There’s a certain expectation that fans have for games from certain studios. Blizzard? There better be shoulder pads the size of aircraft carriers on the game models. Platinum Games? Enough action to make a Michael Bay film festival look like a showcase for pacifism. When it comes to Bioware, fans of that developer want story, nuanced characters and a history of the world around them that they can soak up.
In many ways, Anthem feels like the opposite of that. Sure it has its lore and bold new setting to explore, but it doesn’t felt like there’s much room for more traditional Bioware elements when they’re operating in a shared space of online ballistics. Never fear though, Because Bioware is dead certain that Anthem is an evolution of what the studio has created in the past. And definitely not a devolution like Mass Effect Andromeda was.
“If you look at BioWare games on a spectrum, from Baldur’s Gate to Neverwinter, and Jade Empire to Knights of the Old Republic, to Mass Effect and Dragon Age, you’ll see that the games have always been about evolving our technique and storytelling… so the way that we look at it, Anthem is not a departure, it’s the continued evolution of our craft and our technique,” game director Jon Warner said to GamesIndustry.biz.
I think once players get their hands on it and dive in they are going to find a world that is well realised and full of rich characters that you’re going to want to get to know, and you’ll be the hero of your own story, and honestly that is the heart and soul of a BioWare experience.
With Mass Effect 1 and 2’s lead writer Drew Karpyshyn on the Anthem team, the game does have a heavyweight plotter in its corner. Warner added that after work was done on Mass Effect 3, Bioware’s core “vision for Anthem has remained steady and true”.
It’s always been true to itself and true to the vision we laid down when we set out to do it after Mass Effect 3.
Give us a story that feels like we actually matter, create a world that isn’t based on vague mysteries that are never resolved and I think we’ll have a narrative winner on our hands come February next year.
Last Updated: August 31, 2018