Just as EA wrapped up its E3-adjacent EA Play showcase with a lengthy segment focusing on Anthem, Game Informer published its own video revealing new details on the BioWare sci-fi shooter in advance of its upcoming cover story. While there are plenty of small details to pore over, two big details stood out: Anthem won’t have any PvP content, and you won’t be able to romance NPC characters over the course of the story.
The first omission is surprising because Anthem seemed like exactly the kind of game that would add competitive multiplayer as a way to extend the experience. After all, it’s not a stretch to say it looks quite a bit like EA’s answer to Destiny—what with its science fiction setting, special class-based abilities, and focus on cooperative play—and both Destiny games have placed a large emphasis on PvP. It’s definitely a curious decision.
Alas, in Game Informer‘s rapid-fire interview segment, BioWare’s Joe Juba just delivered a single “no” when asked whether the game would feature any PvP, so we’re not sure why exactly the team decided not to implement competitive modes, or if that may change in the future. Elsewhere in the interview, Juba did drive home the idea that Anthem is intended to live as an ongoing service, one that may never get a standalone sequel, so there may be hope.
The absence of romance options might be a little less surprising, given that what we’ve seen of Anthem‘s gameplay doesn’t appear to have a lot of downtime where love might blossom. But it’s still surprising, given that player-on-NPC seduction is such a staple of BioWare RPGs. Despite this shift, there will be some sort of branching conversation system, though Juba describes the choices as simpler than what we’ve seen in Mass Effect or Dragon Age.
A few other interesting details also emerged from Game Informer‘s interview with Juba. For one, players will be able to swap between Javelin exosuits—essentially the game’s version of classes—in between missions, meaning you can try out different builds with the same character. Hub areas won’t feature interactions with other players, since they only exist for progression of the story. Anthem also won’t allow for underwater combat, won’t feature snow- or desert-themed areas in its map, won’t allow for AI party members, and won’t offer unlimited inventory space or the ability to share or trade loot.
Anthem launches February 22nd, 2019 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. EA and Origin Access subscribers will be able to play a trial version a week earlier, on February 15th, while members of the new Origin Access Premier tier on PC will be able to play the entire game starting that same day.