Neill Blomkamp’s live-action trailer for Anthem

I’m a little bit late to this party, full day workshop has at least kept me away from looking at other posts and spoilers before I could see it for myself. But I’m home now. I’ve seen it a few times (OK, maybe more than a few). I have thoughts… And also questions.

Also of note, Isey has posted an interesting take over on ‘I HAS PC’.

To my knowledge, this is the first time we’ve had the ancient enslaver race named — The Urgoth. The once masters of the humans before there even was a Dominion faction to worry about, as it was after gaining their freedom that this split occurred.

The video is set ~50 years prior to the game events. There was a tweet from @AnthemGame stating this, which has now been deleted. Now the only official timeline given is ‘Decades before’. Hmm.

It shows a Storm in the video, which suggests to me the Dominion is already formed or is just about to be at the time this short is set. We certainly have a Monitor in the mix to further that view. I say ‘a’ Monitor because it was earlier confirmed that this is a title rather than a specific individual.

The Monitor at the time of the game though is… really something. So it’s entirely possible if not likely that The Monitor of this short is NOT the same one we’ll experience in-game.

Otherwise though… So. Many. Questions!

Who is in the Storm? Is that the same person who becomes The Monitor in this timeline? What Betrayal is he accused of? His reaction at the accusation was one of negation, and it seems sincere. Either there is more to the story the accuser doesn’t understand or he didn’t in fact do it.

I suspect it is to do with the woman (Kali? An interesting name choice, which I don’t believe for a second to be an accident.1)

One part I’m not positive about is whether Kali is also the Cypher shown through-out, and the one narrating, or whether the Cypher is someone entirely different. The appearance is very similar, but possibly a bit older looking.

Either way, Kali is very closely connected to the Anthem and is even seen being permitted into a swirling collection of it near the end. I suspect The Monitor of this time is after her for this power in particular.

Also… You might be keen to know that there could be an extended version of this trailer coming. It’s certainly not promised, but in an interview with EW, it was said that Neill’s studio could “probably cut an extended trailer,” if the demand was present for it.

As a precursor story to the Game’s story I think the trailer does its job in whetting the appetite for more. But I think for the casual viewer or someone sitting on the fence when they see this, it just doesn’t answer… Well, anything. Very little in the way of context is provided in the short itself and I can absolutely see that turning some people off.

I’d be very keen to take a rewatch of this after experiencing the game’s story — and seeing if the prequel effect is a little stronger then. :)


  1. Kālī is the feminine form of “time” or “the fullness of time” with the masculine noun “kāla”—and by extension, time as “changing aspect of nature that bring things to life or death.” Other names include Kālarātri (“the deep blue night”), and Kālikā (“the deep blue one”) –Wikipedia


Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.


Isey · February 16, 2019 at 12:46 am

The time reference in the name is notable, since a lot of what I am digging through infers the timeline of the short isn’t linear.

The “they said she was out there for years” and “that’s impossible” part is true from what we know (the dangers beyond the walls) which indicates she either came through a shaper storm (dimension travel) or was somewhere anthem based that was “safe” – it came through time. The prodding of the Cypher to explore a non linear timeline was also interesting.

So many more questions than answers and I’m hopeful it ties in the lore in game (at minimum)

Will you be in game today? If on PC, my Original handle is FLOT-Poivre :)

    Naithin · February 16, 2019 at 12:57 am

    I will be on today! Intent was to get up at 4am my time for it, but the secondary intent around that was to go to sleep much earlier. Hai2u almost 1am. ;)

    Interesting thought on Kali possibly having come through a dimensional rift/shaper storm possibly!

    My immediate assumption was that she was able to wield the power of the Anthem in such a way that the dangers of the wild were no significant threat to her. There is a portion where she is feet with rain/water shying away from her feet — watching it again it’s pooossible it’s just the relative height of the pebbles she is on, but it seems to be relatively forcefully moving away.

    In any case, I took that at first (few) watchings to perhaps be a visual metaphor for the sort of control she has out there over the wild.

    Could be completely off though, and she could well be from some other when or place. :)

    I’m going to give sleep a go, and still got an alarm set. But I may tell it to go away when it actually goes off in 3 hours. ;)

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