Hands-on with Bioware’s ambitious shared world shooter

Hands-on with Bioware's ambitious shared world shooter

To combat the fallout from cataclysms and keep order as much as they can on an unpredictable and hostile planet, its denizens created the Javelins, powerful mech suits tailored for different tasks and militaristic options. The Javelins are piloted by Freelancers, a once heralded band of heroes whose reputation has been soured by the events of the Heart of Rage, a particularly nasty, planet-rocking cataclysm that the Lancers could not combat

It is in these lean times that you come in, as a Freelancer with a few years on the job. You pick up contracts in the city of Fort Tarsis, a grand old place built with a flourish of classical Greek and Roman architecture, before venturing into the field, zapping monsters and uncovering sources of Anthem unrest.

And make no mistake, climbing into a Javelin for the first time is a genuine treat. The mech suits feel both delightfully weighty and notably nimble. There are four ‘classes’ of Javelin, Ranger, Colossus, Interceptor and Storm, each complementary to each other with their own skills and specialist equipment.

Before you even pull the trigger there is a sense of something special, with you able to hurtle skywards with a double jump, before clicking the analogue stick in to take flight. You roar into the sky, jetpack flaring into the screen. To keep yourself from overheating, you can dip yourself into a hard nosedive, cooling off as you go or crashing through waterfalls in a notably vertiginous world.

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