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. :)

Footnotes

  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