When players weren’t being hung up by the infinite load screen issue during Anthem‘s VIP and open demo periods, BioWare supplied gamers with a decent amount of time to become somewhat familiar with the action-RPG’s separate Javelin suits. Of course, with the game’s official launch set to occur soon, those who may have missed out on playing the title during its demos may want to get a better idea of what they can expect from each class at launch, and which one would be right for their play style.
There will be four Javelin exosuits that can be worn in the launch version of Anthem, and players will don them whenever they take on any kind of mission beyond the wall of the game’s hub world of Fort Tarsis. Whether it be the Ranger, Interceptor, Storm, or Colossus, each Javelin has unique properties such as melee attacks and Ultimate Abilities, and has the capacity of equipping up to two pieces of gear, and two weapons after hitting level two. What’s more is that each of the suits can be customized to a certain degree, with their effectiveness depending on a player’s level instead of the Javelin itself possessing its own individual level.
The Ranger Javelin can be considered Anthem‘s all-purpose “soldier” class. It provides the most rounded and versatile experience for players due to its access to every weapon type, and thanks to its equipment being a swathe of grenades including the frag, flame, and frost varieties, and Assault Launchers like the Pulse Beam, Spark Beam, and Venom Darts. What’s more is that the Ranger has support gear such as Bulwark Point, which is a spherical shield protecting it and one’s squad from incoming damage, and Muster Point, which is another spherical shield that increases weapon damage.
When it comes to the Ranger’s melee abilities, it wields a Shock Mace, which is hand-held lightning stick that deals out electricity-based blows to any enemy who happens to be close enough to get smacked. What’s more is that the exosuit’s Ultimate Ability is the Multi-Target Missile Battery, and it allows the Ranger to take aim at dozens of different enemies at once with guided missiles. This involves locking onto a given target first and then firing at will.
By and large, the Ranger Javelin should give first-time Anthem players the chance to get a good feel for the overall controls, while also providing an access point to help one begin to master the game’s flight mechanics. Those who stick with the exosuit for the long term will likely feel rewarded by its ability to adapt well to most situations, be they related to traversal or combat, for it acts as a way for players to truly grasp the game’s foundational elements.
Those who are looking for a bit more speed to both traversal and combat would do well to choose the Interceptor as their main Javelin in Anthem, as it’s one of the game’s lighter suits, giving it a much better edge over the others in terms of agility. One could call it a representation of the “rogue” class, as it has the capacity for incredibly quick, close-range attacks, and contains a bevy of different specialized weaponry.
As far as the Interceptor’s Assault Systems are concerned, it has the Venom Bomb that dishes out acid on enemies, the Cryo Glaive that acts as a freeze bomb, the Spark Dash that sees it sprint forward and leave behind a damaging trail of electricity, and more. Additionally, this Javelin type has the capacity for Support Systems like the Wraith Strike that sends out a projection of the Interceptor to attack enemies, the Plasma Star shuriken, the Rally Cry that clears harmful status effects for it and the squad, and the Detonating Strike, which charges an enemy with electric energy and explodes to deal damage around it if the enemy’s killed.
The Interceptor also boasts an Ultimate Ability called Assassin’s Blades that speaks to its melee-driven hit-and-run design, which supercharges the Javelin to have it tear through enemies at breakneck speeds. Each target that gets hit by a melee attack during the Ultimate will be hit continuously by echoes of the original attack over the course of a 10-second duration. It’s important for the Interceptor to choose its targets wisely, though, as this is a highly precise attack. Bearing all of this in mind, the Interceptor would be a prime candidate for swords if they get added.
For the most part, the Storm Javelin can be viewed as Anthem‘s “mage” class, as it has the capacity to teleport and utilize various elemental abilities that take on Cryokinetic, Electrokinetic and Pyrokinetic forms. The Storm also sets itself apart from the game’s other suits with its ability to hover and float with little to no trouble during traversal and combat, making it a solid choice for long-range encounters. While this is a great feature of the suit, the Storm also has the drawback of being highly vulnerable to melee damage.
The Storm also wields what are called Blast Seals, Focus Seals, and Support Seals–all of which are pretty much analogous to the concept of “spells”. Blast Seals dish out ice, electrical, or fire elements for damage, Focus Seals operate in the same way except for being a more targeted version of the former, and Support Seals are basically used as a way for players to either block enemy projectiles (Wind Wall) or create a field that reduces cooldowns on abilities for allies (Quickening Field).
Many Anthem players may see the Storm Javelin’s Ultimate Ability known as Elemental Storm as one of its most alluring features, as the attack calls down a torrent of frost, electricity, and fire, that leads to an explosive finale to deal loads of damage upon a targeted area. This Ultimate Ability is a great asset that can be used to take out a swarm of enemies centralized in one location, or to deliver a devastating blow against a bigger boss like the Ash Titan enemies.
As indicated by its name, the Colossus is easily Anthem‘s largest Javelin, and it can be defined as the “tank” class in the game due to its hulking stature and resilience to heavy bouts of damage dished out by enemies. With this being the case, the Colossus’ primary advantage is drawing bad guys’ attention its way in order to waylay them with strong doses of firepower and close-quarters melee hits that create a sweeping damage area-of-effect. It must be noted, though, that the Colossus is the slowest of all the four Javelin suits, as it trades mobility for raw force.
Instead of coming equipped with a built-in defensive barrier like the other Javelins, the Colossus’ health is upped and it carries a shield that can be deployed at will. Also, it is the only suit that can be equipped with any of the heavy weapons such as a grenade launcher or autocannon. Furthermore, it has an Ordinance Launcher that can deploy bombs, mortars, shock ammo, and walls of flame, as well as an Assault Launcher that can mount a rocket launcher, a flamethrower, a flak cannon, a rail-gun, or an acid blaster.
The Colossus also has pieces of Support Gear, with one being dubbed Battle Cry that incites enemies to attack it while lowering their physical and elemental resistance, and another being called Shield Pulse, which gives allies a damage resistance buff. In regards to its Ultimate Ability named Siege Cannon, players can fire three giant missiles–basically mini-nukes–that explode in flames and cover a massive area to deal high volumes of damage to a single target or large groups of enemies.
While each Javelin comes equipped with a specific set of skills and abilities to set itself apart from the other suits in the game, we recommend giving them all a fair shake in order for one to determine just how effective they can be in combat. The choice is always up to the user, but we hope that the breakdown of the Ranger, Interceptor, Storm, and Colossus will help to give players better knowledge of where to begin and how to maximize their efficiency while taking on the base content and experiencing the post-launch roadmap beyond.
Anthem is scheduled to release on February 22, 2019 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.