So before we get into the bulk of this particular article, it must be said that I was a devout lover of Storm and while my hovering elemental is still up there as a favourite, seeing the Interceptor Ultimate has re-ordered the list a little bit. With that out of the way, let’s get into it!
Anthem plays host to powerful Javelins, a pseudo-robotic selection of classes that players can embody. Each of the four Javelins: Ranger, Colossus, Interceptor and Storm have their own strengths, weaknesses and badass points. The recent unveiling of their Ultimate abilities has only enforced the badassery.
Each Javelin is able to utilise a specific melee ability and equip a variety of combat gear depending on what the situation calls for. This, in turn, opens up quite the plethora of interesting playstyles.
The Ranger is the starting Javelin that players will get their hands on, a kind of versatile jack-of-all-trades that packs a patch regardless of whether you are up close, or at range showering your foes in mortar blasts.
Melee: Shock Mace
Going medieval with just a touch of the future, the Shock Mace is an electrified ground slam, delivering a hefty dose of voltage to the poor souls in its path.
Ranger Gear: Grenades
Grenades are a staple of almost every game with guns, and while it would be nice to get some truly ridiculous combinations of grenades (I’m talking explosions of confetti and entangling grassroots) Anthem has quite the deadly arsenal.
- Frag Grenades: The standard type of explosive that deals damage in a large radius.
- Seeker Grenades: split into smaller homing projectiles that track down the nearest enemies.
- Inferno Grenade: Ignites an area, dealing damage and conveniently lighting your opponents on fire.
- Frost Grenade: Damages and freezes enemies in place after which you can shatter them.
- Sticky Bomb: A contained, highly-explosive munition that sticks to a single foe and exploding for massive damage.
Ranger Gear: Assault Launcher
Conveniently operated from a wrist-mounted launcher, the Ranger’s assault gear is impressively varied and devastating. Assault gear is designed for that additional burst of damage to help take out those tougher foes, or even the weaker foes for that touch of over-the-top.
- Homing Missile: Fires a projectile that seeks out a target for a small AOE explosion.
- Blast Missile: Fires a projectile that explodes for AOE damage.
- Energy Blast: Unleashes a blast of pure energy, hitting a single target with incredible force.
- Venom Darts: Launches a volley of darts that seek out a target for acid damage.
- Spark Beam: Fires a sustained beam of energy for continuous damage.
Ranger Gear: Support
Capable of generating special fields for that decisive tactical field advantage, the Ranger is a true master of the battlefield.
- Bulwark Point: Deploys a spherical field, deflecting incoming enemy projectiles.
- Muster Point: Creates a field that increases weapon damage for teammates who enter its radius.
Ultimate: Multi-Target Missile Battery
An overly complicated name for what is basically a rain of death, the Multi-Target Missile Battery allows the Ranger to cover the battlefield with a hail of explosive missiles. With this, the Ranger can cover large swaths of territory and eliminate multiple hostiles.
With a focus on smashing down everything in its path with incredible brute force and heavy artillery, the Colossus is the tank of the Javelin squad. Slower than the others, it more than makes up for it with defensive prowess.
Melee: Heavy Smash
Sometimes there is no better way to pulverise your opponents than with your oversized metal fist. With an intense ground pound and subsequent shockwave takes out weaker enemies in a flash as well as knocking those larger ones, leaving them vulnerable.
Colossus Gear: Ordnance
The Colossus is all about raining destruction down on the heads of the unfortunate souls who get in its way. In that regard, it is a godsend of covering fire.
- High Explosive Mortar: Launches an explosive projectile that deals heavy AOE damage.
- Shock Coil: Emits waves of electricity out from the Colossus damaging all nearby enemies.
- Burst Mortar: Fires a volley of smaller mortars that spread out to pummel a wider area of effect.
- Lightning Coil: Strikes a single random target with an arc of electricity in front of Colossus, prioritising hostiles with status effects.
- Firewall Mortar: Fires a specialised mortar round that ignites a wall of flame, heavily damaging enemies that try to move through it. Crowd control anyone?
Colossus Gear: Heavy Assault Launcher
As you may have already guessed, the Heavy Assault Launcher series of selectable gear are designed for devastation on the highest scale. Similar to what an airstrike does, the Colossus achieves all on its own.
- Acid Spitter: Expels an acid projectile to damage enemies.
- Railgun: Devastates a single target with a forceful and precise kinetic round.
- Heavy Cannon: Fires a large rocket in a targeted direction.
- Flame Thrower: Unleashes a continuous stream of fire to ignite enemies.
- Flak Cannon: Barrages enemies with a short-range arc of projectiles.
Colossus Gear: Support
Revolving around defence to mitigate how much damage your allies take, the Colossus puts a very literal spin on tanking damage.
- Taunt: Forces all enemies within a certain radius to divert their attacks to the Colossus.
- Deflector Pulse: Gives all nearby allies a damage-resistance buff.
Ultimate: Siege Cannon
With a heroic hefting of his mighty cannon and a short load time, the Siege Cannon is fired. Pumping out a devastatingly lethal round, followed by a massive explosion, the Siege Cannon can control chokepoints or add a little (or a lot) extra damage onto a boss.
An added bonus of the Colossus is that it is able to heft a steel shield in front of its body, protecting it from bullets and explosives, as well as providing limited cover for allies.
With a lithe frame and an agile demeanour, the Interceptor excels at using its raw speed to get close to enemies, deal heavy damage up close then dashing away. The Interceptor boasts sharp blades that can slice with just a glance, and a plethora of ranged options, many containing some form of close combat.
Melee: Double-Bladed Daggers
With an agile and picturesque leap into the air, the Interceptor utilises a pair of double-edged daggers to rain a series of slashes on hostiles, that can be continued indefinitely in a deadly chain.
Interceptor Gear: Assault Systems
With a focus on highly-damaging abilities that prioritise individual or small groups of enemies, the Interceptor is not one to be trifled with.
- Seeker Glaive: Throws out a razor-sharp projectile that seeks out the nearest target.
- Spark Dash: Dashes forward, leaving behind a trail of electricity that damages enemies.
- Acid Bomb: Tosses a grenade which explodes, drenching all nearby enemies in acid.
- Cluster Mine: Throws a group of mines onto a targeted area which explodes upon contact with an enemy.
- Cryo Glaive: Launches a projectile that seeks out the nearest target and freezes them upon impact.
Interceptor Gear: Strike Systems
Now we are getting somewhere, the Interceptor’s Strike Systems gear set is a glorious menagerie of pure awesomeness.
- Tempest Strike: A devastating single-target attack that can stun smaller enemies.
- Star Strike: Charges an enemy with energy with explodes after a delay. The explosion deals increased damage if the target is destroyed before the full delay. Splash damage anyone?
- Corrosive Spray: Sprays out a jet of corrosive acid that damages all enemies hit.
- Plasma Star: Tosses a plasma-infused shuriken at a single target, effective at long range.
- Nova Strike: Sends out a projection of the Interceptor which will attack enemies it comes into contact with.
Interceptor Gear: Support Systems
Buffing and debuffing is the Interceptors deal, with a chosen ability for allies and one for enemies. The choice is yours.
- Rally Cry: Removes status effects from all nearby allies.
- Target Beacon: Marks a target for increased damage which will switch to another enemy if the marked target is destroyed.
Ultimate: Assassin’s Blades
A true master of speed and close combat in the world of Anthem the Interceptor arms its Assassin’s Blades and charges into the fray at high speed, dashing and slashing its way through your opponents, dealing heavy damage. As an added bonus every enemy hit by this attack will
Embrace the Storm, or if you are part of the Dominion, you should probably try and avoid the Storm. With possibly the best movement system of the four (a short-range teleport) the Storm utilises barrages of mystical elemental attacks to decimate foes. However, despite its raw power, it has very little defensive capabilities so can be grounded quite quickly in the hands of an inexperienced pilot.
Melee: Fiery Strike
Storm utilises the seals on its arm to deliver a short-ranged explosive blast, subsequently dealing damage and knocking back foes who have gotten way too close.
Storm Gear: Kinesis Abilities
- Lightning Strike: A targeted strike that deals lightning damage in an area.
- Living Flame: A burst of flame energy that seeks out and ignites targets.
- Ice Storm: Creates a field of ice that deals damage, rapidly building to a final explosion of frost.
- Rime Blast: Fires out a flurry of ice projectiles that deal damage and freeze close-range targets.
- Flame Burst: A quick explosion that deals fire damage at a chosen location.
Storm Gear: Focus Seals
The Storm functions through the use of mystical seals that tap into the latest kinesis abilities of the lancer. And of course, these seals revolve around the pure force of the elements.
- Hoarfrost Shards: Rapid-fire shards of ice that slowly freeze a target in place.
- Arc Burst: Unleashes a blast of lightning that will leap to nearby targets for heavy damage.
- Glacial Beam: Fires a beam of powerful ice energy in a targeted direction.
- Fireball: A versatile fire ability that can be fired quickly in small shots or charged for a larger projectile that explodes.
- Ball Lightning: A discharge of electric energy that can be bounced off walls to reach targets behind cover.
Storm Gear: Support Seals
You can’t die if you can’t be hit and the Storm does its best to live by that philosophy.
- Wind Wall: Generates a defensive wall of wind that deflects incoming enemy projectiles.
- Nexus: Creates a field which provides gear cooldown reduction to teammates who enter its radius.
Ultimate: Elemental Storm
Embodying and manipulating the raw force of the Anthem, Storm calls down successive blasts of elemental energy – frost, electricity and fire all followed by a spectacular explosion of the meteoroic variety.
So there we have it, four Javelins, each with their own dynamicly powerful playstyles. You are never locked into playing just one and can switch at will between missions.
But we all have our favourites. Despite what I said at the start, Storm will always be my hovering homeboy.
Anthem will be released for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on February 22nd 2019.