Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Anthem (2019)
aka: Anthem

Go To
Out there, you either live with the choices you make... Or you die trying to change them.

"The gods vanished... And left our world in chaos. Creating. Altering. Destroying. The Anthem is all that remains."

Anthem is an open-world, Third-Person Shooter/Action RPG scheduled for release on February 22, 2019note , developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts.

The world is a deadly place, abandoned by the gods before it could even be fully created. The walls of Fort Tarsis keep humanity safe, and the only people who leave it regularly are Freelancers, mercenaries with massive suits of powered armor called Javelins. Safety is not guaranteed, however; something out there is plotting to conquer humanity, and the Freelancers may be the only ones who have a chance of stopping it.

Trailers: Reveal Teaser, Gameplay Reveal, 2018 Cinematic Trailer, Launch Trailer


Anthem contains the following tropes:

  • Ace Custom: The Javelins (especially Rangers) used by Freelancers are this when compared to the "mass production" Rangers used by Antium's Sentinels. The Sentinel Rangers all use similar loadouts and standard-issue weaponry, whereas any Freelancer-owned Ranger is going to be armed and customized to the pilot's specifications.
  • Action Girl: Any female Freelancer. The original, in-setting, is probably General Helena Tarsis, leader of the Order of Dawn.
  • After the End: A really interesting Inversion. The world the game takes place in was abandoned by the gods before it was even finished being created, leading to a world that is extremely hostile to humans.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: There's quite a few.
    • Picking up ammo will fully reload any empty weapons, regardless of how much ammo the pickup would give normally.
    • Advertisement:
    • Melee weapons have cooldown only when the attack connects, and using a melee attack will make you lunge/aim towards whichever target you're aiming/moving towards.
    • You're invincible whilst using your Limit Break ability and healed after, to avoid frustrating situations where you activate it, only to immediately get downed and thus waste it.
    • Larger enemies like ursix and titans are guaranteed to drop some health and ammo when reducing them to certain health points, so you're not stuck only using abilities after a while.
  • Apocalypse How: The Dominion caused a Regional Societal Collapse trying to control a Shaper Artifact called the Cenotaph, destroying the city of Freemark in the process. The resulting cataclysm, called the Heart of Rage, could not be contained, despite many attempts.
  • Arm Cannon: Both the Ranger and Colossus pack forearm/wrist mounted weaponry, with various unique options for each; the Ranger has a homing missile launcher that can be replaced with a charged energy cannon, rocket launcher, beam laser, or poison dart launcher, whilst the Colossus starts with a railgun that can be replaced with a heavy cannon, flamethrower, acid sprayer, or a flak cannon for crowd control.
  • Backpack Cannon: The Ranger and Colossus both have weaponry strapped to their backs; the Colossus can switch out different weapons between missions, whilst the Ranger's is a missile rack for its ultimate Limit Break ability.
  • Badass Crew: Any group of Freelancers. The game's Alliance System actively encourages you to build your own crew with your friends; if everyone in the group plays regularly, everyone receives benefits based on their contribution at the end of the week - even if nobody plays together.
  • Bald of Evil: Doctor Harken, the Dominion's Evil Genius.
  • Barrier Warrior: Both the Ranger and Colossus are capable of deploying defensive shields to assist their team, whilst the Storm generates a personal shield bubble whilst hovering, that increases its survivability fairly significantly.
  • Big Bad: The Monitor, one of Dominion's Secret Police agents seeking Shaper artifacts for the purpose of controlling the Anthem of Creation.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The Skorpions are large and very aggressive insectoids/arachnids.
  • Bug War: Versus the Scars, a race of Insectoid Aliens who seem to have been created accidentally during a Cataclysm fifty years before the game's start, and are extremely hostile towards anyone who keeps them from Shaper tech.
  • Character Customization: Confirmed for an appearance. However, Mark Darrah claimed that they're focusing more of their efforts on customizing the Javelin, rather than the human inside the Javelin. This is justified, however, as cutscenes, where the player is out of their suit, are in first-person - the only moment you can see your character's face is the short Lock and Load Montage cutscene before launching a mission. On the other hand, the customization for your Javelin exosuit is extremely flexible, allowing you select cosmetic armour parts, then customize the material (e.g. unpainted metal, painted metal, fabric...) and the colour(s) for six 'regions' per suit. You can choose the level of wear-and-tear, colour selection is via a wheel (no premade fixed palettes) and apply special premade 'vinyl' patterns.
  • Citadel City: Fort Tarsis, one of humanity's main bastions against the myriad dangers of Mirrus. At the start of the game, it's a run-down shell of its former glory after the Heart of Rage fiasco.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Interceptor's Limit Break that allows him to unleash a series of lightning-quick melee attacks.
  • Death from Above: The Colossus has a choice of three different Mortars for its Backpack Cannon.
  • Death World: Repeatedly lampshaded in the game's lore, including the fictional book titled "A Guide To Living Things That Will Kill You". Between the bandits, dangerous wildlife, malfunctioning Shaper Relics, Cataclysms and Anthem creations like Elementals and Titans, there's a lot out there to kill you when you least expect it.
    "While not everything is trying to kill you, it may get you killed anyway. Stay home."
  • Dual Wielding: The Interceptor Javelin is armed with a pair of double-bladed daggers called Bladed Daggers for melee attacks.
  • The Empire: The Dominion, who are far more fascist and authoritarian than Fort Tarsis and look down on Freelancers as too chaotic. Oddly, the good guys are called the Empire of Antium.
  • Evil Is Bigger: The Monitor looks massive, even despite his armor. What makes it stranger is that his legs lack the extended "stilts" noticeable on the Ranger.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The Javelin types fall into these archetypes, with Colossus as Fighter, Storm as Mage, and Interceptor as Thief. The Ranger fills out the lineup as a Jack-of-All-Stats.
  • Fire/Ice/Lightning: The three core elements available for attacks judging by previews so far, though there are others like Acid as well. The Storm in particular seems to revolve around manipulating this classic trio, with its Limit Break letting it call down - and then detonate - an "elemental meteor" of each type.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: The Colossus' shield can be used as a battering ram whilst sprinting; smaller mooks will just get flung aside when you slam into them.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Interceptor Javelin. It's the most fragile of the four by a wide margin, as the Storm's shields can absorb far more damage whilst it's hovering.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Playing the 2019 demo in Japanese language completely destabilizes the game. The worst of the issues that crop up when playing under this language is a guaranteed CTD during the results screen following any raid, which also denies the player any drops acquired during the session.
  • Giant Spider: The boss of "Tyrant Mine" stronghold, shown in the E3 2018 gameplay demo.
  • Glowing Mechanical Eyes: Outlaw mooks have glowing green visors on their helmets, and all Javelins have glowing eyes in some form.
  • Gold and White Are Divine: The Monitor wears a suit, possibly a Javelin model, that looks like a gold-plated judicial robe, fitting his role as a high-ranking operative of The Empire.
  • Ground Punch: Whether on the ground or airborne, the Colossus has the ability to slam the ground as its melee attack, dealing damage in a large radius.
  • Have You Seen My God?: Anthem is set in a world that the Gods have abandoned and left unfinished, but they left behind their massive tools, which are in conflict with an unknowable force called the Anthem of Creation.
  • Hegemonic Empire: Fort Tarsis and the other human settlements seem to be part of an Empire, and are all clearly ruled over by an Emperor. But they're not The Empire; that's the Dominion.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: The Storm Javelin is made using advanced tech stolen from the Dominion, then studied and reverse-enginered by engineers and Arcanists, so it's essentially invoking this any time you use it against the Dominion.
  • Hostile Weather: The Shaper Storms, though their exact nature is unclear.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Striders are massive quadruped walkers (think AT-AT from Star Wars), used for transportation purposes both military and civilian. They serve as fast-travel and field resupply/rearm points for Freelancers, in gameplay terms.
  • Hungry Jungle: The area around Fort Tarsis is, at least, if the whole planet isn't that way. Massive trees overgrowing copious amounts of ruins and lots of wildlife that wouldn't object to eating or trampling foolish humans.
  • Interface Screw: The Monitor tends to cause it when he's communicating with you. The reason why is indirectly explained in the Cortex.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: The Ranger Javelins are described as being the most balanced and all-purpose of the exo-suits.
  • Jet Pack: All of the Javelins have one built in, except for the Storm, which integrates some advanced Dominion technology reminiscent of magnetic levitation that's functionally identical. Unlike in Mass Effect: Andromeda, where the jetpacks provide a short boost for better maneuverability, the jet packs in Anthem allow the Freelancers to travel faster through the open-world by flying through the air like Iron Man, and freely hover to strike enemies from above.
  • Job System: Essentially how the Javelins operate. You'll create a freelancer who can switch between Javelins at will by returning to their base.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Colossus has the option of attaching a flamethrower to their arm as a backup weapon, plus an incendiary mortar, the Storm can cause fiery explosions and throw various kinds of fire projectiles, and the Ranger is able to equip incendiary grenades.
  • Kill It with Ice: The Ranger Javelin has the ability to use an ice grenade, whilst the Storm can fire homing ice bolts and summon miniature blizzards.
  • Limit Break: Every Javelin has a special "ultimate" ability; the Ranger has its missile swarm, the Colossus has a BFG, the Interceptor turns into a lightning fast blur of blades and death, and the Storm can call down elemental "meteors".
  • Literal Split Personality: Matthias, one of the Arcanists in Fort Tarsis, gets split into three identical copies with different personalities by toying with a Shaper artifact.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Part of the Colossus' "fixed" toolkit is a massive towershield that can absorb incoming damage.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The Ranger's Limit Break allows them to launch a swarm of missiles, ideal for wiping out large groups of weaker enemies regardless of cover or distance between them. It can also lock multiple missiles onto single large targets, making the Ranger versatile against both swarms and bosses.
  • Magitek: the entire technology of Anthem is made possible by the Anthem of Creation itself, both the Shaper Relics and human tech, built using "chimeric compounds" and "embers" created by the influence of the Anthem and controlled using Psychic Powers. The Freelancer has such a controlling device (called a signet) strapped to their right hand. The Dominion seems to have mastered this on an even higher level, considering how they modify the world's beasts like Wolven and Brutes into living weapons (for example, equipping Brutes with a pair of elemental Shoulder Cannons). The Dominion-designed Javelin, the Storm, is noticeably more sophisticated than the Colossus or Ranger as well.
  • Mighty Glacier: The hulking Colossus Javelins are bigger and tougher than their peers, but noticeably slower. It's also the only Javelin type capable of using the heaviest handheld weapons, and packs a massive cannon as its Limit Break.
  • Mini-Mecha: The Colossus Javelins are big enough to qualify as this.
  • Pardon My Klingon: Sumner tends to drop local expletives like "this is total skorp-drop!".
  • Player Character: The Freelancers that regularly venture beyond the City walls in their Powered Armor.
  • Power Floats: The Storm doesn't use a conventional Jet Pack most of the time, and its sprinting animation is to just float along the ground rather than a jet-assisted run like the other Javelins.
  • Powered Armor: The Javelins used by Freelancers are a pretty sizable variation, ranging between a good seven to nine feet in height. The Colossus is the largest of the lot, towering over its peers by a noticeable margin.
  • Psychic Powers: The Cyphers are geniuses and telepaths able to work with the Anthem of Creation. Some of them, like Faye and Owen, are employed as Freelancers' Mission Control.
    • The Storm javelin uses seals to boost the pilot’s latent kinetic abilities to allow for telekinetic, cryokinetic, electrokinetic and pyrokinetic abilities.
  • Overheating: Non-weapon example, but to prevent players from staying airborne indefinitely, Javelins have an overheat system where their jets build up heat. This can be lowered by flying through waterfalls, close to water or diving through the air to cool them down, allowing a skilled pilot familiar with the environment to stay in the air longer.
  • Regenerating Shield, Static Health: Most Javelins have a shield that will regenerate on its own if the player avoids damage for a period of time, but they also have a health bar that will not regenerate on its own and must be replenished by health drops from enemies. The Colossus does not have this shield but has a massive pool of Hit Points to compensate, along with a durable, regenerating tower shield.
  • Scenery Gorn: The initial mission happens in the ruins of Freemark, with the Heart of Rage going on all around you. Some of the other areas contain unexplained wrecks of machinery and massive metal parts overgrown with plantlife.
  • Scenery Porn: The top of the Wall that the Freelancers jump off of offers a gorgeous view of the Hungry Jungle that surrounds Fort Tarsis. Haluk will mention in a conversation that of all the things the Shapers did, they really nailed the waterfalls.
  • Science Fantasy: The developers have described the game as science fantasy rather than "hard" sci-fi. The E3 2018 presentation elaborates a little more saying a big part of the lore is that the Gods of the Anthem setting have abandoned the world and left it unfinished.
  • Schizo Tech: While the world of Anthem has Striders and Javelins, the world is also much more low-tech in some ways. Each Javelin was handmade by a craftsman because the world lacks mass-production capabilities, and they don't have things like television (although, oddly, the in-game lore mentions radio as commonly used). The developers have described it as "A world without microchips."
  • Secret Police: The Monitors for Dominion and Corvus for the Antium Empire.
  • Shock and Awe: the Storm's default "blast" power is an AOE lightning hit (and their default single-target attack can be replaced with either a ball lightning or Chain Lightning), the Ranger uses an electrified baton as their melee weapon, and the Colossus can be equipped with a Tesla coil.
  • Shout-Out: Among the paint jobs shown for Javelins, one of them was an N7 job, complete with the arm stripe and logo, and another one featured a very distinct purple and green.
  • Spider Tank: The escari, highly evolved forms of the Scars, drive those monstrosities. The main body is highly durable, but the legs are vulnerable and can be used to stagger or stun the walker.
  • Squishy Wizard: The Storm Javelin has very low health, but can cast powerful "spells" and also has the ability to teleport. It receives a boost to shields when hovering to compensate for its fragility.
  • Stock Ninja Weaponry: Interceptors are able to throw high-tech shuriken at their enemies.
  • Subsystem Damage: Many larger opponents have various sub-parts that can be blown off to temporarily stun them and/or open up weak spots.
  • Super Prototype: General Helena Tarsis' Javelin of Dawn, the Javelin on which the Colossus is based. It's described as being so powerful that not even its creator - the brilliant Arden Vassa - had any idea what it was capable of.
  • The Order: The Legion of Dawn, who the Freelancers split off from, are considered this.
  • The Stinger: A short scene plays out after the credits to drop a story hook for the game's future main storyline content.
  • The World Is Just Awesome: While it might be a total Death World, there's no denying that Mirrus is absolutely stunningly beautiful.
  • The Worm That Walks: According to the lore, the Scars are actually composed from thousands of small insects taking a human shape. Most Scars are barely more than feral scavengers, but some (called escari) are fully intelligent and capable of coherent communication.
  • Turns Red: The Ancient Titans, revealed in one of the first gameplay videos, start using more attacks and increase their intensity as their health depletes. Dropping their health low enough causes them to basically lose control of their own powers and ultimately explode after a short time.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Monitor may qualify, as he seeks to use the Anthem of Creation to help humanity reclaim the world.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Discussed by Yarrow as he recounts the fall of Freemark: nobody has seen Doctor Harken since the Cenotaph was activated.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: The game's Freeplay mode takes place within a sprawling frontier north of Fort Tarsis, a multi-tiered jungle full of ancient ruins both manmade and even older. Most missions take place within specific zones of the sandbox rather than in seperate premade areas, aside from a few special instances.
  • Wild Wilderness: Fort Tarsis is right on the frontier, and surrounded by uneven terrain and hostile wildlife.