During E3 2017, BioWare announced its brand new IP, an RPG called Anthem. Almost as soon as the Anthem gameplay trailer had begun, people began to compare the game to Destiny 2. But could it really compete with Bungie's first-person shooter?
Looking at the way that BioWare itself describes Anthem, it's little wonder why people say that the game is so similar to Destiny 2. Anthem is described as a "shared-world-action-RPG" that lets players take on the world as a "heroic team" and also promises "unique weapons and abilities" as well as "massive, world-altering" events that players can experience together.
Add in the fact that part of Anthem is based behind a huge wall and that players are tasked with defeating forces that want to "conquer humanity" and it sounds as though BioWare has just interpreted an internal Bungie memo.
But Anthem may not be a competitor just for the fact that it shares all of the same sci-fi RPG tropes as another game. What's really catching the eye of hardcore Destiny fans is that 'awesome' feeling. Destiny 2 should still offer that same emphasis of exploration but Anthem features the ability to dive underwater, jet pack up in the air and fling the player character into a giant ball of electricity. The fact that Anthem is a brand new world while Destiny 2 is a new take on an existing universe may give the BioWare game the edge.
Where the two games will really go toe-to-toe though is in their social gameplay aspects. Both Anthem and Destiny 2 encourage players to team up and take down enemies together, with Anthem also boasting the ability to share loot with friends. It's currently unclear what Anthem will be like when played alone, but clearly BioWare wants its players to work together and call upon each other when these big, community events are taking place.
For Destiny 2 that could be a real problem as it thrives on (and really only exists for) all of the play that happens after it launches. If Destiny 2 can't keep its players investing huge amounts of time into its world and keep them coming back for months and even years after launch then it will wither on the vine. Bungie has already planned plenty of Destiny 2 DLC but whether this will be enough is up in the air.
With Anthem bringing an entirely new world to the table come fall 2018 (an entire year after Destiny 2 launches) it could be a real battle for the developer to hold onto players. The BioWare title will become yet another possible distraction for shooting game fans with limited time.
Games like Destiny 2 and Anthem offer constant updates, new missions, events and balance changes. While this is generally good news for the playerbase, it can be difficult for a person to keep up with. Put two games like that in front of someone who has work and other commitments to think about and they may only have time for one of them. But whether players will choose Anthem or keep with Destiny 2 is a question that cannot be answered for now.
Anthem is expected to release in fall 2018.