At gaming’s biggest convention yesterday, Bioware finally revealed its long-awaited new IP, a shared-shooter a-la Destiny called Anthem. The graphics were gorgeous, the gameplay looked fantastic. And yet the internet is very upset.
You see, people are unhappy because this game is, apparently, not a Bioware game. “Where are the party members?” they cry. “Where is the RPG?” they scream to the heavens. “This looks nothing like a Bioware game!”
But here’s the rub in all this: it is a Bioware game. They literally announced it. They are developing it. Whether you like it or not, it’s a Bioware game because...well, because it just is. In this new age of instant information and leaks flowing like a busted dam, there is no longer a sense of surprise when a new game comes out. We know more about a game before it’s announced then we used to know when some games were released 15 years ago. What all this wealth of information has led to is a world where the common game consumer believes they know more about a game than the people making the game. Like, for instance, whether Bioware actually made Anthem or not. Instead of a sense of excitement when a well-known game company comes out with something completely different, people feel like they have been betrayed.
And all this salt n’ vinegar is coming from a 2-minute reveal trailer (during the EA presser) and a 6-minute gameplay preview (at the XBox One X extravaganza). That’s it. That is all the information that we have on Anthem and yet I have read at least 50 claims that this game has no RPG elements and is not the Bioware that they know and love. No one has given it a chance yet. This game looks amazing in preview. It has a lot of elements that games like Destiny and Tom Clancy’s the Division have given a shot before it, but I for one am willing to see what a company like Bioware can do with the most modern technology that gaming has to offer.
Perhaps they’ve found exciting new ways to weave you, and up to four friends, into a deep, rich story. Perhaps they’ve combined decision-making into a D&D-style collaboration where you have to work with the people who play with you to come together and make a choice. (Don’t forget that Bioware recently dropped another RPG they toted as having D&D-style teamwork and could easily have incorporated those ideas into Anthem). Perhaps you haven’t seen everything you need to see in order to call this game the “death of Bioware at EA’s hands”. Maybe, a game company is trying to incorporate their style and legacy into a new format and progress their identity into something innovative instead of doing the same old thing over and over and over again.
Maybe, just maybe, Anthem will be good.