If you feel inclined to think about a time when BioWare created games with epic storylines, you might have to think as far back as 2009. That’s when they released Dragon Age: Origins, one of the most brilliantly crafted story-driven RPGs of all time. While they tried to push envelope with the Mass Effect Trilogy, the story’s ending felt rushed and unworthy of the original game.
With the announcement of Anthem, BioWare’s new open-world co-op RPG, gamers are becoming very concerned about how the well known developer is going to handle things story-wise. BioWare is known for having both focusing on the story in their RPGs, in addition to rich dialogue. Anthem is going to be heavily focused on mutliplayer mechanics.
Most people know BioWare games as epic single-player RPGs with branching stories, where the player gets to shape the world through their dialogue choices. The first (and so far only) footage of Anthem showed a scripted, FPS mode, followed by some tasty third-person coop action. So yeah, we didn’t exactly see how the dialogue will work. In addition, we still have much to learn regarding the story structure.
“Videogames are a unique medium,” Hudson stated on BioWare’s blog post. “The only thing that stays the same is that they are constantly evolving. Many of the things we love about games now were not possible a few years ago. And that’s one of the hardest things about making games – continuing to innovate and evolve, while staying true to expectations players have from previous experiences.”
He added, “In a BioWare game, you should feel like the story is about you. You create your own character, you decide what happens next, and you become the hero. I think the reason people are concerned about whether these things are possible in a multiplayer game is because it just hasn’t been solved well before.
“With Anthem we’re taking this problem head-on and structuring the entire game design to provide a specific solution for this. We’ll be sharing details on how it works very soon.”
This time around, BioWare GM Casey Hudson was brought in. Casey was project director on classics like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and the Mass Effect Trilogy. EA’s lousy reputation of making wrong business decisions prompted everyone to be overly cautious about Anthem. Casey Hudson has so far been a man of his word (at least when it comes to games like Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn, Neverwinter Nights, Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2).
We will no doubt have more facts by EA Play (which kicks off before E3 2018).