At this point in its life, Anthem has gone from hopeful to disappointing, middling to running joke and has circled all the way back to being regarded with utter pity. Bioware’s grand space opera that was designed to take on the heaviest hitters in the live service arena quickly found itself massively outgunned as not even a glorious riff on being Iron Man could save this game from its many many shortcomings.
A year later and Anthem currently exists as a prime example of how not to chase the bandwagon, with the game being made fun of yet again for leaving its Christmas decorations up long after Saint Nick had ignored it. Is there any hope for Anthem and can it be salvaged? Bioware certainly thinks so, as they’re planning a “longer-term redesign” for the looter shooter.
“Over the coming months we will be focusing on a longer-term redesign of the experience, specifically working to reinvent the core gameplay loop with clear goals, motivating challenges and progression with meaningful rewards—while preserving the fun of flying and fighting in a vast science-fantasy setting,” studio head Casey Hudson wrote in a blog post as November rumours of a revamp were confirmed.
Over the last year, the team has worked hard to improve stability, performance and general quality of life while delivering three seasons of new content and features. We have also heard your feedback that Anthem needs a more satisfying loot experience, better long-term progression and a more fulfilling end game. So we recognize that there’s still more fundamental work to be done to bring out the full potential of the experience, and it will require a more substantial reinvention than an update or expansion.
And to do that properly we’ll be doing something we’d like to have done more of the first time around—giving a focused team the time to test and iterate, focusing on gameplay first.
To that end, Bioware will be ditching seasonal updates as the studio continues work on the grand design. It’s a plan, but is it too late? One could argue sunk cost fallacy and Anthem being simply too big to fail at this point, but the reality is that when the game does return it’ll do so in a format where it’s already cheap as chips to purchase and will most likely be injected with plenty of new microtransactions.
There’s no indicator for when Anthem will return in its shiny new form, but here’s hoping that Bioware can add some meat to the otherwise solid bones of this game. Whether Anthem can return and convince players that it’s actually worth them sinking time and money into the end product again in the face of so many other live service titles providing a better experience, remains to be seen.
Last Updated: February 11, 2020