Anyone else feel like E3 was a big old load of average this year? For me the whole shebang felt like I was offered the world’s best hot dog and was only given the bun. Bread’s ok, but I think we all want piping hot sausage meat. And yet in the very first, very worst, show this year EA gave us a little glimpse of BioWare’s new IP Anthem. There was nothing in that teaser, but nice visuals and there was a promise of a full trailer the next day, when Microsoft had their turn.
The next day Microsoft rolled out their pitch for our hearts and minds, which was excellent, learning as they obviously have from Sony’s past couple of years in that they showed a lot of trailers and only slowed down to talk when it was a massive title, when they would go more in depth. This left them in the envious position of only making us look at the escher inspired, giant Ikea storage cabinet that made up their set only three or four times during their presentation. The last time they concentrated on a game was Anthem I’m going to link the whole thing below. If you haven’t seen it, please watch it.
Fuck me, right?
I’m going to get the obvious parallels out of the way first. Looks like Destiny if Bungie had a Tony Stark crush, right? Well, there is nothing wrong with that. You know what’s cool? Iron Man is cool. Even Iron Man 2 has that fight at the end! Iron Man is so fucking cool that he fucked She-Hulk and she’s a lawyer AND a hulk. Can you do that? Of course you can’t. Anthem won’t let you either, but at least you can wear the suits. It seems like you can have several suits that you can spec out in different ways and that all come with unique abilities. So far, so Warframe. However the fact that this game takes it cues from Destiny, though, is by far the coolest thing about it.
Destiny is my favourite game, I make no bones about it. Until I played Destiny I didn’t even enjoy FPS that much, but I do love an RPG grind and that’s what Destiny is. In many ways the last three years of Destiny have been about Bungie’s struggle to balance that grind between fiendish and Machiavellian, but they seem to have the balance right now and a lot of people love it. It’s weekly reset has become an actual hobby for many and is the word used most often by Bungie employees when describing the game. Hell, there are aspects of Destiny, moments I’ve had in it that no other game has come close to. The friends I’ve made there will probably be waiting for me to boot up Anthem and I can’t wait to see them there.
Did you see how slightly claymation the bigger creatures are? That reminded me of Ray Harryhausen’s sublime effects for Sinbad and Jason and the Argonauts. The ease of movement in the clip? The transition from air to water? And above all, the way your fireteam just join you in mission? I know I’m going to soar through those skies, bringing armoured fury to those that stand in our way. I have no doubt that the same hardy Guardians I stood with at the entrance to the Vault of Glass and who cut through two Throne Worlds with me will be there with me, killing shit and earning loot. Because that’s why we’re there, loot and mayhem. Anthem promises lots of both.