BioWare’s Anthem- The Javelins explained

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Anthem is one of the games to come out of this E3 with lots of hype. The multiplayer-based shooter is an ambitious project by BioWare that’s known for its single-player story-driven games. The game was unveiled during last year’s E3 and more information was revealed during the on-going E3 event.

If you don’t know about Anthem, it’s an online shared world RPG that puts players in the roles of freelancers, who use high-tech exo-suits called Javelins to defend humanity. Only the freelancers have access to the javelins because of finite resources and each javelin is also different from one another. In an RPG world, think of each javelin like a class, each has its own benefits and unique abilities as well as characteristics.

We already knew a lot of information regarding the story and the setting of Anthem as it was revealed a year ago. However, there wasn’t much information out there regarding how each of the javelins would work or what their abilities would be. EA’s presentation during this year’s E3 has revealed a ton of new information regarding javelins, here’s everything you need to know about these superpowered exo-suits.

There are 4 different types of javelins

The four different types are as follows: Colossus, Ranger, Interceptor, and Storm. The Colossus is the one that’ll be the tank of the group, it’s heavy, powerful and can take a lot of damage. Of course, that’ll make it slower as well but it can come in really handy in a team as a bullet sponge. Next up is the Ranger that’s kind of like the balanced one, it’s more effective in close combat. The interceptor is the fastest amongst them all, and due to that, expect him to have low health as well. Storm’s a caster type whose purpose would be to support the squad. Each javelin would bring something unique to a team.

The type of javelin you choose will have a direct impact on how you approach combat in this game. There’s also a lot of freedom given to players as to how they want to upgrade their javelin’s skill trees. For example, one of the javelins is called the Colossus, designed to be a heavy, tanky javelin. However, you can upgrade its skill tree to make it less tanky but faster and similarly you could make your Ranger heavier and powerful. It all depends on how you, the player wants to play the game.

Unlike most RPG games, once you select a class, you’re bound to it unless you make another character and start over. However, in Anthem, the javelin itself is not the player. You are a pilot that controls the javelin suits and therefore if you don’t feel like playing as a colossus, you can simply change to your Ranger javelin etc. Moreover, that gives players more flexibility in terms of how they want to approach each mission. Some missions may be better suited to interceptors while some may be better as a colossus or ranger.

The Colossus

The slow-moving tank, it can take a lot of damage and it’s more than capable of dishing out damage as well. Many gameplay variants show the Colossus javelin having a mortar on its back that can fire missiles at the enemy. If you don’t want the mortar, you can keep a grenade launcher or even a flamethrower, driving home the flexibility and customization point EA made with the javelins.

The main ‘utility’ or benefit of the Colossus is its shield which is capable of taking a high amount of damage. So in a scenario where your team is taking a high amount of damage, you can pop your shield and take most of it without it affecting you whatsoever. One example of this could be that your team needs to cross a place that has a high amount of explosives. The Colossus here could use his shield to take the explosive damage, ensuring his team gets through the area unscathed. The Colossus is definitely going to be a favorite for many due to its tanky look and destructive capabilities.

The Ranger

Typically in games like these where there are characters that specialize in certain things whilst compromising on others such as the Colossus that can take as well as dish out a high amount of damage due to its bulkiness at the cost of speed, there’s also a ‘balanced’ character as well. The Ranger is such a character.

The Ranger javelin doesn’t specialize in anything i.e. it doesn’t excel in any aspect but that means it doesn’t lack in anything either. It has decent speed, decent airtime, and overall decent stats. Again, there’s a lot of customization you can do here. You can ice grenades as your ability or ricocheting explosives or much more, it really depends on the gear you equip and how you upgrade your skill tree. You can even make your ranger specialize in one aspect too.

The best part of its attacking ability is that whatever you choose, it can be fired while airborne, which can be pretty useful and deadly in a lot of scenarios. This capability can give teams a tactical advantage if they have rangers. As far as mobility is concerned, the main ability is ‘dash’. The ranger has great mobility as you can change directions mid-action and you can even string in a combo of different moves such as jumping first, then dashing, then jumping again before taking flight. If there’s one thing that the Ranger does excel in, despite being the balanced javelin, is its movement which allows it to get out of any situation.

The Interceptor

BioWare has kept us in the dark regarding this javelin. Even the E3 event featured mostly the first two javelins as BioWare remains quiet on the interceptor. However, there are a few clues as to what this Javelin could be capable of due to how it looks and the way it’s built.

Looking at the image above, you can tell that the interceptor looks like the opposite of what the Colossus is. Unlike the latter, the interceptor looks much lighter and from the looks of it in the image, it’s getting ready to take flight after running. It also has very long legs and an overall build that makes it fit to be the fast-paced agile character. Although the Ranger might win in terms of overall fluidity of movement, there’s no doubt that the interceptor would be the most nimble and fast-paced amongst them all.

Since the game has a lot of emphasis on multiplayer, each javelin is made keeping in mind that they’ll be used in teams and that each javelin would bring their own set of strengths and weaknesses to the team. It would make sense that each javelin’s weakness would be offset by another’s strengths.

For example, the Colossus would be the heavier, and more powerful javelin whereas the Interceptor would be the fastest one amongst them all while compromising health and defense. However, don’t let the lower health and defense scare you as the interceptor could be really useful in running (avoiding) enemies or getting in and out of places fast which others won’t be able to do.

The ‘Storm’ Javelin

Although this Javelin wasn’t playable in the EA Play event, not did BioWare give much information regarding Storm, we do have a little bit of info through which we can guess what this javelin is all about. So far there’s the heavy tanky javelin, the all-around balanced javelin, and the super speedy javelin. There’s still one aspect that’s still missing from the team and that’s the supporting javelin, this is where Storm comes in.

From the photo above, you can tell that Storm brings something entirely different to the javelins in the form of magic. We were shown that it cloaks itself in a bubble of energy and moves through the air. While the other three javelins focus more on physical abilities such as mobility, strength, weapons, and armor, this javelin has a totally different focus. It’ll be interesting as to how this javelin’s skill tree unfolds.

Moreover, given that we’ve been told that you could upgrade your javelin to become whatever you want it to be, such as a fast-paced Colossus, it’ll be interesting if you could give some of the magic or energy-related abilities to other javelins as well. ‘Storm’ completely fits the role of a wizard or Mage in the team and it’ll likely provide support from the back through its magic/energy abilities whereas the other javelins play a more direct role in combat. We don’t know yet about the full capabilities of this javelin as BioWare didn’t reveal much about it alongside the Interceptor but expect more info to come out soon.

Javelin customization

Javelin customization also seems to be a big deal in this game as BioWare has given immense freedom to players to make their javelin not only have a skillset of their choosing, but they can control how their javelin looks to a great extent as well.

It’s already a given that players will be able to get different pieces of gear that’ll play a key role in defining the look of their players as well as the benefits that come with the gear such as improved defense, attack etc. However, you’ll also be able to personalize your gear and weapons through paint jobs and armor pieces/geometry. There will also be cosmetic items available for purchase but this time, you’ll buy exactly what you want as EA has decided to remove loot boxes. Moreover, Anthem won’t have microtransactions either that would give players an advantage.

Overall, the javelins for the game look really good and the amount of customization options BioWare has given makes it even better. They’ve also promised regular updates post-launch so there’s always the possibility that we could get more javelin abilities and customization options down the line or even a completely new javelin. Anthem comes to Ps4, Xbox One and PC on February 22, 2019, so expect more info to come out over the course of the next few months.



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