Anthem, BioWare's cooperative, team-based shooter is a change of pace for the makers of Dragon Age and Mass Effect. With a focus on cooperative PvE combat popularised by the likes of Destiny, it landed amid a swirl of hype and expectation, which it has so far failed to meet.
Anthem has a big challenge in front of it then – with arguments that its endgame content is weak, its loot system broken and its story not up to scratch when compared with previous narrative-driven BioWare RPGs, it's fighting to win back the hearts of those who were initially in awe of its promise.
With EA backing it and BioWare's heritage at its heart, there's hope yet that Anthem will be redeemed. It's being touted as a "living" game after all – one that will evolve over time to keep its fans entranced long after launch – and the likes of behemoths such as Destiny and Fortnite all went through rough launches before becoming gaming juggernauts.
So what's the latest Anthem news? When's the next update? And what does the future hold for Anthem? Read on for everything you need to know about the Iron Man simulator.
As we said in our full Anthem review:
"It is a game of oxymorons and inconsistencies. The story is designed to be single-player but the game is clearly not. The gameplay is an absolute joy but is stifled by the repetitive nature of the end-game. The character animations are truly sublime, but most of the characters themselves are cliché and predictable.
"Anthem is a fun game, and a stunningly pretty one, but with flaws in nearly every other aspect of its design. It will improve with patches, updates, and a strong community, but it isn’t a particularly strong foundation. This is less an anthem, and more an annoying earworm…"
- Anthem review: check out our complete, in-depth verdict in our full review
Anthem update news and Anthem patch notes
- What's new? A server-side update will see an increase in legendary loot drops.
One of the main complaints (bugs, even) relating to Anthem is the quality of its loot. It's been all-but-proven to be pointless, given that the game scales a player's power over the course of play. A small update on March 15 2019 aimed to address that.
"In the latest server-side update, we've made some notable changes to the loot drop rate in specific scenarios, which will take effect immediately in a server-side tuning update," the team said on publisher EA's website.
"These changes include: Masterwork & Legendary drop rates have been increased for Grandmaster 2 and Grandmaster 3 difficulty levels, and Masterwork & Legendary drop rates have been increased for harder enemies at all difficulty levels.
This includes: Legendary Ancient Ash Titan, Elite Ancient Ash Titan, Legendary Fury, Legendary Ursix and Legendary Luminary."
It is a positive early update from the team, as it begins to collate issues the game's core fans are uncovering. And it proves a sight more positive than having to figure out how to stop some consoles from crashing when playing the digital version of Anthem – a harrowing early bug the developers rushed to squash.
Anthem tips and tricks guides
Anthem is a complex game. With four classes to master, a ton of loot to uncover and large world to explore, it can be daunting for a newcomer, and difficult for even a long term player to master.
Get ahead of the pack with our selection of Anthem guides, designed to help you get your Iron Man-like Javelin suit fighting fit as soon as possible.
- Best weapons in Anthem: how to build the strongest loadout
- Best Anthem Javelin: which is the class best suited to you
- Best Anthem gear: how to customize your Javelin's build
- How to make money in Anthem: your guide to earning shards and coins
Anthem DLC – what's next?
Anthem is an ongoing project at EA and BioWare, a game that both companies expect to support for many years, with a player base that will grow and evolve along with the game.
How do both teams hope to achieve this? Through regular content drops, that's how. As pictured above, EA and BioWare have already mapped out the "ongoing narrative of Anthem", with updates mapped out already until May 2019.
This first "Act" is called "Echoes of Eternity", with March 2019 introducing the "Evolving World" chapter, April 2019 the "Stronger Together" chapter and May 2019 bringing the ominous sounding "Cataclysm" chapter.
Evolving World will focus on battles with huge bosses such as Titans of War, Ruin, Bane and Havoc in freeplay mode, as well as new Legendary missions and a Scar Infestation freeplay event.
Stronger Together will expand the endgame with a new Mastery System for the skill tree progression, as well as host of new freeplay events, more legendary missions, a new Stronghold called "The Sunken" (which will have its own weekly challenge) as well as the introduction of leaderboards and guilds.
As for what the Catyclysm brings, little is known at the moment beyond the promise of new freeplay events, missions and new items. We'll presumably find out more as the year rolls on.
But what about paid DLC? EA has yet to announce it's mid-to-long term plans for Anthem. We'd expect it will follow a similar path as Destiny, which had a continued supply of small improvements and features added, interspersed with larger paid-for DLC packs, before an eventual sequel.
That is, of course, if Anthem can prove its staying power… Here's hoping – there's a gem at the heart of Anthem, waiting to be dug out. We're hopeful that we'll one day be playing Anthem at its strongest.
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- All image credits: EA / BioWare
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