BioWare wants its share of the shared world pie, writes
Anthem will likely be one of the highest profile games - shooter or otherwise - of next year. But despite being in development for four years and the star of EA’s stage show at E3 2017, it remains a game shrouded in mystery. To be honest, we’re still trying to answer the question: what is Anthem?
We know it’s in development at BioWare, the RPG powerhouse best known in recent years for its Mass Effect and Dragon Age games. Specifically, we know development is being headed up by BioWare’s Edmonton studio, the same studio that took the lead on all three Dragon Ages and the Shepard trilogy of Mass Effect before that series was handballed to BioWare Montreal. We also know that Casey Hudson, who served as creative director on the first three Mass Effects has recently returned to BioWare Edmonton as general manager in order to oversee production on Anthem. All these facts mean we feel confident in saying that Anthem is in safe hands.
BioWare and EA have described Anthem as a “shared world actionRPG” where players can band together in groups of up to four to explore a “contiguous open world” and embark on various quests. It’s not entirely clear whether you will see other players - outside your group of four - in the same world, as in Destiny, or whether it’s more of a Borderlands approach to online play. We would expect the former, but BioWare has yet to clarify.
We know that it’s a shooter. The minimal footage made public so far has shown players wielding sci-fi shotguns, sniper rifles and mortars. It’s also shown them taking down a large enemy and being unexpectedly rewarded with a special named rifle, so it appears to also have random loot drops. There are also XP pop-ups when players discover new locations and kill enemies, so it appears to qualify as an action-RPG.
We know that players inhabit exosuits that confer various abilities, including a jetpack that allows them to fly. We know there’s an all-rounder one and a heavy, tank-like one, which means that the only thing left to do is wait for the lightweight but nimble one to be revealed. Hopefully there’s more than three exosuits to choose from. We know that Anthem plays from first- and third-person. Footage appears to show the first-person view limited to the social, hub area with the third-person view swapping in when players leave to start shooting and looting. We don’t whether this is forced or optional. We know Anthem looks super pretty. We know there’s some jungle bits and some ruined buildings. We know there’s some caves and you can fly your exosuit underwater. We know players can join you midgame. We know there’s a market area that looks a bit like a Star Wars desert planet. And that's about it.
Except the thing we know most of all is we need to know a lot more about Anthem.
THE ONLY THING LEFT TO DO IS WAIT FOR THE LIGHTWEIGHT BUT NIMBLE ONE TO BE REVEALED
Like true militaryindoctrinated patriots, these soldiers stand for the Anthem.