BioWare’s upcoming open-world online action-RPG Anthem has been compared to Destiny in early previews, with its over-the-top science-fiction weaponry and structure bearing more than a passing similarity to Bungie’s game, but at least one aspect of the game will be different. In Anthem, you won’t have to pay to get story-focused downloadable content.
According to Game Rant, BioWare made the announcement during its PAX West panel. The move away from traditional expansions and season passes has already been made in other Electronic Arts games, including Star Wars: Battlefront II and the upcoming Battlefield V, and doing so in Anthem would allow its community to continue experiencing new content for months or even years after release. Given the issues Destiny 2 has had with player satisfaction in the year since it launched, this could be Electronic Arts’ way of avoiding the same mistakes. It’s unclear if sequels will release as quickly for Anthem as they did Destiny, particularly if the company wants to avoid splitting up its players.
Anthem producer Michael Gamble also recently shared some details on the personalization options you’ll have in the game. When you begin, you’ll be able to choose a gender and voice, as well as a “face option,” though it isn’t clear if this means a pre-selected face or tools like those that BioWare offered in the Mass Effect or Dragon Age series. We know that dialogue, for instance, will be limited compared to those games, as Anthem is less focused on character-driven storytelling than BioWare’s past titles.
Though Anthem certainly looks more action-oriented than anything BioWare has done in the past, the studio seems to understand what makes an action-RPG work. The demonstrations we’ve seen thus far has focused on battles against enormous bosses, with multiple players firing away from their “Javelin” suits with a variety of rockets and machine guns. If the final game can keep up that level of momentum and excitement for hours at a time, we could be looking at a hit.
Anthem launches for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on February 22, 2019. PlayStation 4 exclusive Days Gone and first-person shooter Metro: Exodus are scheduled to release on the same day.