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Anthem to debut alongside a Neill Blomkamp short film this week

Anthem launches next week, or this Friday for Origin Access subscribers. For those stuck waiting until the regular release next week, at least there’ll be Anthem: Conviction to watch on February 14th, a free live-action short produced by District 9 director Neill Blomkamp and Oats Studio. Set decades before Bioware’s power-armoured shoot n’ looter begins, it should be a great special effects showcase, at least. Whatever criticisms you can level at him, you can’t deny that Blomkamp knows how to make stompy mech suits look great on film. Below, a teaser trailer giving us a glimpse of metal pyjamas.

I’m curious to see just how much of Anthem: Conviction’s run-time will be dedicated to monologuing and proper nouns. From the few hours I’ve played of Anthem, it seems to have a setting comparable to Destiny – 80% sci-fi, 20% weird space magic. Everything in the game seems to revolve around the Anthem Of Creation, a cosmic force allowing for god-like alteration of reality. Clarke’s third law aside, the demo weekend explored the concept a little in a quest chain where one character was split into three with separate personalities after messing around with some ancient gadgets. This being Bioware, it was mostly played for laughs.

Blomkamp isn’t so well known for his love of Whedon-esque banter and sassy one-liners, Die Antwoord in Chappie aside. His thing has always been making fancy future machinery look plausible in film, so seems like an ideal pick to adapt Bioware’s flashy Javelin suit designs into something potentially real. Setting it a few decades earlier presents the opportunity of tweaking the designs, too. It’ll be interesting to see how this short stacks up against more recent films featuring robo-suits, including Edge Of Tomorrow and (of course) Marvel’s Iron Man series.

Anthem launches on February 22nd, while Origin Access subscribers get their hands on it on the 15th, the day after Conviction. Premier subs get the full game, while basic subscribers get a 10-hour trial. The short film will be available free on the Oats Studios YouTube channel.

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