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Player Choice in Anthem Will be More Personal, Don’t Expect a Typical BioWare Branching Story


BioWare’s upcoming co-op action-RPG Anthem looks promising in a lot of ways, but some longtime fans remain concerned about the game’s story. BioWare games have typically offered big, branching, player-choice-heavy tales, but how will that work with Anthem’s shared online world? BioWare has said players will be able to make some choices within the game’s home base, Fort Tarsis, but will you be able to alter the course of the story in a significant way? Don’t count on it, says Anthem director Jonathan Warner

“There will be player choice. I think that Anthem, being a shared world social RPG, we’re focusing less on a massively branching story and more on making it a more personal narrative. There’s definitely choices in there that you’re making, but the focus is a little bit different for this game.”

Ultimately, BioWare’s focus this time around is creating a feeling of community, which means everybody kind of has to be on the same page…

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“We wanted to make sure the world felt like it was a real shared space. We sync up all our day and night cycles and weather cycles. Let’s say you’re in the UK playing and I’m in Canada playing – we don’t group up, we’re just playing – and the next day we do a Skype call, we could be like, ‘Hey, did you see that storm last night? It was awesome. I did this’. We have something in common to talk about and it’s a common experience, even though we didn’t group up.”

Warner also touched on post-launch support – BioWare plans to keep Anthem updated with a steady stream of “new and interesting” things. With most of BioWare now solely devoted to Anthem, hopefully they can keep that content coming.

For better or worse, it sounds like Anthem’s going to be a different experience than past BioWare games. They may insist otherwise, but it seems storytelling is taking a bit of a backseat this time around. Some will be disappointed with that, but BioWare has been doing more or less the same thing for a long time now. Following the disappointing Mass Effect: Andromeda, maybe it’s time for them to try something new.

Anthem boosts arrives on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 on February 22, 2019. Origin Access Premier members will be able to play the game a week early on February 15.