All Rise for EA’s Future with Anthem the Game
EA was once the paragon of excellence in the gaming industry. But after the half-baked Mass Effect: Andromeda and the loot box scandal that was Star Wars: Battlefront II, EA has become the epitome of what gaming companies shouldn’t emulate. Thus, in a bid to return to their former glory, the gaming giant has decided to sing a brand new hymn with Anthem the Game.
Redeem the Name with a New Game
Despite appearing in E3 for the past two years, not much has been revealed about the game. Thus, lots of people in the fanbase go beyond the trailers, and into EA and Bioware’s operations. Some have said that this is EA’s atonement for their recent blunders, while some say it’s the reason why their other intellectual properties took a hit in quality. Whether the speculations are true or not, the fact remains that EA is putting quite a lot of effort and resources into this. And this is rightfully so because their recent mistakes have sadly tarnished their once-stellar reputation. Soif Anthem blows, people might lose their trust in EA and Bioware for good.
Thankfully, the little we’ve seen about the game is enough, and from there it’s safe to assume that EA is doing well in various aspects so far. First and foremost among these would be the visual department. The graphics, thanks to EA pushing the capabilities of their Frostbite engine, is breathtakingly stunning and hyper-real.
A Different Destiny?
As for the aesthetics and theme, it looks like a super-futuristic/advanced tech in a dystopian setting. In the first trailer, the narrator says something along the lines of the gods abandoning them. Thus, it’s up to you Freelancers to don these high-tech exoskeletons called Javelins to defend Fort Tarsis, a refuge where the remains of that world’s human civilization reside. Other than exploring the outside alien realm, you’ll be uncovering the mysteries in the world. There’s the Shapers, AKA “gods”; their relics, which they used to create the realm; and their relics, which they used to create the world but got left behind after their sudden disappearance. Lastly, you’ll be doing all of this uncovering while fighting Dominion, an ancient military organization bent on possessing the relics.
If the lore and looks feel familiar, it’s because it is. Yes, other people have also said that it’s “heavily inspired” by the sci-fi MMORPG first-person shooter Destiny. It also doesn’t help that it’s also a co-op game, just like Destiny. With the game being so, it’s important to have defined roles or classes. To answer that need, Bioware has decided to make each Javelin different. There’s the well-rounded jack-of-all-trades Ranger, the tanky Colossus, the speedy Interceptor, and the “caster-type” Storm.
Alone in Here, with Company Out There
Despite Anthem having online play, Bioware’s Casey Hudson has already said that the game will not be an MMO. Also, despite being focused on online co-op play, Anthem won’t be one of those run-in-the-mill games that let a good storyline fall by the wayside in favor of dynamic gameplay. On the other hand, it won’t be using the story as some sort of “excuse” for the gameplay either.
To ensure that neither is sacrificed, Casey Hudson said that the format for this game is going to be “new and different”. By that, they mean that they’re going to do what other non-MMO online games do: session-based online play with friends and strangers. Kind of like Monster Hunter: World and a lot of other mobile quasi-MMORPGs, where you are on your own in the central hub, and then with other players when you venture out on missions. It’s also how BioWare will be telling what it promises as a “BioWare” story: right in the confines of your hub. This way, the story is confined and will not be diluted by gameplay and story dissonances. The end result is that you get the best of both worlds.
A beautiful, mysterious, exciting sci-fi world with a rock-solid lore that is hopefully on par with Mass Effect’s writing, and electrifying action gameplay to keep you on the edge of your seat–these are just what EA needs to rise from the ashes and shine like a triumphant phoenix. If it composes Anthem the Game right, that is—and that’s still a big IF.
Whether they’ll succeed or fail, we’ll know on its release date.
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