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E3 2018: Watch BioWare's Anthem trailer, new gameplay

BioWare and EA are are trying to beat Destiny at its own game, and based on their E3 reveal, they just might pull it off.

anthem

Bioware/Electronic Arts

EA showed off a new trailer and a second gameplay demo for Anthem, BioWare's hotly anticipated multiplayer RPG, at the EA Play event at E3 2018. This is the second E3 reveal for Anthem, and watching both clips below, you may get a sense of deja vu for the footage that was shown at E3 2017.

Anthem marks a big departure for BioWare, a studio that made its name off the Knights of the Old Republic, Dragon Age and Mass Effect games. Instead of being a story-based single player RPG with occasional multiplayer elements, Anthem is more akin to Destiny or The Division. All three titles feature large worlds full of combat opportunities, means for players to join up or fight each other and a keen focus on the accrual of loot above all else.

The heart of Anthem's premise is a world left unfinished by the gods, who left behind various powerful tools on a far-flung planet. The Anthem of Creation, a mysterious object, creates conflict with those tools that takes shape in the form of storms, creatures, evolving environments and more. To combat those creatures and survive those storms, humanity uses Javelins: The fancy power armor that will give players their toolset to interact with the world.

The Ranger Javelin, for instance, is a generalist. The Colossus Javelin, on the other hand, is slow and heavy while packing more potent weaponry. You can probably guess that the rest of the Javelins will fall within familiar RPG archetypes, with others focusing on speed or special attacks.

BioWare said it aims to have that conflict dynamically impact the world for all players, in the form of events experienced by all. Trailers and demos have shown massive storms, but other ways in which those dynamic elements interact with players have yet to be showcased.

With Anthem, BioWare is looking to add more of a story focus to the familiar massive multiplayer shooter template. Its initial reveal, after all, began with a story sequence. But promising and delivering are two different things, and Anthem is under particular scrutiny given EA's recent controversies over its monetization of multiplayer games, and Bioware's disappointing efforts with Mass Effect: Andromeda.

During E3 2018, BioWare confirmed that microtransactions would be in the game, but would be solely based on cosmetic items. So no loot boxes or gameplay-impacting boosters are up for sale, at least from what we've been told so far.

Contrary to a report that emerged right before EA's event, Anthem will be out on PS4, Xbox One and PC on Feb. 22, 2019.

E3 2018: Everything you need to know

E3 2018 coverage at CNET: All of our E3 2018 coverage in one place.

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E3 2018 coverage at GameSpot: Wall-to-wall coverage of the show from our sister site, GameSpot.

E3 2018 coverage at Giant Bomb: Still more commentary and news from E3, from our colleagues at Giant Bomb.