I’ve played so many Bioware games over the years I’ve developed a serious love for their work. With EA acting as there publisher for so long, I’ve seen many games I love come out excellent. But right now, my worries about aspects of their new game makes me wonder what happens if Bioware’s Anthem fails to deliver as early reviews show?

This isn’t me wanting it to of course. I’m currently tracking my pre-order for the Legion of Dawn edition as I put this piece together!

It’s the consistent issues being reported, plus the parts I’ve not fully experienced yet that have me concerned. That’s the traditional Bioware parts I love: character, story and true RPG mixed with the action in balance with each other.

So if these things do prove to hold the game back, added to the technical issues experienced in early access. Could Bioware be better for going out on their own, like Bungie have? Going back to the core of what made them great in the first place and make true Bioware style games once again?

It might be a risk, but after ME: Andromeda being rushed out unfinished, they are in need of a bit win with Anthem, and it looks like they are not going to get it. Check out my thoughts below, get ready to comment and see more information more on Anthem here (including my awesome Javelin Guide!)

Bioware lite: Action aplenty, but where’s the RPG?

My thoughts on Anthem have been pretty positive and won’t see me be unfair on the game here. Lots of fun for anyone commenting on this without reading the article I guess!

But looking at the concept, this is a Sci-fi fantasy world you can fly around shooting giant beasts in a suit like you’re Iron Man. Oh, and you can bring your friends too and get a War Machine and Hulkbuster going on.

What kind of insane person doesn’t want to play THAT game? It sounds amazing just saying it.

I’ve never once had a doubt on the gameplay and that was proved to be somewhat faith well placed in the demo. Bugs are there to be fixed of course that was clear. While a day one patch is promised, I’m not entirely sure it’s anywhere near enough time to fix all that has been spoken about.

Plus, Bioware aren’t known for their perfect technical delivery either. Commander Shepard’s head is still doing a 360 even now!

More on that later. But in my experience of the gameplay, the shooting, flying and world do look and feel great between the bugs.

But I have always wondered about why EA would have Bioware make a game like Anthem? Seeing near the final product, it just doesn’t feel like their kind of title.

How can they really give you the same experience of story and character development as a traditional,single Action-RPG they are famous for?

Add to that very light touch dialogue options that don’t seem to do much but change a response here and there. No romance options and no signs of any choice or consequence in the story, I’m wondering where I will feel the “Bioware” is in Anthem.

Bioware’s Best work

When I think of certain developers, I think of what they mean to me I associate them with particular traits. Be it the amazing stories told by Naughty Dog or the fun playgrounds and satire in Rockstar’s work with GTA and Red Dead Redmeption.

Bioware really makes me think about the balance of action and RPG together. Told with amazing stories, worlds and characters that, most importantly, make me a part of them. How me taking that controller seeing what I choose to do affect all of these people, places and the overall narrative.

I loved being the Grey Warden, Commander Shepard, the last spirit monk, Revan and many others. Or even different versions of the same people. They made me a part of something big, an epic story I was a big part of and make my choices in.

I get that Anthem is not these games, and Bioware is going in a different direction here.

But if you take so many of those things out of the game, the story or gameplay has to be exceptional to make up for their absence. This is my concern going into the release.

Are those things going to make up for losing what Bioware does best?

Anthem’s Potential

With my main concern out there, let’s have a look at what could do just that and make me forget all about making choices, romancing around everyone and (overly) agonising over my conversation wheel choices.

Anthem just looks so damn cool to play in terms of blasting around the world in the Javelins. As mentioned before, you can’t honestly think being Iron Man-like in a game isn’t a cool concept.

What I’ve been impressed with from what I’ve seen and played it how they have designed a really vertical world around it all too. Where it’s vast across the map as with a lot of games are on the X-axis. But seems to go up and down on the Y too.

Diving deep into caves, underwater and up high into the massive mountainous areas looks great. Diving deep into the story to go with all that needs to be as satisfying however.

The live action TV spot certainly sets up all of that with some dramatic sounding story points. Plus there promises of a lot of lore to find and devour, I would expect nothing less.

Just don’t make me go into a separate app or on a website to enjoy it Bioware!

There is some great looking stuff here if the majority of the technical issues are dealt with reasonably soon, there is going to be a lot of enjoyment to be had in Anthem.

And we only have to look at other games to see you can’t judge them too early.

The Destiny Curve

Anthem is not Destiny, but it is EA’s way to get involved in that market with it, and others like The Division.

As we’ve seen before, you can’t treat titles like this exactly like a traditional game. Slapping a review score on the title as quickly as possible to get a verdict out there isn’t going to be close to reflecting the product in a few weeks. Maybe less if they are highly responsive in the early days.

Not that the game should get a pass because it will get better with support. But even review points on a non-online title can be out of date in a few days, one of the reasons we give games a rating rather than score now.

It’s going to be an evolutionary game rather than a perfect one on release day. One that could see early reviews be anything from average to high at the moment, such are the potential issues.

But I can’t escape the idea that EA’s choices and core requirements for what Anthem had to be, is going to be restrictive long term. The original Destiny showed that while you can make a game like this better over time, you can’t hide core bad decisions.

With EA having their own take on what gamers want going forward. I do wonder if what makes Bioware historically so good, is exactly what EA don’t want anymore.

EA’s Core Vision Just Not Bioware?

When Bioware hear EA walk around saying things like “gamers don’t like single-player, story-driven games anymore” and other such quotes (as the imperial march music plays in the background), they must be shuddering. Along with the majority of us gamers.

Especially when you see some of the best games of 2018 in God of War, Spider-Man and Red Dead 2 all being exactly that, and truly amazing… And single player… and story driven… with many, many more examples.

Not only is that one of the most ridiculous claims you can make about the gaming community (I mean Trump level of made up nonsense). It really shoots right at Bioware, given that’s a big part of what has made them so successful.

Amazing stories, characters and bringing the player right into that as they play, yep, single-player through their own experience of the game.

So with Anthem continues to get a poor reception, why wait for the next faliure when it comes to this relationship with EA if their philosophy is not in line with what the developers do best?

Why not just think, maybe we are just different and need to do our own thing? Bungie have done it, could it be time for Bioware to work something out in the next year or so?

Legally I’m sure it’s a tonne more complicated than that! But it’s something they need to consider.

Bioware being allowed to truly deliver games like they have in the past under their own direction may be for the best. No more watered down RPG elements or releasing a product not properly finished would be better for their reputation.

Had Anthem shown more to say it was going to be amazing, I probably would not be like this now. I genuinely want to love playing this game when I start it.

But at the moment, Anthem could go either way at launch. While early access reviews and thoughts can’t fully reflect the launch build of the game. It seems likely Anthem won’t hit the heights expected when it’s released, and will probably take some time to get to the level it wants to be when all patches start.

As we’ve seen before, gamer’s aren’t all that patient, and low launch scores can take some recovering from. But it’s not impossible of course, thankfully they are openly communicating and supporting the community. One big key to Anthem working long term.

Over to you to leave a comment on Anthem and the future of EA and Bioware…

What do you think?

Are you like me, a hopeful Bioware fan wanting to enjoy their next big game? If it doesn’t work out, might they be better just being an independent developer again and escaping from the confines of EA’s philosophy?

Let me know below in the comments, and don’t forget to Share This using the easy buttons under this.

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