We've been learning a lot about BioWare's newest IP Anthem over the past year, including more on the game's character customization options, the storyline, and how the gameplay itself will work. But one feature missing from launch that seems to be a hot topic in the gaming community is PvP. Luckily, BioWare says they are open to this style of play in the future.
We recently sat down with a few key members of the Anthem team including Mike Gamble. Though back in June, Mark Darrah answered with "no PvP at launch," there wasn't really any follow up to what that meant. Did that mean it was being heavily considered, or were fans reading too much into the statement?
When we asked during small meeting with BioWare before The Game Awards if their stance had changed at all regarding PvP, Gamble mentioned that it's something the team is definitely interested in but they want to make sure it "fits" with the game's feel overall.
With Anthem being an all-online game with live events and a steady hub of players, it makes sense that the studio would want to focus on the core aspects first before delving into other modes of online play. With Bethesda implementing PvP into the Fallout franchise for the first time ever, there is a higher demand than usual for this competitive style. Pair that with the amazing Javelin suits and customization, it's easy to see why some players would be easy to put their suits through the ringer.
So does this mean that Anthem will feature PvP definitively? No. There are many features that developers play with that end up forever left in the scraped idea pile but it is good to see that the interest seems to be rising for those looking forward to this sort of experience.
As for the game itself, an open demo for Anthem will be available for all on February 1st through the 3rd. When speaking about the upcoming play periods, director Jon Warner had a few things to say about the motivation and determination leading up to release:
"Anthem is a world and story that has lived inside of my heart and mind for a long while," said Warner in a recent BioWare blog post. "Two and a half years ago, we revealed Anthem at E3. And last night, we finally shared more about our story with a new trailer at The Game Awards. Seeing the amazing reactions was a much needed reminder of why we work so hard."
With numerous teams all working hard to get their parts ready for February, players will get a chance to try the game before it launches. "We conduct playtests to ensure the key systems and technology that power the game will hold up when we launch. For this one specifically, we are focusing on load balancing and scale testing our servers and matchmaking. We will be focusing the time windows of the playtest to give you the best opportunity to experience a slice of the game with others. We will also shut down the servers and games multiple times without notice and bring them all up again. This playtest is all about the group experience and the dedicated servers. We’ve focused the content on what is outside of Fort Tarsis to give you a chance to enjoy that experience. We’ve purposely built a small slice of the game, so we can look at those things while you play and enjoy the game. Therefore, the content in this playtest is about a month old and isn’t reflective of how the game looks and performs today or how it will at launch."
Though the upcoming Alpha is for feedback, the team is also providing demos just for a chance to check it out with no strings attached. For those that already have their Closed Alpha codes, that play period will begin on December 8 and will end on the 9th. After that wraps, BioWare is done testing the game and wants to simply offer a demo. Two, in fact.
The first is the VIP demo which will only be available to those that pre-ordered the title. In addition to being able to play the game early, those that pre-ordered will also have an exclusive in-game item waiting for them to show off that they were among the first to get their hands on the online game. For VIP access, those dates are January 25 - 27.
Following the VIP access is the open demo, which the dates were revealed above. Thoughts on Anthem so far? Join in on the conversation in the comment section below, or hit me up on Twitter @DirtyEffinHippy for even more game-age!