normal difficulty, but there may be an even more challenging difficulty in store for those players that want to test themselves and their teammates.
2. Collectible Lore
Although BioWare spent a good amount of time prior to the gameplay demo talking about story, the footage didn’t show much of that world-building or lore. In our extended demo, we saw that there will be interactive points around the world where players can learn more about the lore of Anthem.
3. Legendary Loot Drops From Enemies
There may have been some concern initially that the Anthem demo was missing loot drops, but our demo showed that colorful “orbs” can drop from enemies. These can hold various rarity tiers of loot, which will help players strengthen their Javelin arsenal. Some examples given include a legendary frost grenade for the Storm Javelin or a stronger missile barrage for the Colossus Javelin.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see what any of this loot would look like, or any loadout menu for that matter. But BioWare does promise that the pursuit of better gear will be a major pillar of Anthem.
4. Health Doesn't Regenerate Automatically
As players defeat the baddies of Anthem they will see various items drop from those fallen corpses. Some will be that aforementioned loot, some will be green and will replenish ammo, and then there are red drops that serve as health.
During the demo, we saw the player character take significant damage and the only way to regain that health was to pickup the red-colored items on the ground. Presumably, this design decision will force players to engage rather than hide back and wait until health recharges.
5. Low Level Players Can Join Any Group
Initially, our Anthem demo started with a group of three players exploring the world before descending into the Stronghold as seen in the gameplay reveal. Once the team got near the Stronghold, a fourth player joined to complete the group. However, BioWare was quick to point out that this player was actually level 1, while the rest were at level 30.
Apparently, Anthem will be able to scale its encounters to match the level of all players or at least lower level players won’t feel overwhelmed by the content. As BioWare explained, this prevents that feeling of being left behind that can be created in multiplayer RPGs like Anthem.
Anthem releases February 22, 2018 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.