E3 2017: BioWare’s Anthem Is A Third-Person Multiplayer Mech Shooter
Anthem - Xbox One X
(Last Updated On: June 11, 2017)

We finally got to see the gameplay reveal for BioWare’s highly anticipated rival to Bungie’s Destiny. The name of the game is called Anthem and it sees players creating their own character, taking hold of a mech suit called a Javelin, and looting and shooting to upgrade the suit while attempting to complete missions.

The first gameplay reveal happened during Microsoft’s E3 press conference, which centered mostly around the Xbox One X’s 4K capabilities. Few games really popped on-screen, whether it was through supersampling or through native 4K rendering. BioWare’s Anthem showed some promise as far as graphics and visual effects were concerned, but the gameplay itself is another ho-hum shooter designed in a similar vein to The Division or Destiny.

You can check out the gameplay demonstration for the Xbox One X version of the game below, courtesy of GamersPrey.

The footage starts in a town and then moves onward and forward from there after one of the characters loads up their Javelin and teams up with another player. The scripted sequence is a typical E3 showcase, but at least the environments looked mighty impressive.

The two characters literally leaped off the platform to move toward a mission area further down below, deep in the jungle.

Environmental effects were on full display here, with volumetric particles popping out of a downed robot while flaming embers fluttered away into the sky. Plumes of smoke kissed the heavens with a strong mixture of traditional alpha effects fused with densely packed transparent layers. It looked good.

Unfortunately the gameplay itself is just typical TPS fanfare; if you’ve played the competition you won’t find much of anything new in Anthem.

Anthem - Gameplay

Graphically the game looks impressive, with tons of visual effects going off simultaneously during many sequences, including a strong display artistic ingenuity when a violent electrical storm kicks up and debris, trees, shrubs and other objects start flying around. Wildlife races to get out of the way of impending danger while the quartet of players move further toward the cause of the storm.

It looks good.

The problem is that none of this is going to make it onto the vanilla PS4 or Xbox One; the systems just can’t handle it. Expect a massively downgraded and more generic version of the same thing to appear at next year’s E3 where discerning players begin to make critical observations and comparisons, and fanboys shoot off at the mouth that the game is still in beta and that it will look closer to its E3 demonstration closer to release. Oh, those sweet summer children.


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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • EroBotan

    It looks amazing but if i’m going to play a 3rd person shooter, i’ll prefer Vanquish because of it’s much better gameplay .. or Senran Kagura Peach Beach Splash because of boobs and butts!

  • totenglocke

    Repetitive multiplayer only?

    Pass.

  • Getting kind of tired of politically-driven “tough girl” female protagonists, now.

    • lol… only now? You have a high threshold for pain senpai.

      • There’s “oh hey, yet another tough girl protagonist, alright, skip”, and then there’s “okay, now there’s too many of ’em”. So yeah, that’s where I am right now.

    • Mike A

      I feel like at least 80% of game protagonists are ‘tough dudes,’ so I’m not really sure how that makes sense? Unless you mean that they’re sort of generically personality-free in the same way the male characters are, in which case, yeah, it’d be nice to see better writing across the board.

      On a side note I’m ridiculously sick of people making everything in games so absurdly political. Like, OK, there’s a female main character. It’s not a giant political statement.

      • What we’ve been seeing is the same female protagonist in major titles again and again: tough, low-key, serious voice, squarer jaw, admired/respected by everyone, same stoic personality even during intense action scenes and moments… they’re literally just a dude with tits on them. Nothing about them is feminine in the way real women are feminine, and I’m frankly bored of it. It just astounds me that for all the complaining feminists did about generic white male protagonists, they suddenly shut up as soon as they swap the dick out with a vagina. Hypocrites of the highest order.

        • Mike A

          I agree that they’re pretty boring. But at the same time, look at COD or Gears of War or whatever AAA games you want (with a few obvious exceptions); you could have been describing basically 95% of all video game protagonists (tough, stoic, square jaw, admired by everyone). The problem isn’t female protagonists, it’s shitty boring characterization and writing for male and female characters IMO.

          >real women are feminine

          Eh, I know plenty of real women who are tough/stoic/low key, just like I know real men who aren’t. Takes all kinds. I guess I just see it as less a gender issue and more a boring writing issue.

          But what I DO know is that I’m sick of people politicizing everything. Like, the reaction to Star Wars Battlefront having a female protagonist was fucking ridiculous. It’s just a game.

          • There’s a key difference between a boring white male character and a boring white female character: the latter is the result of political correctness and SJWs dominating the narrative surrounding gaming culture, making developers think they’re the majority (they’re not). The former is informed by either market statistics or the idea or “playing it safe” to ensure the maximization of profit. Can you see why I find one more annoying than the other?

            You sort of mischaracterized my statement about real women being feminine – I was referring to the way feminine women act feminine. That aside, I shouldn’t have to explain what a generalization is.

            But what I DO know is that I’m sick of people politicizing everything.
            Like, the reaction to Star Wars Battlefront having a female protagonist
            was fucking ridiculous. It’s just a game.

            There’s an important reason why that game got its reaction, and yes, it boils down to SJWs. Hear me out: when an SJW criticizes a work, they do it through the skills they picked up in English class during high school and university, by dissecting media through interpretive lenses, and trying to explain what the underlying message behind everything is. So when an SJW creates a character (and we know one of the writers for Battlefront II supports Feminist Frequency), those skills are what they use to do so, by attaching messages behind the way the character is represented, written and portrayed.

            So when you say “it’s just a game”, I hate to tell you, but SJWs changed the playing field to give them an advantage. In their minds, they are not “games”, they are messages. And that’s why the new Star Wars game got the anti-SJW backlash; we know their game and how they play it. The problem is, we’re so used to knowing, we become extremely sceptical of works that might not even be influenced by PC culture (re: Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice), which is a separate issue we have to work out on an individual level.

          • Mike A

            Sorry if I misunderstood your point about feminine-acting characters – promise I wasn’t trying to strawman you.

            Honestly though, I kinda think it’s ridiculous to believe that literally the only reason to have a female protagonist is to make a political statement. Women are increasingly buying games; to take one small example, about 41% of XBOX Live gamers are women (according to Microsoft market research). I don’t disagree that some of it is down to politics, especially at certain studios, but it’s silly to think that featuring a woman is inherently some crazy SJW protest. There’s a lot of money to be made targeting products at women who want to see female protagonists in movies/games/whatever.

            I completely agree that it’s annoying when female characters are written to prove a ‘point.’ I.e., the new Star Wars is essentially A New Hope if Luke had taught Han to fly the Millenium Falcon better, and then kicked Darth Vader’s ass at lightsabers. But the new Battlefront reaction literally just seemed to be a bunch of people losing their minds over NOTHING except the fact the main character wasn’t a dude.

            If the writing is shitty (i.e. Force Awakens), criticize that, whether it’s because it’s ideological or for some other reason. That’s the important thing.

          • No worries.

            Honestly though, I kinda think it’s ridiculous to believe that literally
            the only reason to have a female protagonist is to make a political
            statement.

            It’s not the only reason, but it is the prevailing one. I wish we could go back to ten years ago, when a female character was playable and not politicized.

            Women are increasingly buying games; to take one small example, about
            41% of XBOX Live gamers are women (according to Microsoft market
            research).

            Considering Microsoft drank the kool-aid, I’m a bit sceptical with the numbers here. We don’t know how many women own an Xbone on their own compared to how many share it with either a family member or their partner (usually a boyfriend). In fact, we constantly see the misrepresentation of “women in gaming” results for narrative’s sake, like this one from the ESA: http://www.oneangrygamer.net/2017/04/esa-muddies-gaming-stats-between-male-and-female-gaming-demographics/29044/

            I don’t disagree that some of it is down to politics, especially at
            certain studios, but it’s silly to think that featuring a woman is
            inherently some crazy SJW protest.

            It is silly, I agree. That’s why I word my arguments carefully when I talk about what goes into a female character and why; it’s only inherent if the creator’s intentions are blatantly obvious and/or stated.

            There’s a lot of money to be made targeting products at women who want to see female protagonists in movies/games/whatever.

            Marketers know what women want, and representation is not one of them; that’s a feminist lie used to push their agenda, because they conflate their ideology as representative of women as a collective. Population stats show only 7-20% of Western women (UK and US) identify as feminist, and they’re the ones who push the representation narrative. An honest marketing person would tell you the real money from women lies in the mobile market, not whether or not a character has a vagina. So no, I strongly disagree with your assessment.

            But the new Battlefront reaction literally just seemed to be a bunch of
            people losing their minds over NOTHING except the fact the main
            character wasn’t a dude.

            I can tell you’re making an assumption and haven’t looked into the issue properly, because OAG reported on the writer’s politics, and makes it pretty clear what the issue is about: http://www.oneangrygamer.net/2017/05/star-wars-battlefront-2s-campaign-could-point-towards-an-sjw-storyline/30679/

            And in case you’re wondering why a writer’s politics matter: normally, they don’t. But when your politics involve shoving your beliefs down other people’s throats, that’s going to show itself clearly through whatever you make.

  • Gorgon

    I hate bullshit mock mmo demos like this. Cringy as all hell. Game looks like generic Destiny clone. Plus, multiplayer. This was not worth ruining Mass Effect over. Fuck you Bioware.

  • Lionhart16

    Maybe I’m crazy…..but I’m willing to give this game a chance.

    The nice thing is that we still have a while before it’s release, so it could shape up for the better by then. I’m a sucker for certain sci-fi tropes, and being able to fly around in a power armor/mech suit in an open world that looks pretty amazing is kind of a seller for me.

    I’m hoping that this doesn’t suffer the same shortcomings that Destiny did where that had a lackluster story, repetitive missions and boring bosses, and an overall lack of immersion with the world itself. It has a good amount of potential right now, and I hope it’s more realized by the time it’s released.

    • LurkerJK

      those short comings are shared by all games of this type, they are inherent to the genre, bullet sponges, the awful way to get loot, the never ending grinding to get a marginal better beanie, fighting the same mobs again and again, traveling the same areas again and again, the same quests again and again, etc

      they might do it a “bit better” or a “bit worse” but they will still be there, might as well accept it now and be pleasantly surprised if they improve them in any way

    • Really hard to tell right now. I understand your enthusiasm, but I would say keep it tempered given BioWare’s current state right now.

      • Gorgon

        I’d just say that whomever greenlit a Destiny clone, when Destiny 2 is due out in september this year, is a fucking moron. And at this point, I’d say there is no mistake this is a Destiny clone.

        • tajlund

          That’s kind of my feeling. I’m not into Destiny but this looked like it. If they had gone single player or something else it could have distanced itself from Destiny, but it doesn’t look like they even tried.

        • LurkerJK

          not just that, there are a bunch of destiny like games around too, and i bet more will be revealed in the next 2 days (i expect several from ubisoft). Its not like there is any lack of mmoish fps lately

          There is a lack of single player AAA scifi rpgs tho, Bioware should keep doing their thing instead of doing “me too”s

          • I think this is why games like A Way Out is getting so much positive feedback. It’s one of the only games announced that isn’t just another “me too” clone.

            BioWare used to be a vanguard of storytelling and originality in the sci-fi space opera market, but after becoming gutted after ME3 and overrun with SJWs since then, they’re literally just a shell.

    • Really hard to tell right now. I understand your enthusiasm, but I would say keep it tempered given BioWare’s current state right now.

    • descent3031

      Did you play ME:A? I bought it day one because I’ve been a massive fan of Bioware since forever. I bought it even despite all the negative press coming out, but I set myself a condition. If the game was as hard as a wallet fucking as it looked then I’d treat future Bioware products with a lot of scepticism.

      ME:A was a clusterfuck, and it really didn’t need to be. I wouldn’t trust anything Bioware does at the moment. This looks utterly gorgeous and I’m a sucker for the same stuff as you (Jetpack powered swan-dive? sign me up). Feel free to get hyped, just promise yourself you’ll let a few other mugs beta-test this for you when it releases.

  • LurkerJK

    its funny how many features it shares with ME:A and are implemented much better here

    they literally shat out mass effect did they ? they probably stole everyone that had half functioning neurons from Montreal for this game

  • tajlund

    I’d play the hell out of a single player game like this. Since it looks like its Multiplayer, I”ll have to say no. Love the exploration, but the existence other people always ruin games for me.

  • tajlund

    I’d play the hell out of a single player game like this. Since it looks like its Multiplayer, I”ll have to say no. Love the exploration, but the existence other people always ruin games for me.