The game is most easily classified as a shared-world shooter. It’s very similar to Destiny 2, in that you’ll team up with up to three other friends in order to explore a seamless world (no loading screens between zones) and take on missions. You pilot one of four javelins; customizable exosuits that essentially function as classes.
Story of the game:
Gods called Shapers used ancient technology to command the Anthem of Creation, a powerful tool designed to form the planet where Anthem takes place. And no, it’s not Earth. For an unknown reason, the Shapers left, leaving their work unfinished and the tools from their god toolbox strewn about the planet. Worse, some of the old tech is still online and will activate without warning. Imagine if someone left a buzzsaw or electric sander the size of a mountain next to a rainforest. If one of those puppies kicked on, the result wouldn’t be great for the local flora and fauna. The same applies to Anthem’s world, a volatile place where cataclysmic change can happen anytime, anywhere. What a convenient premise for a live game.
Free play: Wander the world with no objectives while minor tasks are generated for you and your friends to complete.
Formal missions: Talk to NPCs in Tarsis called agents for more substantial missions designed to give context for characters, creatures, and the history of the world.
Strongholds: These are instanced areas designed with greater challenge in mind. You’ll likely need good coordination between teammates to complete them. Think of them as difficult dungeons, replete with powerful mobs and big bosses. Some strongholds are part of the critical path, but you’ll be able to repeat them at higher difficulties for better rewards.
No loot boxes:
Cosmetic and vanity items will be available for purchase, but instead of buying a box and hoping that something cool pops out of it, players will know exactly what they’re getting up front. And nothing will be available to buy that will deliver any sort of gameplay advantage: As BioWare’s Mark Darrah put it, there will be “no ability to pay for power.”
Initially scheduled for a fall 2018 release, EA announced it locked down a date at EA Play 2018. Anthem will release February 22, 2019.