BioWare's Anthem Is Multiplayer But Can Be Played Solo, Too
There will still be room for a single-player experience in Anthem.
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BioWare is best known for its work on single-player games, although it does have some experience on the multiplayer side as well. With Anthem seemingly being designed as EA's answer to Destiny, multiplayer appears to be a big focus. But for those who are more interested in going about things on their own, the game will also be playable solo.
In the latest blog post from BioWare boss Casey Hudson, the company's updated mission statement is outlined: "We create worlds of adventure, conflict, and companionship that inspire you to become the hero of your story." Hudson emphasized the companionship part, as he says the company's games are meant to feature other characters on your adventures--whether those are AI- or human-controlled.
"However we design it, we always want to capture the special feeling of being on a journey with memorable companions," Hudson said. "I talked last time about Anthem being 'a story you can experience with friends.' There were, understandably, some questions and concerns about story in multiplayer. Specifically, 'What if I don't want to play with randos?' 'What if I don't have friends that I play games with?' And, 'I like to be the one making choices in my story--if it's multiplayer, won't the story get watered down?'"
Hudson attempted to dispel any concerns over this, admitting that they are things he worries about as a player as well. He called attention to the "become the hero of your story" aspect of BioWare's mission statement, saying that you as an individual should be creating a character and deciding what happens.
"I think the reason people are concerned about whether these things are possible in a multiplayer game is because it just hasn't been solved well before," he said. "With Anthem we're taking this problem head-on and structuring the entire game design to provide a specific solution for this."
Unfortunately, Hudson didn't actually explain just how this problem is being tackled. These details will be shared "very soon," but he said that you don't have to worry about being forced to engage in multiplayer.
"We think it creates a unique experience where you have control over your own story, but your story is set in an ever-changing multiplayer world," he said. "And yes, even though Anthem is meant to bring out the best parts of playing as part of an online community, you can choose to play through the story with only your friends, or even on your own.
"It's true--we're trying something really different here. Anthem represents one way to deliver innovation and new experiences in the spirit of our mission. We also have teams envisioning future BioWare games, and they're designing approaches that are different from Anthem--including one that's very Dragon Age. As we try new things, I hope that you'll come on the journey with us, and continue asking questions that will help shape Anthem into something we'll all love to play."
Just prior to E3 2018, EA will host its annual EA Play event. BioWare will share "lots more details" on Anthem there, presumably including more on what Hudson outlined in the blog post. We still know very little about the game, but its release is approaching quickly--after a delay that pushed it out of 2018, it's now due out by March 2019. EA also plans to have some kind of early access or beta test for the game, although specifics on that also remain unknown.