One of the biggest ongoing questions surrounding BioWare’s upcoming online shooter Anthem is whether it will be able to hit the narrative bar that the studio has set for itself through series like Dragon Age and Mass Effect. With a new trailer tonight—and a presentation to press this morning in Los Angeles—BioWare is trying to assure fans that even its take on Destiny is doubling down on story.
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I sat down with Anthem, BioWare's upcoming shared-world third-person shooter, for 30 minutes today. I came away surprised at just how good it feels to move around in the game's fantasy sci-fi world.
Flying through its gorgeous environments on my way to kill some bad guys, fix an ancient relic, or take out a giant egg-laying monster felt great. Sprinting, jumping, flying and shooting flow together well. I wouldn't call it seamless, but it's a big step forward from the moment-to-moment action in BioWare's previous games.
EA said today that BioWare's Anthem will be out in early 2019, confirming our report last week that the upcoming multiplayer action game will not make it this year.
Over the past few months, BioWare has essentially transformed into a single-game studio as it harnesses its teams to work on the ambitious multiplayer action game Anthem, sources say. There are still small teams maintaining Star Wars: The Old Republic and piecing together the next Dragon Age, which was recently rebooted, but the bulk of BioWare's staff in both Edmonton and Austin are now on Anthem. And there's a sense among BioWare employees that the company's future is inextricably tied to this game.
Anthem was one of the biggest reveals for both the EA and Xbox conferences this E3, with its slick graphics and flying mech gameplay. The short demo has been widely well-received, with most of what was shown marking a big departure from what Bioware is usually known for. For some fans, however, it's too big of a departure from the Bioware formula, judging from the responses on the studio's social media pages.