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Gaming: Anthem launch trailer slings javelins; Apex Legends here to stay; Geralt visits Monster Hunter: World; More
After a long, long wait for what may be BioWare’s biggest franchise debut since Mass Effect, Anthem finally arrives later this month to immerse players — likely for years — in an open-ended action RPG with a longevity plan that's been built in from the start.
Set to an orchestral version of "Crazy Train," Anthem’s off-the-rails launch trailer gets up close and personal with javelins, the Tony Stark-worthy powered exosuits that define your character’s abilities and, coming in four varieties, essentially serve as class types.
Primarily centered around co-op play, Anthem allows teams of up to four members to suit up and load out as Freelancers, the good guys tasked with stopping a “shadowy faction [that] threatens all of humankind” in an ever-evolving open world “left unfinished by the gods,” according to EA Games’ Origin page.
The four javelin classes, which get plenty of screen time in the trailer, stack up along conventional lines. There’s the all-purpose Ranger, which functions equally well at melee distance and from afar; the Colossus, an “all-out war machine” designed to take tons of damage and prevail through brute force; the Interceptor, a light-armored scout class best suited for stealth and recon; and the Storm, which comes across as a sort of sci-fi-stylized magic class that taps into elemental powers.
“As a live service experience, Anthem will change and grow over time – introducing new stories, challenges, and events,” promise EA and Bioware, and with the recent revelation that Anthem will preserve all your RPG progress for transfer once the next generation of consoles arrives, it definitely sounds like they’re in it for the long haul.
Anthem powers onto PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on Feb. 21, with EA Origin Access Premier members getting in early on the action starting Feb. 15.
Maybe there’s something to this whole “releasing a game by surprise” thing. EA Games and developer Respawn are tallying up the millions of unique players who’ve already logged on to play Apex Legends, and the newest entry in the wider battle royale genre already has done something that not even Fortnite could manage: rack up 10 million new players in its first three days.
Respawn revealed the huge response in a blog post this week, adding that the game, which released on Feb. 4 with almost no marketing buildup or advance notice of any kind, had already seen more than 1 million players logged on at the same time.
Gamesradar+ reports that Fortnite, today’s undisputed king of battle royale games, didn’t hit the 10 million mark until it had been in the wild for two weeks — though Apex Legends no doubt has Fortnite and PUBG to thank for making battle royale games so popular in the first place.
Like Fortnite, Apex Legends is free to play and makes its money through in-game microtransactions. Nominally set in the Titanfall universe, the game takes place 30 years after the events of Titanfall 2 (but don’t expect to see any Titans). If you haven’t checked it out, you can pick your version — PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or PC — over at the game’s download page.
Geralt of Rivia may be gaming’s quintessential monster hunter, so it only makes sense that he’d eventually travel beyond the Witcher universe to show up in a proper Monster Hunter game. And thanks to a collaboration between CD Projekt RED and Capcom, that’s exactly what he’s doing in a timed crossover event that’s underway now for Capcom’s Monster Hunter: World.
Part one of the two-part crossover finds Geralt pursuing the Trouble in the Ancient Forest quest, where Leshen (the Monster Hunter version, we assume) awaits. Defeating Leshen brings a handful of rewards and sets up part two — the Woodland Spirit event — which powers the monster into the Ancient Leshen form and raises the difficulty even further. Woodland Spirit is slated to arrive on Feb. 15.
Check out the trailer, and then get out there and put Geralt through his paces on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One (a PC version’s coming, but Capcom hasn’t yet said when).
Finally, a pair of Assassin's Creed quick strikes: We already knew that a full Assassin's Creed 3 remaster was coming — and now we finally know when. Ubisoft revealed this week that AC3 will come ashore on March 29, and it'll arrive with a new graphics engine, "enhancements that include higher-resolution textures and support for 4K and HDR," and a slew of tweaks to the controls and gameplay mechanics of the 2012 original.
And if you need even more incentive than the ongoing DLC rollout to replay Assassin's Creed Odyssey, here's one: Ubisoft announced in a Twitter post that Odyssey will finally be getting a New Game Plus mode this month — though it didn't reveal the exact date, so stay tuned.
The remastered Assassins Creed 3 will be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC; Odyssey remains available for the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.