Over the weekend at PAX West Bioware released a new trailer for Anthem and it is the talk of the whole convention. The trailer dives into the thing that people have been most interested in knowing more about, storytelling.
“At the heart of Anthem is the concept of Our World, My Story – the distinctive combination of a shared, dynamic world and a personal story. Discover how these two elements help create a connected world that remains unique to every player.”
But, the NPCs are still considered to be a radical shift for Bioware. You won’t be taking them out with you into the world, that’s what other players are for. Instead, you’ll find NPCs in a hub zone where you can interact with them. It’s being called “a reinvention of personal narrative in a multiplayer game.” These NPCs will give you missions, talk to you about their lives, and discuss the outcome of missions with you. None of the decisions you make will impact the story during missions. But you will be able to have very basic interactions with NPCs outside missions with two possible answers. How you answer will impact your relationship with those NPCs, which in turn impacts your missions and could result in different NPCs being introduced that weren’t previously there. Additionally, you’ll never be able to make an NPC so unhappy that you won’t be able to get a mission. They’ll also never be so happy that they’ll give you better equipment. This does indeed seem to be a radical departure from what Bioware is known for.
Between now and the release of the Anthem demo on February 1st there are going to be a number of events in which players can play the game and give feedback. Though it seems highly unlikely they will change the core parts of the game all that much if players aren’t happy. We’ll just have to wait and see how the game goes over. At least we know that Bioware is safe if Anthem is a flop.
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