E3 has shown off some interesting games (here are our favorites) and for myself and fellow MGL writer Natalie agreed that one of the best games was Anthem. This is new game from Bioware, a developer we both enjoy the games in the past. But following the mess that was Mass Effect Andromeda there are question marks around their current ability. We both like the looks of this new game but we are both wondering: will Anthem be good enough to see Bioware back to their best?

Let’s not forget they have made some exceptional titles in Dragon Age Inquisition and others in the Dragon Age series. Mass Effect was an outstanding trilogy regardless of the controversial ending.

So what looks so good about this new title coming to Xbox one X, PlayStation 4 Pro, PC and standard versions of the consoles in 2018? Here we look at what impressed us, where the question marks are and ultimately if it looks good enough to restore Bioware as a team that make outstanding games.

Did Anthem impress you? Let us know your favourite feature of Anthem in the Disqus or Facebook comments at the end of the article. And what you expect from it. And don’t forget to Share This so more gamers can get involved.

Flying around that open world

Natalie: Anthem really stands out to me as a perfect next step for Bioware. The fact this is a new IP lets them really create something special. And the fact it’s open world, a vast looking one at that, really appeals to me.

I’m sure a lot of us by now are feeling that open world fatigue. But for me there’s nothing quite like exploring every nook and cranny of a beautiful, interesting world. Open worlds, no matter what genre, are full of mystery and secrets, and that’s what I love about them.

The jungle we got to see in the E3 demo looks like a mixture of both fantasy and science-fiction and something I can see myself getting absorbed in. Flying around at my own pace and taking in the sights, and maneuvering around between trees fighting enemies is something I’m looking forward to. Especially on a 4k TV with the power of the Xbox One X.

The sense of discovery is going to be very strong in this game, and the excitement when finding a secret or new area is a very satisfying feeling. One I think I’ll be getting a lot while playing Anthem.

Getting into the action

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The combat looks like the familiar 3rd person shooter mechanics that we all know and love. Running and shooting, and then running and shooting some more. A gamers favourite pastime!

As is the case with most games, killing enemies will give you loot, like big guns… So you can go kill some more enemies to get more guns. This is the addictive cycle that keeps you hooked.

You can also equip your suit with weapons like mortars and missiles and more that we haven’t seen yet, that will shake things up and turn the tide of battle in your favour. Make the enemies think they’ve out-numbered you, then BAM! A bunch of missiles in all their faces. This game is going to be REALLY fun.

Sci-Fi Fantasy and The Story Behind The World

Rossco: I too feel that Bioware will benefit from losing some ties with franchises where people have expectations. No matter what they did with Mass Effect after 3, it would not have been more Shepard and the Reapers.

Now, they didn’t have to make such a mess of it of course but, it was always going to in some way… not feel like real Mass Effect.

Will Anthem be good enough image 3To break away and go into a new IP is the perfect idea for Bioware. It was a shame they pulled their last one in Shadow Realms but they appear to have done it for the right reasons. Anthem seems a really neat step forward for them too. Being described as Sci-Fi fantasy opens up a much more open world where, you could argue it’s a bit of both Dragon Age and Mass Effect.

First off. I liked how Bioware just went with some gameplay. None of the behind-the-scenes teasing that was going on with Andromeda. We have some good gameplay to see and enjoy, beautiful looking open world. All good things, plus friends can join you too which is also great.

But I love to play games solo, I’m into both story elements and growing my character. Now I know they have talked about the levels of customisation and leveling of your Javelin (exo-suit) to give you the play-style you want. That all looks good, but I want a great story too.

What Bioware games my favourites

From Jade Empire, Dragon Age Origins and Mass Effect 1 and 2… even 3 if you let the ending go. Bioware made some epic tales. Some so great that some less than perfect gameplay really didn’t matter. When I think of Mass Effect I think of finding out about Sovereign and the Reapers rather than the floaty shooting.

The setting and the fantasy element I think suits Bioware, plus the mentioned new IP factor. I really want them to tell a great story with this game. One I can enjoy as a lone wolf or with friends online.

What will we find in this world? What is going on with the groups of people that were lost during the introduction and what is the situation with the groups of Freelancers? Plus the larger questions of why is the world the way it is. While the focus was on gameplay it already reveals there is place for a solid story in this world.

In the past, the focus for Bioware was great story-lines, memorable characters with well thought out dialogue. All based around choice and relationships too, massive scripts that took years.

While the gameplay looks great, and really does need to be a huge focus of the game, this area is Bioware’s biggest strength for me and I want to see it return in Anthem.

Adventuring Together

Will Anthem be good enough image 4Natalie: Unlike some, I like the implementation of co-op in games. Though I still enjoy single player games, co-op is important to me as I play a lot of games with my other half. It’s nice when we can play a game together and not have it be couch co-op, I want to play it on my own TV, thanks!

Sometimes in certain games I will join another party or someone else’s game, and everything seems different when you’re with a group. I’m looking forward to sharing an experience with strangers in Anthem, as the world looks magical and exploring with others will feel fulfilling.

I like that it will have seamless drop-in, drop-out co-op (from the looks of it), so you can join anyone whenever you want and vice-versa, and then go off and do stuff together.

A return to form for Bioware..?

Natalie: You can’t argue that Bioware blundered with Mass Effect Andromeda. The game was good, but it didn’t live up to people’s expectations as well as the original trilogy, and had quite a few bugs at launch.

From what we saw in the Anthem demo, the facial animations look on point and the graphics look superb.

But Bioware NEEDS this to be good, I feel, to get that trust back again. A lot of people felt let down by Andromeda, and that alone could hurt sales for Anthem, though I hope not as it looks incredible.

Rossco: The biggest win for Anthem is already the fact this game is being made by Bioware’s main team. While Andromeda was developed by an entirely different division of Bioware, this is what the primary team was working on at the same time. While Mass Effect fans may feel short changed by that, a new IP is not easy so it’s not unexpected to see the best team on this.

Personally I think it’s the right move, fantasy meets Sci-fi in a new open-world idea. Adding in the co-op feature is something that is a concern technically. But I personally feel positive about everything else.

The issue with Andromeda was bugs and a less than great story. It’s actually still a good game just not a great one. This I feel will be a lot tighter, I expect we’ll also get a Beta to show off just how good this is sometime next summer.

Over to you…

What do you think about Anthem? Will it bring Bioware’s reputation back up? What features look good? Leave us a comment using Disqus or Facebook below. And don’t forget to share this with fellow gamers!

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