BioWare’s influence in the realm of gaming cannot be understated. Responsible for some of the biggest titles in the history of modern video games coupled with an unprecedented penchant for crafting elaborate narrative arcs, BioWare has long held a special place in many a gamer’s heart. So, what happened with Anthem?
It’s no secret that over the last decade, BioWare status as a shining beacon of creativity has dimmed. The studio has found itself navigating rough waters following the massive success of their Mass Effect franchise and has garnered a bit of a hit-and-miss record with installments such as Dragon Age: Inquisition and Mass Effect: Andromeda. Not content to cling to tried and true franchises, the famed studio realized that something new and exciting was needed.
Enter Anthem. The third-person mech-based multiplayer action-adventure game that seeks to tap into the multiplayer shoot-em-up inclinations of a rabid market and catapult the studio back up to the top. And yet, despite the game sporting some spiffy particle effects, reflections, and crisp textures, what we’ve seen so far is more than a just a little underwhelming for a studio of BioWare’s caliber.
The story – a BioWare hallmark – has been kept so under wraps that you’d be forgiven for believing that the game doesn’t feature one. Although BioWare has responded to some fan criticism by allowing players to return to a central hub populated by in-world characters, most of the game’s character interactions seem to rely on the ancient video game trope of having your primary conversations rely on a buzzing voice coming through your earpiece.
The lack of a narrative isn’t all, though. From what BioWare has shown, the flying and Javelin (the in-game mechs) customization is the game’s selling point. Flying looks to be an absolute joy, and the variety of mech classes and customization does offer players quite a bit to work with. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the core of the game.
While the combat looks pretty, it seems that there isn’t much more to it than the standard array of unload your clip into your enemies until they croak and rinse + repeat. Even the parallels to Destiny are beginning to wear thin as much of what’s been shown off has paled in comparison to the level of loot variety that Bungie’s famed shooter offers.
As it stands, Anthem is set to be a dressed-up shoot-em-up romp wrapped up in an Iron Man simulator – and not much else. For the sake of all of the fans and the game itself, we desperately hope that BioWare is keeping the big guns tucked away until launch, but something tells us that this just isn’t the case.
As the launch date creeps ever-closer, the pressure to show off more of the game will mount on the Edmonton-based studio – but if what they’ve shown is what they’ve got, things are not looking very promising for Anthem. And in today’s age, if you haven’t captivated your audience within the first week or two, chances are you never will.