BioWare Explains the Significance of Story and Choice in Anthem

We currently live in a post-Mass Effect Andromeda world, where many people have seemingly lost faith in BioWare’s vision. Still, there are countless others who believe Anthem will place the historically acclaimed developer back on top. Depending on who is asked, Anthem’s E3 showing either reinforces that belief or dampens the hype.

The primary concern rests in the upcoming title’s focus on multiplayer. Details on single-player content are vague and easy to misconstrue. However, there’s one glaring constant amongst all the confusion; Anthem isn’t a typical BioWare game. News of no romance options and the prioritization of multiplayer cements this notion. Yet, the developer continues to reassure fans that single-player also lies at the heart of their latest project.

In Game Informer’s month of coverage, new bits of information surfaces about the narrative and player-choice. For those concerned about downtime and meaningful moments comparable to those on the Normandy, Anthem’s Fort Tarsis should alleviate such worry. Fort Tarsis is a human settlement the player will operate out of by upgrading gear, preparing for missions, and so on. Unlike similar hubs in Destiny or The Division, this fort will not be an open area for socialization. Fort Trasis offers players a “private refuge,” and a way in which BioWare can deliver single-player experiences. Therefore, many of the game’s hard-hitting decisions occur within this space. Gamer director Jon Warner explains,

“One of the challenges of having a communal, shared world is that it’s hard to build consequences into that, because we’re all going at different paces,” Warner says. “So we can’t have a mission where I blow up a fortress out there in the world, because the fortress out there in the world exists for all of us. But when you have a personal story space, I can actually have consequences to the choices I make.”

The choices made in Fort Tarsis vary in terms of significance. Game Informer notes these choices can shift between altering a character’s perception of the player character or impacting the world geographically. Regardless, the changes are exclusive to a gamer’s playthrough. Anthem producer Mike Gamble expounds:

“There are still many twists and turns as part of the critical path of the game, and the sidequests that you do. Some of it is about world-building. Some of it is about learning about this unfinished world of Anthem. But things happen to characters that they’ll never come back from.”

Thus, the happenings in Fort Tarsis essentially constitute what fans look for in a BioWare title. The narrative just so happens to be buttressed by unfamiliar trappings, cooperative multiplayer. To this end, BioWare’s general manager, Casey Hudson, adds that

“When you’re in the base, that is your story. Then you go off and do missions in a world that is dynamic and shared with other players. You’re out there doing stuff, and some of the things you choose to do will impact your story, but your story is really a single-player story, and you decide what happens next. If you go and get something in the world as part of a mission and bring it back, you decide which character you’re going to give it to. Which relationships you’re going to foster. You have your own progress through the story.”

The characters of Fort Tarsis and the world of Anthem will be open for exploration when the game hits PC, PS4, and Xbox One on February 22, 2019.

[Source: Game Informer]