EA and BioWare have been showing off a lot of Anthem over the past six months. There's been gameplay, there's been quest structure, and there's been a lot of action. But considering this is a BioWare game, there's been a surprising lack of details about the game's story. That changed tonight at the Game Awards with the reveal of the game's first story trailer.
The trailer explains exactly why this game is called Anthem. Anthem is a force in the game's world. The full term is "Anthem of Creation," an ever-changing energy left behind after the world's gods abandoned the planet. The Anthem of Creation is the source of creation, as well as the source of destruction.
Players represent the Freelancers, an order of Javelin pilots that have acted as guardians for the world's colonies, including the Fort Tarsus settlement that represents one of the game's main settings. The Freelancers have been in conflict with the Dominion, a militaristic faction from the north, for generations. The Dominion have been conquering settlements in a quest for peace through force. And their leader, named the Monitor, holds one of the Anthem of Creation's main artifacts. This trailer acts as the introduction to the Monitor, who believes that he can wield the power of the Anthem to bring order.
The trailer also introduced some of Anthem's key characters. They include:
- Haluk: He's a Freelancer, who pilots the team's airborn base, called the Strider. He hails from the Mirelands and doesn't personally adventure so much these days. The player character enters the game having a history with Haluk, which is further shaped over the course of the story.
- Faye: Faye is a former Cipher, the term for someone trained to use the Amplifier equipment that utilizes Anthem power to broadcast signals during missions. Ciphers act as guides for missions. Faye is no longer your Cipher for reasons that will be made clear over the course of the story.
- Owen: Owen acts as the current Cipher and acts as the team's bright-eyed optimist.
- Agent Tassyn: Tassyn is an agent of Corvus, an intelligence organization. She has access to Javelins and will grant one to the player at the start of the game, but has her own agenda that plays out through the story.
- Sentinel Brin: The Sentinels are peace officers, who utilize their own Javelins. Brin is the one players will be in contact with frequently, as she issues side missions.
One thing to note is that prior to the Game Awards, members of the press were able to ask questions about the trailer. And one of the major takeaways involved whether this would be a traditional BioWare type of story. While players will be able to make decisions that impact how other characters see them, don't look for major Mass Effect-style permanent consequences to be a part of this narrative, as BioWare is focused on offering agency in regards to how players choose to experience the adventure.
As revealed back at PAX West, the Anthem demo is still in line for February 1-3, but this will now be open to all players. Those who pre-ordered will now get a chance to get on board slightly earlier, with a VIP demo set to take place from January 25-27. Those who take place in the latter demo will receive a special in-game item to indicate that they've hit VIP status. As for the full game, Anthem is still set to hit PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on February 22.