Anthem is the next big franchise from renowned developer, BioWare – these are the five things you might not know, after its debut.

Last month at E3 2017, Electronic Arts revealed its next major franchise, "Anthem." Showcased alongside the Xbox One X, we've now experienced seven minutes in the game's jaw-dropping open world.

Coming from BioWare, the renowned developer behind Mass Effect and Dragon Age, Anthem marks a new and ambitious direction for the studio. In the game's world, hostile monsters rule the wilderness, and humanity has taken refuge inside a walled city. "Freelancers," bounty hunters bearing "Javelin" exosuits, are among the few who can venture outside these walls, forming the basis for Anthem's gameplay. Diverging from the developer's heritage solidified in narrative-driven experiences, Anthem pursues an online shared-world, built with action-adventure mechanics in mind.

However, after its initial E3 debut, we're now left with more questions than answers. With little information outside of a small vertical slice, the details surrounding the game still remain somewhat vague. We've brought together five things you might not yet know about Anthem, after its E3 2017 showcase.

See at Amazon

1. Anthem isn't an RPG (well, kinda)

Although Anthem's first on-stage demonstration teased class-based gameplay, loot systems and crafting, the game's publisher, Electronic Arts, has been keen to stress that Anthem is not a role-playing experience. Earlier this year during a conference call with investors, EA CEO Andrew Wilson purposely emphasized Anthem is being created as "an action-adventure, not RPG" – assumedly putting focusing development on core combat mechanics.

However, that's not to say story won't be a major component of Anthem – quite the opposite. Even if action lays at the center of Anthem, the developer's role-playing legacy won't be completely out of the picture. Wilson expanded on his statement guaranteeing that Anthem won't leave behind "the great RPG character development and story progression that BioWare is known for," even if a new, and potentially ambitious approach may be taken in the process.

Electronic Arts has been keen to stress that Anthem is not a role-playing experience.

So, if Anthem isn't an RPG, what exactly is it? EA's claims somewhat echo statements previously made by Bungie, with their own online shared-world shooter, Destiny. Back in 2014, the studio was reluctant to pin down a specific genre for the game – even to this day, its genre is still somewhat ambiguous.

After the reveal, Anthem's influence from role-playing titles is still evident. As of right now, the game appears to be shaping up as an action RPG, taking advantage of some elements seen in massively multiplayer online games (MMOs).

2. Anthem accommodates both solo and co-op play

When first revealed at E3, the vertical-slice of Anthem gameplay heavily revolved around the cooperative multiplayer features of its sandbox. Featuring scripted interactions between friends as a part of the demo, communication and teamwork were portrayed as integral to the intended experience.

Shortly after the reveal, Corey Gaspur, lead designer on Anthem, assured fans that the game will also accommodate solo players. Designed with both single-player and cooperative parties in mind, players can supposedly "enjoy an amazing BioWare story and explore an incredible open world," regardless of their allies (or lack thereof).

Exactly how Anthem will handle single-player is yet to be disclosed, though this will assumedly be near-identical to cooperative play. Like similar games on the market, we can expect shared-world content to adapt for both solo players and groups. It's also safe to assume Anthem will be an entirely online experience, forcing those playing solo to still connect to game servers.

3. Anthem adopts a connected "live service" model

As expected from a modern multiplayer title, Anthem will adopt a Games-as-a-Service (GaaS) model for providing content post launch.

Anthem will leverage online features significantly more than any other BioWare titles.

Live services are nothing new in the modern age, allowing dozens of games to maintain healthy player bases – sometimes years after their release. By purchasing Anthem, you'll be buying into the game's service, with future updates expected after launch. Few details have been shared on how this "live service" will develop the game going forward – although content updates, events and larger expansions are all common with this business model.

This also feeds into Anthem's concept of a shared open world, adding an interconnected and somewhat dynamic edge to the experience. Anthem will leverage online features significantly more than any other BioWare titles, through both gameplay and post-launch support.

4. Loot will play a major role in Anthem

As briefly teased during its unveiling, collectible loot will also play a major role in Anthem's progression system. Examining footage, instances of both new weapons and suit upgrades are among the loot offerings, obtained through both randomized drops and crafting.

The weapon unlocked during the demonstration was a Level 35 "Legendary" rifle, which points toward rarity tiers and gear progression systems, as seen in RPGs. Searching for new gear, grinding through upgrades and other progression mechanics can all be expected at the heart of Anthem's gameplay loop.

5. Anthem will run at 4K, with HDR, on Xbox One X

Electronic Arts appears to have worked closely with Microsoft to tailor its upcoming titles for Xbox One X, and Anthem is no exception.

Electronic Arts appears to have worked closely with Microsoft to tailor its upcoming titles for Xbox One X.

Used to showcase the power of the console at Microsoft's E3 2017 press conference, Anthem will run at 4K resolution on the console, with support for High Dynamic Range (HDR). With a 30 frames per second (FPS) gameplay video feed at E3, it's also safe to assume this will be the target framerate on Xbox One X.

Upon further analysis from Digital Foundry, Anthem's supposed Xbox One X reveal points toward a "checkerboarding" technique used to achieve a 4K output. Although implementation can differ between titles, the technique essentially renders a smaller percentage of the image and estimates the remaining pixels. Reducing tax on the system for little trade-off, this allows resources to be used on other visual enhancements.

While Anthem does appear to be pushing the Xbox One X to its limit, the game is currently among the most graphically impressive titles showcased on the console. However, as a vertical slice of the full experience, it remains to be seen how this performance translates to the final product.

Preparing for Anthem

Electronic Arts is yet to commit to a release date for Anthem, aside from the period of "Fall 2018." With over a year remaining until its expected launch, a lot could change before release. As of right now, the game isn't even available to pre-order in the United States for Xbox One, showing it's still early days for the project. As always, let us know what you think of Anthem so far, in the comments section.

See at Amazon