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.
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.
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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