In Anthem, you can approach the battlefield in 4 different ways. As a Freelancer your main weapon is your Javelin and choosing which one to use can be crucial to fit your playstyle and preference. In this guide we’ll be looking at the four Javelins, their strengths and drawbacks and a detailed look at their abilities. Essentially these are the classes of the game, each offering a distinctly different gameplay experience. Having played the demo extensively with access to all Javelins currently in the game, I feel confident that I can help you choose which Javelin you should pick for your adventure in Anthem.
JAVELINS – An introduction
Javelins are capable of flight using powerful afterburners. Ever seen Iron Man? You’re Iron Man. This also allows them to maneuver under water and in the air seamlessly. The afterburners also allow the javelins to move at high speed on ground due to their digitigrade leg design (chicken legs). There is the drawback of excess heat buildup though. While the afterburners cool off when hovering mid-air or on the ground, careful monitoring of their heat level is advised when using them. Techniques such as flying through waterfalls or near water level have been proven efficient to manage overheating. Flying down also helps keep your afterburner cool. In addition to flight, each Javelin has a form of double jump and sprint.
All Javelins have a unique melee attack and ultimate ability, which I will go into more detail about as we look at each Javelin. They also display damage visibly as their health drops. While all Javelins save for the Colossus posses regenerating shields, they do not regenerate health (armor) and have to rely on health pickups from enemies. To mitigate damage, all Javelins posses a dodge move, except the Colossus which comes with a personal shield to also make up for its lack of a regenerating shield.
You can customize the Javelins with different abilities and weapons by either finding it in the world or crafting it. Making your Javelin more visually distinct can also be accomplished by either getting armor packs or applying paint jobs. Armor packs can either be purchased or earned with coins. Paint jobs are free however and you have access to all colours and materials you could want to make your Javelin distinct.
New javelins unlock at Levels 2, 8, 16 and 26, though they can be unlocked in any order you choose. The Ranger is the default Javelin given to new Freelancers, so it feels like a good place to begin.
RANGER – Balance and Versatility
The Ranger Javelin is pretty much the jack-of-all-trades of the group. Being the first Javelin available to you, it functions mostly as an introductory one, and offers very little specialization. It still is a fairly valid choice even at higher levels though due to providing excellent marksmanship.
It is capable of wielding any weapon except Heavy Weapons which can only be wielded by the Colossus.
The Ranger uses an electric shock mace as its melee weapon of choice. The shock mace sends a pretty hefty amount of voltage through your enemies, useful for stunning enemies before shooting them.
- Frag Grenade: Has a large AoE and deals pretty good damage. Good for blowing shit up.
- Inferno Grenade: You like setting your enemies and their nearby surroundings on fire and watching them run for the nearest pond? Use this.
- Frost Grenade: What killed the dinosaurs? THE ICE AGE! This is a good choice if you want to give your enemies a cold shoulder. Okay I’ll stop with the ice puns. These are pretty good for freezing enemies in place.
- Seeker Grenades: You know what’s better than normal grenades? Grenades that follow your enemies around. Kinda like that annoying guy following you everywhere and stalking you until he explodes in your face.
- Sticky Bomb: What is worse than a grenade that follows you around? Try one that sticks to you until you blow up. WHY IS IT STICKY?
ASSAULT LAUNCHER GEAR
- Homing Missile: Does what it says on the tin. This missile homes in on whatever you aim at and gives a nice big boom when it hits the target.
- Energy Pulse: If you wanna hit someone with great force, this is an excellent choice.
- Spark Beam: When you just wanna go “IMMA FIRIN MAH LAZOOOOOR”
- Venom Darts: You know, sometimes you just wanna splash someone with a nice dose of acid. These do exactly that.
- Blast Missile: Frag grenades in missile form. Mostly deals AoE damage.
- Bulwark Point: A spherical shield that deflects incoming enemy projectiles.
- Muster Point: A field which increases weapon damage for all team mates who enter it.
ULTIMATE ABILITY: Multi-Target Missile Battery
Allows you to fire off several targeted missiles at moving targets that deal really high damage. May take some getting used to since you need to allow it to target stuff before firing it.
INTERCEPTOR – Speed and Agility
The Interceptor Javelin is unparalleled in speed and agility, which makes up for its somewhat lackluster armor. It also has a unique passive ability in that the faster you move, the faster its shield recharges.
The Interceptor can wield any weapon save for the Heavy Weapons which are exclusive to the Colossus.
As the Interceptor you’re armed with double bladed daggers to slice and dice your enemies. The cool thing about these is that they have no cooldown and their attacks can be chained for powerful damage.
- Seeker Glaive: This attack throws out a razor sharp projectile that seeks out the nearest target. Also pretty useful for a quick shave.
- Acid Bomb: A grenade that splashes your enemies with a nice load of acid. Equivalent of getting puked on at a party.
- Cryo Glaive: You know the word glaive really doesn’t get used enough… Anyway, this projectile seeks out the nearest target and freezes it on impact. Bet you were expecting more ice puns, weren’t you?
- Cluster Mine: You know what a clusterfuck is? That’s what you’re in when this gets tossed at you. Throws out a bunch of smaller mines that explode on impact.
- Spark Dash: You know that scene in Back To The Future where the DeLorean leaves a trail of fire? Yeah this basically does that, except you leave electricity. And you don’t go back in time. I think you do go to the future though. Like half a second. Wait am I going into the future right now? #mindblown
- Star Strike: Makes your enemies explode after a delay. The explosion deals extra damage if they die before it occurs. EXPLOSIONS!
- Plasma Star: Shurikens. Except plasma. Kinda badass. At least if you wanna go all shadow warrior on your enemies.
- Nova Strike: Ever wanted to replicate yourself and hurl copies of yourself at the enemies? This is great for that purpose.
- Tempest Strike: A devastating stun attack. Useful for incapacitating smaller enemies.
- Corrosive Spray: Well you know how I talked about getting puked on at a party? Yeah this is literally that.
- Target Beacon: If you read it wrong it says target bacon, which I guess kinda works. You use this to mark enemies. Marked enemies take increased damage. If they die, the target will move to the next enemy until it runs out.
- Rally Cry: If you wanna be popular, this is a good way. Removes all status ailments from all nearby allies.
ULTIMATE ABILITY: Assassin’s Blades
Basically turning into Crash Bandicoot on crack, this ability allows you to use your dual blades to deadly effect. It also has the effect of making you invincible while it lasts. Pro tip: Make the Tazmanian Devil sounds while using this attack if you’re on voice chat with some friends.
STORM – Elemental Mastery
The Storm Javelin is pretty much the sorcerer of the group, capable of delivering highly devastating elemental attacks. It’s also capable of remaining in flight for much longer than the other Javelins, making it more suitable for ranged attacks. It comes with a great caveat though as it has very minimal armor, making it a challenging choice for even experienced Lancers. Still, it is unparalleled in its damage potential and crowd control, and a Storm is a welcome addition to any Lancer team. It uses seals on its body that stores kinetic energy to not only move in an exceptionally cool way, but also deliver attacks.
The Storm can wield any weapon save for Heavy Weapons which are exclusive to the Colossus though due to its weak armor, it’s highly advisable to equip it with sniper rifles for the added range advantage.
The Storm Javelin comes equipped with a powerful explosive blast that knocks enemies back, giving you time to reposition yourself.
- Lightning Strike: A little bit of thunder, a little bit of lightning! This strike deals lightning damage in your target area. Great if you wanna do a raiden impression.
- Ice Storm: An icy field of pure cold that eventually creates an explosion of frost. If anyone survives, they’ll have a hell of a cold.
- Flame Burst: A quick explosion dealing fire damage at a target location. If anyone’s been hit by an ice storm, might as well warm them up with this.
- Rime Blast: You want more ice? How about firing several ice projectiles at your enemies? You want more ice puns? No? Okay.
- Living Flame: Now this is cool. Or hot, depending on your perspective. This basically creates a sentient flame energy that seeks out targets, even through walls, and sets them on fire. Ever wanted to be a true pyromancer? Now’s your chance.
- Hoarfrost Shards: Starting to run out of ice puns so I’m gonna cut to the point. With this you can hurl shards of ice at your enemies, slowly freezing them in place. Just in case you need more ice attacks.
- Fireball: Does what it says on the tin. You can either rapid fire them or charge them up for a bigger exploding projectile. Classic party trick, and very useful for setting enemies on fire.
- Ball Lightning: See that guy hiding behind cover? He thinks he’s safe doesn’t he. Not with this attack, which sends out an electric discharge that can bounce off walls and hit him.
- Glacial Beam: If you wanna go IMMA FIRIN MAH LAZOOOOR but also wanna freeze stuff. Don’t forget to spew some ice puns while you’re at it.
- Arc Burst: What’s better than electrocuting someone to death? Electrocuting someone to death and then their friends.
- Wind Wall: A ginormous wall of wind that deflects enemy projectiles. Okay, who farted!?
- Nexus: Aside from sounding like a great place to grab some Fallout mods, it’s also a field that provides gear cooldown reduction to anyone inside it.
ULTIMATE ABILITY: Elemental Storm
A true spectacle, the ultimate ability of the Storm is its Elemental Storm attack, which launches 3 consecutive massive barrages of Frost, Electricity and Fire respectively.
COLOSSUS – Defense and Power
Every group needs a tank. Someone who can take a lot of damage and also deal a lot of damage in return. The Colossus Javelin is exactly that. With its bulky design and deployable shield, it’s a perfect choice for those who enjoy being on the front line, tanking damage, blowing shit up and drawing enemy attention while your friends provide backup. While the Colossus does not have regenerating shields like its siblings, it does make up for this in the amount of armor it provides and the firepower it wields.
While the Colossus is unable to wield Pistols and SMG’s, it is the only Javelin capable of wielding Heavy Weapons.
With its bulky size, the Colossus can perform a diving smash attack from above or a hammering melee attack. Has a chance to knock down enemies and leaving them open to attack. Also great for clearing out enemy groups.
- High Explosive Mortar: Pretty good for AoE damage. SPLASH!
- Burst Mortar: Like the above attack except with several smaller mortars and more spread.
- Firewall Mortar: A mortar that creates a wall of fire. I bet you can imagine what that does to your enemies. Time to bring on the BBQ sauce.
- Lightning Coil: Zaps a single random target in front of you, with a priority on targets with status ailments.
- Shock Coil: When you wanna zap multiple enemies. Sends out waves of electricity, damaging nearby enemies.
HEAVY ASSAULT LAUNCHER
- Heavy Cannon: Fires a big-ass rocket in any targeted location.
- Flame Thrower: The kids love this one. Needs no explanation. Point at what you want to burn.
- Flak Cannon: Bring back the glory days of Unreal Tournament with this beauty. Short range weapon that showers your enemies in projectiles.
- Railgun: No sci-fi shooter is quite complete without a railgun in my opinion. This gun fires a devastating and precise kinetic round at your enemy.
- Acid Spitter: Fires an acid projectile at your enemy. Hey now, hey now now! Sing This Corrosion to me!
- Battle Cry: Basically it should be called giving the finger cause it forces all enemies in a radius to focus on you and lowers their elemental and physical resistance. I can imagine it would if someone insulted your mother.
- Shield Pulse: Gives all your nearby allies a damage resistance buff. Go on, compliment your friends!
ULTIMATE ABILITY: Siege Cannon
Assault cannon that fires up to 3 missiles that all deal immense damage to not only their target but anyone caught in their blast radius. In other words, a nice big bang!
And that sums up the Javelins and their abilities. It’s obvious that they all feature distinctly different playstyles. It is important to also remember that their attacks can create very nice combos so having a balanced team of different Javelins can be more rewarding than having an entire team of Interceptors, as fun as that may be. If you want to check out some more info on Anthem make sure to check out my impressions of the VIP demo. In the meantime you can preorder Anthem on Origin.