Anthem: BioWare's Primary Focus Is a "Personal Narrative"

February of next year can't come soon enough for BioWare fans anxiously awaiting to try out the [...]

February of next year can't come soon enough for BioWare fans anxiously awaiting to try out the studio's latest IP, Anthem. A big staple in BioWare games in the past such as the Dragon Age and Mass Effect series is that beautiful stories crafted in a way that throws the player all in. These branching narratives is what BioWare is known for but Anthem is shaking things up in more way than one. But before you panic, that doesn't mean they are sacrificing the story. Instead, BioWare is looking to make it more personal alongside the new social aspects.

VG247 recently sat down with Game Director Jonathan Warner and he revealed just how this game is very much "its own thing." "We felt like science-fantasy was an interesting space: the feel of it, the look of it, the power fantasy of it – that comes from a background of reading science fiction and fantasy books, reading comic books. It's all come together in this nice little package."

The storytelling aspect of BioWare is still very important to the studio, but the approach for this particular title has evolved. It will still very much feel like a BioWare game while still offering a completely new experience. This blend is one that has to be handled with care, and that attention to detail has definitely been at the forefront of the developer team's focus since day one.

"Next week at PAX West we'll be talking more about our story and our characters," Warner told the site. "There will be player choice. I think that Anthem, being a shared world social RPG, we're focusing less on a massively branching story and more on making it a more personal narrative. There's definitely choices in there that you're making, but the focus is a little bit different for this game."

Warner also went a little deeper into the 'Our World, My Story' philosophy of the team, "We call this idea 'our world, my story' because the story of Anthem isn't about a singular hero, it's about a team of heroes – the freelancers – so it's really conducive to telling a story about a group," Warner says. "We wanted to make sure the world felt like it was a real shared space. We sync up all our day and night cycles and weather cycles. Let's say you're in the UK playing and I'm in Canada playing – we don't group up, we're just playing – and the next day we do a Skype call, we could be like, 'Hey, did you see that storm last night? It was awesome. I did this'. We have something in common to talk about and it's a common experience, even though we didn't group up."

He added, "Without revealing too many details, Anthem, at its heart, is about the progression of your javelin, your powers, and chasing rare loot. That's a primary horizon that I think will last for a good long time. Then it's something we can play with, add to, and add new horizons – things that you're going to want to chase."

As a huge BioWare fan myself (shamefully admits I'm on playthrough 29 of the original Mass Effect trilogy), this does make me feel better about the upcoming game. Though I was impressed with my own hands-on time with the online title, it's still hard not to feel the loss of the earlier Andromeda controversy. Luckily, it seems EA is giving BioWare the freedom they need to get this right - and for that, we thank them.

Interested in learning even more about the game? You can check out our Anthem community hub right here for all of our previous coverage regarding the latest venture for BioWare.

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