This weekend saw a lot of new independent properties (IPs) announced, and while a great many of them were from fledgling studios launching their first big titles, it was those from the already well-established brands that turned the most heads. BioWare in particular stole the show on Sunday when the studio announced its newest project: Anthem.
Those familiar with Destiny will immediately recognize the similarities. A four-player, cooperative third-person shooter with an explorable open world and numerous AI enemies to fight – there’s hardly any doubt that this is BioWare’s answer to the Destiny series, which despite releasing as a console exclusive had 13 million registered players by the end of its launch year.
Of course, those who made the connection between the two franchises already would do well to remember the anticipation leading up to the former’s release. Everyone was excited about Destiny at the time; it was a new, cooperative multiplayer IP from the creators of Halo and better yet – it looked like something original. It’s not exactly common, after all, to see a new sci-fi brand that sets itself apart from franchises like Star Wars and Mass Effect.
When Destiny did come release, however, it wasn’t to the thunderous applause some had expected. The game provided a moderately enjoyable experience that was somewhat lacking on innovation. The enemies were bullet-sponges, the PVP was unremarkable, and the story was largely unfinished and certainly unimpressive.
Anthem seems to have diverged enough from the formula to warrant a second look, however. Sunday’s E3 presentation marketed the game as an immensely open world experience; the players seemed to have unlimited freedom from the moment they left the safe zone, allowing them to explore the region to their heart’s content. Even if the presentation portrayed a significantly wider range of territory than what will inevitably be available, the sheer verticality between the different environments will likely make up for it.
Performance-wise, Anthem looks like it could run very smoothly – but that’s the point of these conferences. No self-respecting developer will ever portray their title as anything but a work of art, which is why many players watch E3 with a skeptical view, if not downright cynicism. Between the immense foliage, flashy combat, and dynamic weather effects, it’s likely that the gorgeous environment of Anthem as we now see it will go through some graphical downgrading before the final release.
Should that happen, it will fall to BioWare to provide entertaining enough gameplay to distract from the less-than-perfect visual experience. We’ll probably see a lot more footage of Anthem before then, so for the time-being it’s best to adopt a wait-and-see approach.
Should more news be released, you’ll likely hear about it here. Otherwise, follow BioWare on the studio’s official Twitter account, or visit Anthem’s brand new website for access to all upcoming media releases, developer updates, and general game news.