AMAAAA Paris Games Week Debrief

By Oh_Gaz

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Yesterday, we had a handful of EA and Bioware members represent some new Anthem gameplay whilst answering numerous questions in the latest Anthem Game #AMAAAA. UK Community Manager Lee Williams, Bioware’s own Thomas Singleton and an EA Game Changer Streamer – “Kijooki” joined forces to bring the love and share some brand new footage of Anthem. HYPE!

Engaging in banter, the group played and discussed the game for just over 25mins – with new information and details provided on all Javelins, in particular Storm and Interceptor, progression, loot and most importantly, we saw our first Anthem Game mission – The Lost Archanist!

The only challenge came from (as later confirmed by Mark Darrah) the PC that was streaming the game. In particular – it had graphic settings set to lower than intended, which unfortunately, (particularly given the dark highlights of the evening setting), resulted in a washed-out muddled look to some textures. The skyboxes and javelins managed to still look very good, but the overall impression lacked given the visuals on-hand. BioWare have advised that the next stream – on the 1st November will provide another opportunity to showcase Anthem’s high graphical fidelity. And we have seen a lot of previous screenshots – particularly the below shared last week and today – one of which – the cave scene – is specifically from this showcased mission, and the latter being a quality comparison. In short, we aren’t stressed. And neither should gamers. Let’s see what we get from the November 1st stream. Up and up, Freelancers. Up and up.

 

A screenshot from the same mission days earlier
The Stream vs. Ultra Settings intended

Missed the Stream? Take a Look:

The Lost Archanist Mission

  • We are informed that a Corvus agent by the name of Tasun has approached us to find one of their lost archanists – Matthias.
  • You will recall previously that archanists are Shaper/Relic nerds. With a distinct passion and interest in what happens beyond the wall of Tarsis – a tendency that gets them in to trouble seemingly a lot!
  • Owen our beloved cypher provides us guidance from the Strider Forward base (as per previous gameplay trailers)
  • We see elements of Javelins skimming water locations and of course entering waterfalls as – enabling the cooling of thrusters without the need to go completely under water.
  • It was exciting to see for the first time in fluid gameplay…all 4 javelins on the Tarsis platform readying to head out. True superheros readying to disembark.
  • We got another visual on Grabbits. Javelins roamed amongst them without too much stress from either party. They appear just as tasty as their Rabbit inspiration.
  • We got insights into the idle animations and stance of Storm and Interceptor – of which we had historically seen much less of. Storms arm pulses with it’s electrical energy, and Interceptor has a subtle “warm-up routine” to it.
  • A loot box was opened – which produced not overly inspiring loot – but gear that oscillated upwards (to be later collected a the Forge/Strider/Fort Tarsis upon mission end). The output was: “1 Storm part” and “1 Weapon part” unlocked on-screen. Lending to the previous knowledge that there are associated “parts and gear” directly earned for specific Javelin types. 
  • A search mechanic is engaged as part of the game to find hidden areas. It is essentially a short-range radar in the aesthetic of a moving wifi-like signal. As you approach close to your goal, the indicator becomes stronger. One key takeaway here is that height of the target location does not appear to show on-screen. This may cause confusion if verticality is involved with objects to hunt.

 

Gotta get that loot loot loot!

 

The On-Screen Scanner

Battle with the Scars

  • Solving the radio signal mystery signals a first real encounter in the demo – the Scars!
  • The goal here is a traditional defend and hold scenario. You need to stay in the bubble to trigger the activation of the device and manage the onslaught of enemies
  • Enemies dropped health drops and weapon drops as seen in previous gameplay. You will again need to kill to get those, creating an interesting balance of risk vs. reward.

 

Pickups
  • The damage numbers have also noticeably dropped in size and emphasis on-screen. Certainly are more comfortable presentation.
  • The mission then continues via waypoint markers, and aerial navigation waypoints to direct the flow in early missions. The breadth and expanse of the world is shown here. And the capability to explore the verticality of the game as previously promised is fully presented.
Refined Damage Numbers
  • They visit an archanist camp, and use archanist equipment to try and pinpoint Matthias.
  • Clusters of Wyverns can be seen flying in the distance of the world. No doubt an enemy that we will soon have to manage.
  • We once again see the Colossus’ Ultimate and it’s execution explained. Where you will have an arc of time to engage. In the case of this Colossus build shown, it was getting 3 shots off within the time window.
  • The Colossus Shield charge was once again on display, with it being able to be engaged whilst in full-flight mode…if you are so inclined.
  • As the battle ensues, we see an Elite Scar Enforcer – a heavy enemy with a shield and flame thrower. The objective with this heavy is to attack behind the shield. We see a combined ability attack (with Storm’s Lightning strike) and Colossus’ Cannon.
  • Noticeably, the Enforcer can also aim his flame thrower to the skies, to easily assault any potential flying javelins.
The Elite Scar Enforcer

The Javelins

Colossus

  • Colossus’ Ultimate is World War 3 incarnate – as seen in past gameplay trailers, it scorches the enemy whilst leaving fellow Javelins walking through a deep, hazy explosive aftermath.
  • The Dark and brooding skyline were unique here. A night time mission – different to what we have seen in the past
  • Colossus was brandishing a bombastic LMG
  • The game uses waypoint markers, and aerial navigation waypoints to direct the flow in early missions. Some commented that at times, the aerial navigation markers were too prominent and impacted the visual aesthetic. Potential feedback, though these marker may also server another purpose…particularly with new players coming to grips with the flight mechanic.

Storm

  • Storm’s idle involves surging electricity throughout the body, whilst Interceptor’s involves a quick nimble “loosen-up” warm up bounce.
  • We see the permanent hover ability of Storm and its gracefulness. The biggest advantage of Storm having over the others: that it does not require traditional power to operate – it is powered by energy from the Anthem of Creation.
  • We saw once again the shoulder mounted heavy mortar of the colossus and the Interceptor’s Star-burst projective. Both of these appear to be gear mounts on the javelin, as were external to the traditional weapon abilities.
  • Later, it is insinuated that during a mission, you can still pull into and join the world outside without breaking that accepted mission – still providing freedom to players if they should get distracted by a grabbit or maybe an Ursix demanding their attention? 😊
  • There is a key moment that is established 6mins in that is the direct screenshot of what Bioware had shared only last week. If you are concerned about graphic fidelity take a look at these: https://twitter.com/Anthemuniverse/status/1055907851539963904
  • When storm is hovering, you will notice a subtle defensive bubble to help the build given it’s lower defences compared to other Javelins.
  • Storm’s auto-hover capability was on-show as well as it’s “permanent dash-sprint” ability where it sprints low to the ground in an elevated motion
  • Storm was brandishing an automatic pistol and rifle.
  • Storm’s ultimate was on-display where the ability progressively builds from an initial lightning surge and results in a cataclysmic on-screen explosion of blue, red and purple hues. It’s satisfying and rewarding.
  • Storm’s evade move is a blink as we knew previously.
  • With Storm’s aim – something either appeared off or the player wasn’t able to direct the targeting for gunfire as it appeared that gunfire from storm was not consistent/on-target frequently.
  • Storm’s cloak remained relatively static – which was since confirmed by Mark Darrah that it was not animating as it will in the final release.
  • We see a glimpse of the wave emote from Storm, as we have seen previously from the Ranger
Storm’s Ultimate Ability

Interceptor

  • Interceptor appears graceful yet strong with it’s melee-centric flurry of fury ultimate.
  • It’s blades drive a solid up-close only ultimate that carve through enemies.
  • It’s double jump manoeuvre is a forward somersault. And its dash manoeuvre is fast and fitting to the ninja aesthetic.
  • Interceptor’s standard melee also engages the blades, and is useful for frontal attacks. You are also defensively supercharged once it is executed. Allowing for some brutal attacks.
  • Some community members have raised the question of whether the ultimate is actually TOO subtle compared to what we saw with Storm, Colossus and Ranger up to this point.
  • Suggestions have centred around making it more vibrant/louder, more colourful as well as having the ability to individually multiple-target a series of enemies. It currently appears to be a single furious ninja attack that you can shift manually between enemies with direction. Still, this remains MY personal favourite. So ninja. Such love.
Interceptor warming up it’s Melee Blades Ultimate

AMAAAA Community Questions

  • We met “Kijooki” – an EA Game Changer and Streamer to assist with exploring community questions:
  • Can I play co-op through the whole game?
    • You can play story and missions with 4players, 2 player, single players.
    • Whilst not mentioned here – also remember that as previously discussed, Strongholds – essentially Anthem’s Dungeon-like activities – remain 4 player activities
  • What kind of emotes do you have?
    • At the moment – waves, claps and more. Is customisable
  • Who do you start with?
    • As previously known of course, the Ranger is your starting suit
    • You will then select your remaining Javelin unlocks at predefined levelling points in your journey. You will select which order you prefer to unlock.
  • Can u fly endlessly in game?
    • Storm has a longer endurance as it is has lower defence elements
    • Your suit otherwise, needs to cool down.

With the release date of February 22nd drawing near, and the Anthem Alpha build clearly in full flight, it is clear BioWare are running with a fully playable game that short of updates, bug-fixing, tweaking and refining – will hopefully shape up to be just as good as what we have seen play out at Paris Games Week. The overall presentation of the stream lacked some polish – with the audio-loop concerns, and challenges with the graphic fidelity mentioned earlier, however it was an important next step in providing open and candid gameplay footage to the community. Oh and a full in-game mission? We’ll take more of those.

 

By Oh_Gaz

Anthem Universe.
Join. Discuss. Create.

 

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