UPDATE: Anthem 2.0 (or Anthem NEXT), has been cancelled.
Remember Anthem? Bioware's loot-shooter live-service title is still being worked on by a core team, but the company isn't ready to shout about it yet.
Still, considering the game remains somewhat of a low point for the famous developer, we know that big changes are coming – with Anthem 2.0 or Anthem Next as a sort of "working title".
Here's everything we know about the game's radical overhaul.
Read More: Anthem 2.0 Concept Art Shows Pirates and New Environments
Anthem 2.0 Cancelled - February 24
The dream is dead, folks.
The game's rework has been cancelled.
“In the spirit of transparency and closure we wanted to share that we’ve made the difficult decision to stop our new development work on Anthem (aka Anthem NEXT),” BioWare executive producer Christian Dailey said in a new blog post. “We will, however, continue to keep the Anthem live service running as it exists today.”
What is Anthem 2.0?
Anthem launched in 2019, and was intended to herald the arrival of Bioware and EA into the "games as a service" arena alongside the likes of Destiny, Warframe et al.
Unfortunately, Anthem crash-landed. Riddled with technical issues, lacking in content, and with a lack of interesting loot to chase, it crumbled and EA noted that it "performed below expectations".
Luckily, there's a small nugget of comfort. Anthem's combat was pretty fun, allowing players to jet around like Iron Man and rain down on monsters and troopers alike. A small team at Bioware has been working on fixes to Anthem for a while now, with the project allegedly titled Anthem 2.0 or Anthem Next.
Will it have the same effect as Destiny's critically-lauded Taken King expansion? Here's hoping. Maybe we'll hear something at EA's next earnings call.
Anthem 2.0 Release Date
We could be waiting a while for an official announcement of what Anthem 2.0 will entail, let alone when it's coming.
Will it be paid DLC? Will it be a free upgrade for all users? Will the entire game go free-to-play to get players "through the door"? Will it be next-gen focused? These are all decisions EA will need to make in anticipation of a relaunch date.
If you're curious, though, the base game is out now – and very cheap (or on EA Play).
Anthem 2.0 Roadmap
Considering Anthem launched almost two years ago and that its roadmap was thrown out soon after, we don't really have any idea as to how Bioware is going to build interest in the revamp.
Considering a summer event like E3 may or may not take place, that'd likely be the best chance to get all eyes on it – but it's no guarantee.
Anthem 2.0 Changes
Loot and UI
The new work-in-progress UI looks clearer (and sleeker) than what came before. Check out an in-progress screenshot below.
The new design of the loadout screen looks much more informative
A recent blog post acknowledges that the team has heard fan feedback regarding in-game builds, and has rearranged items to fit one of 11 equipment slots.
Weapons are either primary or secondary, and components have been replaced by Mods and Artifacts, the latter being a new addition that offers more customisation
"We’ve heard from you that Components feel like nothing more than stat modifiers. With that in mind, we’re also experimenting with a new Artifacts system to replace them," the blog post reads.
"Artifacts are pieces of super-powered tech that set your Javelin and Freelancer apart. Each Javelin type would have a distinct Artifact catering towards its class fantasy."
"For instance, your Ranger’s rocket pod would be upgraded into the Skyfell Launcher Artifact, a pair of back-mounted pods that transform into powerful rocket launchers."
"These Artifacts would change in appearance, depending on what parts you equip. There’s also an opportunity to allow for more interesting decision making. The parts you equip would contribute to a powerful passive ability generated by the Artifact."
Interestingly, players will be able to change their abilities on the fly in the loadout screen, with the screenshot above suggesting we'll be able to use a Heavy Axe, too.
Abilities won't be drops, but they can be bolstered with the use of Mods. Inscriptions remain, but only to "improve build synergies".
It looks as though each Javelin will be much more customisable.
Each of the game's four Javelin classes can level up, allowing players to earn Skill Points which can be spent on abilities, passives and stat boosts, while each class has an advanced skill tree.
Javelins also "have access to multiple specializations that cater to different styles of gameplay", with the Ranger offering "Captain", "Longbow" and "Soldier" variants.
"In this system, each Javelin would have a “basic” skill tree where all the baseline Abilities, Passives, Triggered Abilities, and Stat Boost for your Javelin can be unlocked," a blog post explains.
"We would like you to be able to focus on the specific style of gameplay you like best about your Javelin, so after the basic tree is completed, we’re also testing the concept of Specializations. Each Specialization would have an Advanced Skill Tree where you’ll unlock Specialization-specific Abilities, Upgrades, and more."
Could Anthem 2.0 introduce new enemies to battle? The fodder we thought during the game's campaign were forgettable at the best of times, but some concept art has revealed what appear to be a pirate faction.
Find out more here.