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BioWare hopes to tackle multiplayer storytelling with Anthem, but you can play solo

Last month, BioWare studio veteran and current General Manager, Casey Hudson,  took to the internet to address fans and talk a little bit about how the team is going to recover and learn from Mass Effect Andromeda. This week, Hudson returned to his blog series to talk a bit about Anthem, addressing player concerns over the game’s multiplayer focus and how that might impact the story telling BioWare is known for.

We’ve known since its announcement that Anthem is going to be more of a ‘social’ multiplayer game with an ‘evolving world’ and a slew of other buzz words that we’ve heard time and again. The good news, is, BioWare still seems to have its core ideals straight. In his post, Hudson explains that in order to stay on course, BioWare has updated its mission statement, which is this: ” We create worlds of adventure, conflict, and companionship that inspire you to become the hero of your story”.

Companionship has always been a big focus in BioWare games, ranging from Knights of the Old Republic, to Mass Effect and Dragon Age. Anthem is being pitched as a “story you can experience with your friends”, which has led to concerns that the story will be watered down. It has also led to concerns for BioWare fans that prefer single-player experiences.

With Anthem, BioWare is going to try and cater to both crowds. Becoming ‘the hero of your story’ is still at the centre of Anthem: “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.”

Hudson didn’t elaborate on exactly how Anthem will tackle the issue, but did tease that BioWare will be “sharing details on how it works very soon”. With that in mind, we can probably expect a big showing for Anthem at E3 next month. According to Hudson, Anthem “creates a unique experience where you have control over your own story”, but the difference this time around is that ‘your story’ is set in “an ever-changing multiplayer world”. The game is intended to be multiplayer, but players will have the option of playing through it on their own, just with friends or with random people from the community.

While Anthem is a very different kind of game for BioWare, the studio has some more traditional projects in the works too, most notably, a new Dragon Age game is on the way.

KitGuru Says: I’m looking forward to Anthem, but I think the poor story telling in Destiny has put a lot of people off from this kind of game. Given that BioWare’s specialty has always been in creating compelling worlds with great characters, I’m optimistic. With that said, there is always cause for concern when EA is attached to something with a multiplayer focus.

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