Coming off of the disappointment that was Mass Effect: Andromeda, few expected BioWare to show up to E3 2017 let alone blow them away with a major game reveal. In reality, none would have blamed the developer for skipping E3 so as to avoid questions about Mass Effect’s failures. But when the studio debuted first gameplay for its new IP Anthem, plenty took notice and forgot about Andromeda entirely.
Now that time has passed and the hype surrounding Anthem has settled, BioWare has begun to hammer down what exactly the game is and what it is not. And one thing the developer wants to make very clear is that Anthem is not a new Mass Effect style game.
As BioWare explains in an interview with Edmonton AM Radio CBC, Anthem is a science fantasy game in the vein of properties like Star Wars and Marvel. By that the devs mean that the tech and the world in Anthem are not rooted in any real science – that’s saved for Mass Effect.
Anthem is a game where players will “see a lot of amazing things happening, but [BioWare doesn’t] worry too much about why they’re happening, or how they’re happening.” In other words, BioWare doesn’t want players to worry too much about whether the biomes of a location are accurate or if the tech of the Javelin exosuits is plausible.
That isn’t to say Mass Effect was a realistic depiction of the future, but its concepts were rooted in some scientific study. Alien races are obviously not part of that, but things like interstellar travel are. Anthem, on the other hand, seems to focus on gameplay and story elements that look cool and make for an engrossing world.
While BioWare has not outright expressed its intent to challenge Bungie’s Destiny in terms of sci-fi co-op action, quotes like these suggest that the developer is, at the very least, borrowing from its competitor’s lead. BioWare even mentioned a 10-year journey for Anthem, which to many sounds a lot like Activision’s 10-year plan for Destiny.
And now talk of science fantasy is sure to inspire even more talk about the similarities between Anthem and Destiny, even if the games don’t inevitably play the same. But if both deal in “space magic” it will be hard not to compare the two games.
Anthem is set to release in 2018 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.