BioWare’s Anthem and First Impressions

Now, now, now, Andromeda kinda failed, isn’t it. Let’s do a trailer critic.

Two areas, one is a hub area where you interact with people and an exploration area where you do your combat. This is simple BioWare formula, where they used even in Dragon Age Origins.

Note that this might be the real difference between BioWare games and Bethesda games. Bethesda games are full of encounters and quests that are in the exploration area, and you rarely go back to the main hubs, maybe only to talk with some quest givers. In BioWare games, there will be a main hub (your ship, Citadel,..etc.) where you really roleplay, and then you go out and do your combat.

The trailer showcases a vast expansive world. For gameplay reasons, this is purely graphical fungasm. Although you have infinite jetpack fuel, you won’t be allowed to go at your desire. There will be a certain path that will direct you to the combat area and jetpack is just a way to hide the loading process. The trailer doesn’t give us the notion that you will be visiting more than one planets. It might be interesting if you have one big world full of encounters. But that is not the BioWare way, so probably they will be targeting how Destiny went.

Multiplayer extend is problematic. BioWare is always known for RPG games, but it was going to action in each installment. This game shows they are stopping RPG story progression and going full Destiny.

Am I hyped? No. I like games that deliver story and fully immerse you in the game World. Making it a social game depreciates its impact effect. I loved when we faced an unbeatable enemy in the form of Reapers in Mass Effect series. It was intriguing to shape the story of the Inquisitor in Dragon Age Inquisition. I would like a continuation to Dragon Age, not another Destiny clone.

On a side note, you don’t need a new Sci-Fi IP when you already have a big universe ready for you. Mass Effect Andromeda’s short comings has been documented by Kotaku in a recent article, which states it started as a No Man’s Sky clone with procedural generated planets, and the product really made whole in the last 18 months. Just do it right, know the main qualities what made Mass Effect: Carefully planned encounters that bring enhancing stories and a smile on our face, as well as companions that make us connect and care for them.

When you do something right, build on it. Use creativity in small increments. Mass Effect universe still holds a lot to work on. Do not change the model. Do not be Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War 3, where they copied League of Legends (and failed to capture the essence of DoW series). Do not be C&C 4, which copied DoW 2 and Company of Heroes on baseless RTS (and missed the real essence of a RTS: Base building). If BioWare copies Destiny in Anthem, they will lose their fan base, and that is bad business.

Look at Blizzard, they are just building on what they are doing right. That is the way.

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