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We all remember when Anthem was hot off the press last year. Smelling like Destiny and sitting pretty in Microsoft’s conference, we couldn’t get enough of it. However, Bioware’s performance at this year’s E3 was a lot more muted. The footage shown off didn’t look too different from round one. By the end of EA Play, we had a bunch of clues and curiosities. Luckily for us fans, the end of E3 2018 has led to some of those being satisfied. We round up what we now know about Anthem.
What We Know About Anthem: No Smooching
Bioware’s cocktail of sex, dialogue options, and rock n’ roll will take a backseat this time. It’s been confirmed by Anthem‘s lead producer that you won’t be able to pick your favourite crew member to smash. For a lot of us fans, that’s a bit of a disappointment. Part of the fun of Dragon Age is riding the Bang Bus when it pulls into town.
While plenty of others dismiss it as meaningful fluff, that’s doing it a disservice. The flirting is often part of the bigger picture: hidden narrative gems, side plots, and context for decisions. All of that is necessary to the RPG genre. Diluting Bioware’s core approach in this way raises a lot of red flags. We already knew that Anthem was going to be very different from their past work. Perhaps, it’s going to be a little too different.
What We Know About Anthem: You Can Never Log Off
That’s right. Anthem will require you to be hooked up to the internet if you want to play. We knew the game had a focus on squadding up with mates, but this is next level. Why is the game Online Only? We know that Bioware has avowed microtransactions, but purchases can still be made in-game. Perhaps it’s 24/7 access to a storefront of upgrades? Or maybe it’s about having players’ worlds literally intertwine.
Rare where there are other players around https://t.co/Ga2WkxWZR3
— Mark Darrah (@BioMarkDarrah) July 3, 2018
We know that other players being around will impact on the cutscenes that you get. This suggests that other players will dynamically affect the narrative elements in Anthem as and when they show up in your game. This could be big news: a story that shifts priorities and available missions based on network input? That could be the future of integrated gaming and the way forward for studios fixating on multiplayer content. It could be a great example of having a singleplayer, story-heavy RPG cake and eating it too. This is all speculation, but we’re sure there’s a good reason for it.
What We Know About Anthem: The Destiny Redux
By all accounts, it’s going to have an extremely similar structure to Destiny. That isn’t a bad thing. It’s being described as a shared world, open-world game that will offer revolving content. There’s been talk about how dungeons will be a core part of the main story. They probably won’t be called dungeons as that’s borrowing from MMORPG terminology, but regardless.
There’s also going to be raids, much in the style of Destiny. The environments that we’ve seen so far at E3 have been great for all manner of firefights. Plenty of terrain is navigable and destructible in some way. On top of that, the Javelin suits are clearly designed for high mobility and high action. It’s the perfect recipe for tough bosses that make the most of the suits’ bombastic capabilities. With this heavy focus on the multiplayer experience, it makes sense that fans are sceptical. What can Anthem offer that Destiny can’t? Why isn’t Bioware sticking to its purview? The comparisons are flowing hard and fast, and EA isn’t discouraging them in the slightest.
While we’ve got just enough to keep us interested in Anthem, we’re insatiable. It doesn’t feel like we know much more about the title and it’s been over a year since it was announced. Sure, Bioware has confirmed things that we were 90% sure of already. That doesn’t count for much. However, we’re definitely intrigued by the shared worlds concept, and cautiously optimistic about the RPG side of things.
What are you wanting Bioware’s next foray to have? Anything that you absolutely can’t live without? Or perhaps you’ve got some predictions about announcements they’ve made already, or potential cross-over events? Let us know in the comments section below.