BioWare's Mark Darrah recently sat down to answer a few fan questions over on his Twitter, and we've gotten a little more clarification on a few things that have been previously revealed for their upcoming online game Anthem. Some have noticed that the Javelin suits, the game's mech suits for "Freelancers," don't seem to have any sort of gender variation between the suits. Though a lot of women, such as myself, actually appreciate this move, there are many that were curious as to the reasons why.
Apparently this was something to the studio had gone back and forth on quite a bit before deciding on something ultimately neutral. Though most of the reasoning is sound, of of the particular bullet points Darrah did mention one reason that pertains to toxicity that's been on the rise. According to his Twitter post:
There are a variety of reasons:
1. The differences were barely noticeable
2. In an era of harassment, having gender variation would mean also allowing players to choose their suit if they wished. This was unplanned work
3. And some other things
Way to keep it vague with the "some other things," Mark! But it does make sense as to why they would stick to a more neutral setting, especially when looking at how the suits actually function. From the gameplay video we say at E3, players could actually notice the padding within each suit, making them comfortable for whatever body type may be inhabiting.
One user reflecting some of my own opinion when she replied:
As a "female gamer" I generally don't appreciate it when gender variations are made to things. Especially to inanimate objects, nonhumanoids, or machines. Because it usually ends up feeling tacky and incredibly unnecessary. Personally I'm happy the game is this way.— 🌙🌸 (@ShingetsuMoon) June 26, 2018
Though not everyone agrees with that statement, which is more than OK, it does reflect a thought that many of in the community have: why overcomplicate something unnecessarily so? Darrah himself even stated that it was unplanned work to add the variation, so it seems to be a win/win in the overall scheme of things.1comments
All in all, this seems like a very practical reasoning for the suits themselves, and we can't wait to learn even more about how our characters will intertwine in both the narrative and with other players.
Anthem officially launches for Xbox One, PlayStaiton 4, and PC on February 22nd of next year!