Despite the gameplay demos, preview events and Q&A panel at E3 this year, there are still many questions surrounding Anthem. In particular, many fans are interested in how their choices and player story will fit into the ‘shared world’ design. In the latest Bioware update, Casey Hudson tried to make the picture a bit clearer, while also teasing that new Mass Effect and Dragon Age projects are on the way.
Bioware has previously talked about how it wants to tackle single-player narrative in an online shared world. The solution to this is called “Our World, My Story”, essentially meaning that everything in Anthem’s open world is shared in real-time across all players. This includes day/night cycles, weather, public events etc. However, players will frequently be returning to ‘Fort Tarsis’, which is where the single-player element comes in. Here is how Casey Hudson explains it:
“In the dynamic open world, everything is experienced in real-time by all Anthem players – day/night, weather, and world-scale events that shape the ongoing narrative of the setting. This is “our world,” which we share as a player community. Then when you return to Fort Tarsis, that’s actually a single-player experience, and it’s where you spend time developing relationships, making choices, and seeing consequences. That’s the “my story” part.”
Obviously, that doesn’t give us a huge amount of detail, especially when you consider that Anthem is mostly being compared to Destiny, which had similar lofty promises. Fortunately, Bioware will be at PAX this month conducting a panel going over the ‘our world, my story’ system in greater detail.
At the end of Bioware’s mid-summer update, Casey Hudson sneaks in a small tease to ease hardcore fans of other Bioware franchises: “We hear loud and clear the interest in BioWare doing more Dragon Age and Mass Effect, so rest assured that we have some teams hidden away working on some secret stuff that I think you’ll really like – we’re just not ready to talk about any of it for a little while”.
So with that in mind, it seems that Mass Effect fans can rest assured that the franchise isn’t dead and will return some day. Although we’ll likely be seeing Dragon Age 4 before a new Mass Effect given how much traction that particular project already has.
KitGuru Says: I’m still looking forward to Anthem, but it really needs to nail the story-side of things in order to avoid falling into the same trap that Destiny and other ‘shared world’ games have. Hopefully we’ll hear more about Bioware’s story plans during the PAX panel.