BioWare's Anthem is now in alpha testing

Anthem, BioWare's game about an enclave of power-armored humans using mysterious alien technology to survive against massive numbers of hostile aliens that is definitely not Destiny, is now in alpha testing. General manager Casey Hudson revealed the state of the game in a new blog post, saying that "every part of the game is in, and functioning." 

"Now that all the important pieces are in the game, we can move almost entirely to bug-fixing, testing, and tuning—which will be an incredible amount of work on a game this big," he wrote. "We have some really ambitious plans for launch and beyond, and we really want to get it right. We will have news soon about when you can learn more about Anthem and try it out yourself." 

Hudson began the update with some reminiscences about his early days at BioWare, which he joined in 1998, and his time testing Baldur's Gate multiplayer. He said that "the energy around the office" now is much like it was back then.   

"The team is starting to get a sense of the magic they’ve created together and there’s a growing excitement about finally releasing it into the world," he said. "There’s a ton of work ahead, but everyone knows what they need to do and is working with a level of passion and effort that’s truly inspiring." 

Gentle zing about the similarities with Destiny notwithstanding, I really hope that Anthem can live up to its billing. Destiny is a lot of fun if you're an aficionado of the shoot-and-loot mechanic and Tim enjoys yelling at me about "the lore," but as a game world that I'm supposed to care about, it really leaves me flat. But if BioWare can marry that kind of gameplay to the Baldur's Gate (or even Mass Effect) party-based RPG magic?  Now you have my attention. 

BioWare said earlier this month that it expects to release a demo for Anthem on February 1.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.