Anthem is the upcoming action RPG/Third Person Shooter game from Bioware, and it is aimed at the Destiny and Division crowd. So when a new game such as this is announced, it’s instantly surrounded by hype, and with such hype disappointment tends to follow. Add to the fact that the guys who made the original Mass Effect and good old RPGs of old are at the helms of the project, even a cynic such as me can’t help but be caught up in the hype.
Anthem is the game which is going to compete with games like Destiny and Division. Both of the games had immense hype surrounding them when they were announced, but the hype died down after release, and not because they were bad games, it was because expectations were so high, that it was near impossible to deliver he game what the players had built up in their minds. And of course, there were shortcomings in execution and content. Simply said they were able to create the hype but not able to maintain the hype. While the player-base for Destiny is still strong, Bungie has seen reason to make the next game instead of going forth with their original ten-year plan.
For Anthem to have a long life span, I believe it has to have a combination of good gameplay and story. And here is where Bioware comes in. They have shown pedigree for creating rich worlds, with fascinating characters and amazing stories.
The main competition for Anthem is Destiny 2, and to be honest Destiny 2 is a somewhat graphically underwhelming (strictly in comparison) as they have used the same engine from Destiny 1. But it doesn’t make Anthem a better game than Destiny 2 by default. What I was able to learn from the reveal of Anthem was that there will be an emphasis on story telling, as the writer of Mass Effect Trilogy and Kotor, Drew Karpyshyn, is on board with this project. Gameplay looks exciting but nothing can be said at this moment, but it does seem like that Bioware trying to build a solid combat system along with a sense of discovery. Also to be kept in mind is the fact that this is Bioware Edmonton, and not Montreal (who made Andromeda).
The combination Mass Effect Andromeda’s combat, along with the narrative prowess of Bioware Edmonton, and a fine tuned Frostbite Engine to create a lush and beautiful open world, could very well make Anthem the Bob Dylan of video games. An interesting loot system, likable characters and a vibrant online community should give Anthem the legs to stand on and maybe even deliver on EA’s ten year plan for the game. Anthem has been in development for about as long as Mass Effect: Andromeda, which is more than enough time to make a solid AAA game by a talented studio. Also, any concerns about facial animations were quashed in the first 30-seconds of the trailer, when quest giver comes up and talks to the main character.