One of the most disappointing games of 2019 was Anthem and Bioware seems intent on doing its best to fix it. The loot based shooter from Bioware was their newest IP and was supposed to change the genre just as the company had done many times in the past. What everyone got instead was a mediocre third-person loot shooter where the flying was fun, but far too limited.
Anthem was plagued by a repetitive and grinding mission structure without much of a story to push players along. With fans not finding interest in the story or gameplay the player base fell off quickly nearly giving the game a death sentence. EA and Bioware, however, have chosen to continue support of the game and eventually, rumors of a re-work began to float around. On Monday, Bioware pretty much confirmed those rumors in a blog post about the state of Anthem and what the plans are for it in the future.
Over the coming months we will be focusing on a longer-term redesign of the experience, specifically working to reinvent the core gameplay loop with clear goals, motivating challenges and progression with meaningful rewards – while preserving the fun of flying and fighting in a vast science-fantasy setting. And to do that properly we’ll be doing something we’d like to have done more of the first time around – giving a focused team the time to test and iterate, focusing on gameplay first.
Everyone should read the entire blog post because it gives a big picture of how Bioware feels about the game, but the key detail is that they plan on fixing the gameplay loop. At the end of the day what will keep players around longer than anything else is an experience they enjoy playing above all else. It’s nice to see them realize this and emphasize they’re going to give the Anthem team time to develop something that everyone will enjoy.
As someone that played and came away disappointed with Anthem, I’m hopeful they can turn it around. The flying is legitimately fun and there are moments in the game where you see something great is possible with its bones. There are reasons to be optimistic. Let’s just hope that this time their dev team nails it.