by Goran Damnjanovic, Gaming Columnist
Published in Gaming on 14th March, 2019
Anthem, one of the biggest titles of the year, is finally here so let's share some helpful tips that will make the game much easier for new players.
Anthem is the latest big-budget looter shooter from EA that will try to take the throne from established behemoths of the genre such as Destiny 2, Warframe, and the upcoming the Division 2.
The aces in Anthem's sleeve are the fabulous combat that relies on teamwork and amazing looking combo attacks, Iron Man-like metal armors called Javelins that allow their pilots to fly all around the map, extremely detailed graphics allowing Anthem to be one of the prettiest games ever, and the story that should be one of the best parts of the game because RPG veterans, BioWare, are behind the game.
The amazing combat does wonders for the game and the focus on team objectives makes Anthem a blast to play with friends. On the other side, focus on teamwork strips that coat of attractiveness from the game when on your own.
You either have to team up with random people or face extremely tough challenges because the game simply isn't made for lone freelancers. This team play requirement should make the game easier for newbies because they have their more experienced teammates acting as coaches and great sources of information about the most efficient ways to play the game.
But in case your whole team is made out of players who never played Anthem or if you simply want to learn about the game before even entering your Javelin for the first time, this piece is a great source of tips and advice that should make the early game much more enjoyable. Stay with us and find out everything new players should know about Anthem before jumping into the game.
The first things you should learn about are Javelins. There are four Javelin types and they all have unique strengths and weaknesses. But before diving into each type here are a couple of Javelin facts everyone should be familiar with.
First of all, all four Javelins fly at the same speed. It might seem that the huge Behemoth is a slouch compared to the super agile Interceptor but in reality, all suits have the same flight speed. On the other hand, they aren't the same when it comes to mobility.
For instance, Interceptors have better acceleration than all other classes and they are also the best when it comes to maneuverability. Rangers are okay in both while Storms are better than Rangers and slower to accelerate than Interceptors. And finally, huge Behemoths can fly as fast as the other three classes but they are slowest to achieve the max speed and are difficult to pull tight turns.
Next, your team doesn't have to include all four classes in order to be at peak efficiency. Sure, going out with all four Rangers or Storms probably isn't the best idea but teams made out of two or three classes can be as deadly as those that include all four Javelin types. Simply try out different classes and pick the one that's best for your style of play and if a friend or two picked the same well, chances are you will be pretty deadly even if playing with three tanks or three DPS characters.
And finally, make sure to try out all four Javelins. Try them all out because who knows, maybe your favorite isn't what you thought it would be. Since the game relies as much on flying, aerial maneuvers, and combos as on weapons and abilities so you might find that playing the game as your regular class you take in other similar games simply isn't working in Anthem.
So, fly a bit with all suits, check out their abilities and weapons and try each class in combat before making the decision. And hey, you can always switch between different classes.
Now, let's talk about each Javelin individually.
This suit is the one you get as soon as you start the game. It's a sort of an all-around class (similar to assault class in Battlefield games) that is pretty good at many things while exceling none. On the other hand, Ranger is the most versatile class that's great for players who don't like to play the same way during each and every battle.
This is because Rangers can wield almost every weapon type available in Anthem. Other than heavy weapons, Rangers are trained to use every weapon available in the game making them great for players who prefer to combine shotguns and sniper rifles or some other combination that makes them deadly both up close and from afar.
Rangers have access to Shock Mace melee ability that sends a huge stream of electricity towards enemies that can inflict lots of damage. Next, we have the ultimate ability that is called Multi-Target Missile Battery and that allows players to tag multiple enemies and then launch homing missiles that deal a huge amount of damage.
Next, we have grenade abilities, which are five in total:
Rangers (as well as Behemoths) also have wrist launcher abilities and those that are available to Rangers are:
Each class also has access to support abilities that are basically defensive powers used for buffing teammates or prevent players from taking damage. Rangers have access to Bulwark Point that is basically damage reflecting energy shield and Muster Point that buffs teammate weapon damage.
These brutes weigh in a couple of tones; they have huge shields and have access to devastating heavy weapons. They aren't good when it comes to air maneuvers but are great for destroying lots of smaller enemies quickly. In other words, Behemoths are Anthem's tank class.
Their melee ability is called Heavy Smash and it is basically an air slam that knocks down larger enemies and utterly destroys smaller ones. The ultimate ability is called Siege Cannon that launches projectiles in the air that then fall down and cause huge AOE damage. Something like a wide mortar strike.
While Rangers have grenades, Colossus players have access to five different shoulder-mounted launcher abilities:
Colossus, like the Ranger, has access to different wrist launcher abilities:
And when it comes to support abilities Colossus has access to Taunt, which makes enemies to attack Colossus, and Deflector Pulse that buffs teammates with damage resistance.
Interceptors are the agile class that deals lots of damage and is quick to evade enemy attacks. On the other hand, they are vulnerable to direct attacks, pack a small amount of armor, and cannot last long on their own.
They are basically rouges of Anthem and are great for people who like to get up close and personal. They pack devastating melee attacks and abilities and are the most fun class for those who just want to fly across the map. They are best for melee combat even though they can, as all other classes, wield most weapon types.
They have a melee ability called Double-Bladed Dagger that deals damage to enemies with a quick flurry of slashes from up close. Their ultimate ability is called Assassin's Blades, which supercharges their suit and allows them to attack enemies with increased speed and damage for a while.
And finally, the two support abilities are Target Beacon that marks a specific enemy, making them vulnerable to teammates' attacks and Rally Cry that removes all negative effects from teammates.
Interceptors have access to various assault and strike abilities that are perfect for dealing huge amounts of damage in a short time. Their assault abilities are:
Strike abilities are as following:
And finally, we have the Storm Javelin class. These are agile and speedy Javelins that excel at ranged combat. But instead of focusing on their weapons, Storms are great at hitting enemies with huge amounts of elemental damage. There are fragile in direct combat and are best utilized at a range. In other words, they are basically mages of Anthem.
Their melee ability is called Fiery Strike and it sends a wave of energy from the wearer's exosuit that deals massive damage to all enemies in the vicinity and also knocks them down.
The ultimate ability is called Elemental Storm. The ability erupts blasts of various elemental attacks (ice, electricity, and fire) from the wearer's exosuit that all deal massive damage with the final, super powerful blast that destroys everything it touches. And as for the two support abilities, Storm Javelins can use Wind Wall that deflects enemy projectiles and Nexus, which is a field that provides cooldown bonuses for teammates inside its radius.
Storm class features abilities that are called seals and aside from aforementioned support seals, Storm Javelins also have access to blast and focus seals. Blast seals include:
Next, we have Storm Javelin focus seals:
Now that we covered all four Javelins found in Anthem let's share a couple of helpful tips that can be pretty handy to new players.
Yes, Anthem can be played solo. The game is tougher (enemies won't adjust for a solo freelancer) but rewards stay the same, so that's not really an attractive proposal for lone rangers.
Also, the game is filled with environmental puzzles that are much easier (and faster) to solve in a team. And let's not forget that combo system and the fact that cooperation and quality communication is the way to go in Anthem. So, either play with friends or find a random team but avoid playing the game solo, especially later on when everything becomes harder to kill.
While most similar games treat abilities and powers as attacks and buffs that are seldom used, usually against tougher enemies, Anthem treats those as frequent attacks that replace your weapons.
And since Interceptor and Storm Javelins are classes that heavily rely on their abilities, make sure to use these often. They recharge noticeably faster than in other games because they are treated as regular attacks and as important parts of pulling off combos. In other words, Anthem is not a shooter first game, it is mainly an action RPG with tons of abilities that can be used pretty often.
Guns are to be used as auxiliary attacks, for times when all your abilities are on cooldown. Instead of guns just hit those ability buttons and you will be more deadly than simply shooting from guns all the time.
Since Anthem relies on abilities and teamwork it's no surprise the game focuses on pulling off combos with your teammates. In Anthem, there are two types of attacks used for creating combos. The first ones are called primers (they set up enemies for a combo) and the ones that trigger combos are called detonators.
A team that cooperates well can pull off combos fairly often, making a huge amount of damage that simply cannot be replaced with using just weapons of abilities on their own.
So, make sure to learn different combos and to create a team made out of Javelins that can create devastating combos. Remember, this isn't a shooter but a co-op action RPG. An RPG with a bunch of combo attacks that should be the main way of destroying enemies.
Keep your engine cool, you will be able to fly longer
Anthem is all about flying around like the Iron Man, avoiding attacks and maneuvering in order to flank enemies, but you should know that your engine can get overheated pretty quickly if not kept cool.
Make sure to fly over water as frequently as you can because flying over it cools down your engine. Next, don't mind dipping into the water in order to get more flight time. Rapid nosedives are also a nice way to cool engine a bit, but they aren't as efficient as flying over water.
And remember two things - firstly, the map is dotted with waterfalls, which are a great way to reach elevated areas and to cool down your suit. Next, fire attacks overheat your engine as soon as you get hit so try not to get hit with fire attacks while flying around the map.
Console flight controls are pretty good. They allow for easy maneuvering and are simple to learn. On PC, the story is a bit different. The first beta session introduced awful flight controls on the PC, and while BioWare tweaked those they are still a bit tricky to master.
In order to find your perfect combination, tweak flight and swim sliders until you find a perfect combination. They should be similar to your aim sensitivity; otherwise, it will be too difficult to adjust to different values for flight and aiming.
While the game can provide a solid challenge on Normal difficulty, I must advise all players to pick hard (you can pick difficulty before each mission) difficulty as soon as they get comfortable with the game, its controls, and gameplay.
You see, instead of offering the same gear rewards on all difficulty settings, Anthem rewards players who desire a tougher challenge with better loot. Playing on hard will award you with better gear than playing on normal and since Anthem is a looter shooter you probably want the best gear you can find.
But remember that not all parts of the game are the same. Playing on hard is the way to go, most of the time. But, in some instances, it is wiser to play on normal.
For instance, Strongholds are punishingly difficult on Hard and can really break your fighting spirit. So, when tacking a Stronghold pick the Normal difficulty. After you master a specific Stronghold on Normal then try playing it on Hard for better loot and (much) tougher challenge.
Resources, such as ingredients, are important because they are used to craft various consumables that are used for buffing your character. These aren't much important during the early game but as you progress and tackle tougher missions you'll need consumables in order to get some leeway and some breathing room.
In order to gather ingredients, you need to head out in free roam and look for brightly colored plants that noticeably stick out from their surroundings and for things like piles of rocks. These contain all necessary ingredients to craft basic consumables.