Anthem's Cataclysm event is finally live – here's what's new

(Image credit: BioWare/EA)

It's finally here! After months of delays, Anthem's Cataclysm event is now live on all platforms.

The new season-long event brings with it a bunch of new features including new enemies, rewards, in-game currency, story missions and much more.

It's about time – after all, according to Anthem's original roadmap, the Cataclysm event was initially meant to launch back in May. However, developer BioWare delayed the event saying: "There are more things to fix and improve than we planned for".

But, it's here now, so let's take a look at all the new features.

What's the story?

(Image credit: BioWare/EA)

Here's EA's explanation of the Cataclysm event:

"The people of Bastion have much to fear – malevolent creatures roaming the wilds, fanatical Dominion forces testing their strength and fortitude – but nothing inspires as much terror and dread as a Cataclysm. They are one of the most destructive and chaotic manifestations of the Anthem –  leaving devastation and death in their wake. And now, Freelancer, it’s your turn to face the chaos head on and do your best to end it."

Essentially it seems like we're going to be venturing into a chaotic, black portal of death. Sounds good.

Cataclysm and arenas

(Image credit: Anthem)

First things first, you don't need to be a certain level to jump into the new Cataclysm map area.

To enter the Cataclysm, you select the 'Cataclysm' option from the Game Modes menu and wallah! You're be in the swirly area of possible death. EA warns that it's probably not a great idea to immediately start exploring as the storm will damage your javelin when you're out in it. Instead, you should look to close rifts inside the new arenas.

Arenas are scattered throughout Cataclysm, if you close the rifts inside them then you will be able to "find temporary shelter from the storm, complete tasks, increase available mission time, and engage in combat for loot, in-game currency, and scoring opportunities". Seems like the safest option.

But you'll also be able to take part in Cataclysm events in Freeplay mode. There are balls of light in the sky called Storm Gates, when these open you can fly through and complete the objectives within before time runs out to earn rewards. The upper right corner of your screen will tell you how long you need to wait until it opens.

In-game currency and war chests

(Image credit: BioWare/EA)

Cataclysm brings with it a new in-game currency in the form of Major Crystals and Minor Crystals. These can be earned and spent during the event. 

According to EA, Major Crystals are mainly given out as mission and challenge rewards while Minor Crystals are earned through playing. Minor Crystals can be used to purchase Major Crystals, war chest or vanity items. But, what's in a war chest? All Cataclysm's non-vanity items apparently. 

This new in-game currency can be spent at Head Herschel’s Hut in the Fort Tarsis market.

Enemies, rewards and scoring

(Image credit: BioWare/Anthem)

Bored of Anthem's enemies? Well, you're in luck. There's a bunch of new enemies to keep you on your toes, including Bristlebacks and Dominion Crystal Troopers. 

Tired of the grunts? Then take on Vara, Cataclysm's big bad who commands an army of Valkyries. 

There's also new rewards in the form of new Masterwork and Legendary melee items, support, gear, weapons and some exclusive cosmetics. You'll also receive an additional melee slot.

If you're all about the score, then know that the way to earn points in a Cataclysm run is through taking out enemies, gathering items, and completing puzzles and objectives. You also get points for spending time in the storm, but remember it hurts. 

Pointing scoring is more important than ever (for the competitive among us) due to the introduction of a global leaderboard that lets you see the highest score you’ve earned during the Cataclysm and how you rank against the entire player base.

Story missions

(Image credit: BioWare/EA)

Finally, there are three new story missions for you to sink your teeth into. 

The first sees you investigating a Dominion connection to the storm, the second has you teaming up with others to capture an old enemy, and the final mission will see you stopping the Catclysm itself. Hopefully...

Cataclysm is live now and free for everyone who owns Anthem. Let's hope it was worth the wait and shakes up Anthem's (currently stale) formula. We'll be updating our Anthem review with our thoughts, so stay tuned.

Vic Hood
Associate Editor, TechRadar Gaming

Vic is TechRadar Gaming's Associate Editor. An award-winning games journalist, Vic brings experience from IGN, Eurogamer and more to the TechRadar table. You may have even heard her on the radio or speaking on a panel. Not only is Vic passionate about games, but she's also an avid mental health advocate who has appeared on both panels and podcasts to discuss mental health awareness. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more.