Is Anthem as different from Mass Effect and Dragon Age as it seems to be?
Anthem’s Game Director, Jon Warner said that despite what fans have speculated about Anthem being a departure from past BioWare games, the upcoming game is actually an evolution of their craft.
Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz, Warner called Anthem an “amalgamation” of everything BioWare has done to date. An MMO looter shooter seems on the surface to be a change of course from the single-player RPGs BioWare is beloved for, but Warner insisted the changes are evolutionary.
“If you look at BioWare games on a spectrum, from Baldur’s Gate to Neverwinter, and Jade Empire to Knights of the Old Republic, to Mass Effect and Dragon Age,” Warner said, “you’ll see that the games have always been about evolving our technique and storytelling… so the way that we look at it, Anthem is not a departure, it’s the continued evolution of our craft and our technique.”
“I think once players get their hands on it and dive in they are going to find a world that is well realized and full of rich characters that you’re going to want to get to know, and you’ll be the hero of your own story, and honestly that is the heart and soul of a BioWare experience,” he said.
Warner added that one of Anthem’s guiding principals is being generous toward players. To that end, BioWare doesn’t want its players to ever feel “regret” over the time and money they’d spend on Anthem’s persistent world and its games-as-a-service model.
“The other [principle] is providing experience that is engaging… being able to inhabit a BioWare-style experience over a longer period of time is something that is very interesting for us,” continued Warner, “so that sense of engagement and wonder, and trying to provide continued reasons to re-engage, is also a principal that guides us.”
Warner also claimed BioWare’s “vision has remained steady and true” since the developer began working on Anthem after 2012’s Mass Effect 3. That’s why he sees it as evolutionary, which he admitted is a very different view than what those on the outside looking in have.
Warner’s comments seem to be in line with former Creative Director James Ohlen’s recent explanation that the studio itself, not owner and publisher Electronic Arts, pushed for Anthem. Nevertheless, IGN found Anthem to be “BioWare’s whole new world” after playing it at E3.
Nick Santangelo is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia. He probably enjoyed Mass Effect: Andromeda more than you did. Follow him on Twitter.