What BioWare told us about Anthem’s world, lore, and characters

Prior to the reveal of the latest story trailer for Anthem last week, EA held an impromptu press briefing in Los Angeles to give select media members a deeper look into the lore and world of Anthem.

Anthem game director, Jon Warner and Anthem lead game producer, Mike Gamble were both on hand to share details of the new trailer, along with some of the game’s lore, and the backstory to some of the characters. Here’s what we learned:

What is the Anthem?

The Anthem is an unknowable force and it’s represented in the game by Shaper artifacts. In the game you’ll see these artifacts all over the horizon. The Anthem energy funnels through these artifacts and creates chaotic events. The events look like storms that are tearing the fabric of the world apart. As a hero, you travel to and through these events to complete your missions.

“ is an unfinished world,” said Warner. “This world was abandoned by its creators midway through its process. The gods have disappeared mysteriously but what they left behind were the tools they used to create this world. They were tapping into the Anthem of creation to power these massive devices, and when they left, they left their toolbox strewn about the world. This gives us an opportunity to present the players with some really different and interesting circumstances.”

The Order of Freelancers

In Anthem, there’s a deep mythos and lore of the world about where certain groups came from and how they came to be and the Anthem of creation is central to all of this.

“Freelancers come from a long-storied heritage,” said Gamble. “The conflict in Anthem has being going for as long as anyone can remember. At some point in the recent past, there was a major cataclysmic event that the freelancers had to stop. They weren’t freelancers at the time, they were just a ragtag group of people and out of that conflict, the Order of Freelancers was established.”

However, as you play the game you realize that the order is kind of falling on hard times and is not the most organized order or as viable and strong as it once was.

Fort Tarsis

Fort Tarsis is a safe space during the game. It’s a place where people live and survive. It’s like a frontier town that’s bustling with life. It’s the space where you can meet and interact with different characters and where stories are developed. And it’s only the heroes that go outside of the walls to engage in the dangers and mysteries of the world.

“Fort Tarsis is named after an ancient hero, General Tarsis,” Warner said. “The game touches on her and her role in creating a legendary group of fighters known as the Legion of Dawn.”

The name of the planet has yet to be announced, but it isn’t Earth and has no relation to Earth.

Characters

  • Haluk – A freelancer who doesn’t go out and adventure much anymore. He pilots the Strider, which your characters big walking base. Haluk is from a place called the Mirelands and the player’s character has a long history with him.
  • Faye – Faye is a cipher. A cipher is trained to use a piece of equipment that uses the Anthem of creation to broadcast over vast distances. In the game, she’s the voice inside your head. She can also point things out to you, be your guide, and keeps you safe while you’re exploring in your javelin. Every team of freelancers needs at least one cipher.
  • Owen – Owen is your current Cipher and the one you’ve worked with over the past few years. He’s an ambitious, happy go-lucky type of guy.
  • Tassyn – Tassyn is part of a very clandestine group called The Corbus. They are the MI6/CIA of this world. She has her own agenda and variety of missions for you to do. She’s also the character that gives you your first javelin.
  • Sentinel Brin – Sentinels are pretty much the police in Tarsis. They keep the peace in Tarsis and also have javelin exo suits, but they don’t go out and run missions. Brin, along with previously revealed character Matthias, sends you on side missions. The side missions allow you to explore the world a bit more.
  • The Monitor – The Monitor is the story’s antagonist, who is leader of The Dominion, a very militaristic and aggressive group from the north. They also have access to javelins.“And they’re not just mustache twirling villains, as much as we love mustache twirling villains,” Warner said. “They believe that the only way to keep people safe in this world. Is to keep everyone on a short leash. That’s their objective. They want to bring peace through force.”They’ve attacked other settlements and cities in the world in order to bring them under their control, and Fort Tarsis is next on the list.

In addition to the lore info, Gamble and Warner also said that along with being able to play the game solo or with friends, there will also be matchmaking for all activities that require more than one player. So players won’t need to use Looking For Group websites or apps to find people to play with.

There won’t be an open beta for Anthem, however, there will be a demo. For those who pre-order Anthem or subscribe to Origin Access or EA All Access, you can play the VIP demo on January 25. The following week, on February 1, everyone else will be able to try the demo.

Anthem launches on February 22.