BioWare Is Reportedly Planning A Complete Overhaul For Anthem
For years now the idea of “saving” your game and re-launching it in a better state has been called “The Realm Reborn treatment,” named after Final Fantasy XIV’s initial disastrous 1.0 launch. Basically new management came in, took control, and completely re-tooled FFXIV into the amazing state it is today. No Man’s Sky had a similar re-awakening. That could happen to Anthem.
Several of Anthem‘s biggest elements are going to be completely overhauled, either in one large update or in a series of smaller updates. These include the structure of missions, as well as the world itself and the loot. The game has been criticized for the relatively arbitrary loot scoring system, with weapons not varying enough in power compared to those found earlier in the game.
Other changes could include breaking the one large map into several smaller ones and removing the need to go to the hub area Fort Tarsis between missions. As opposed to in games like The Division 2 that show you your new gear right after finding it, Anthem makes you return to Fort Tarsis, breaking up the action in an unnecessary way that all but nullifies any reason to have an open world at all.
The overhaul has gone by names like “Anthem 2.0” and “Anthem Next,” though the name isn’t the only part of the plans that hasn’t been set yet. BioWare reportedly hasn’t decided yet whether it’ll release one massive expansion to straighten things out our whether it’ll follow a path like Hello Games did with No Man’s Sky where a series of updates are released to fix things in waves.
One possible avenue being considered by BioWare is releasing whatever the next iteration of Anthem is as a new game. That’s probably an outcome that wouldn’t sit very well with Anthem owners, though as Kotaku pointed out, charging people who own Anthem the full price for the new version probably wouldn’t happen anyway. The backlash over that would be intense, and Anthem has already endured its share of criticism, some of it deserved while some parts were inevitably exaggerated.
Among the things BioWare wants to overhaul in Anthem are the game’s loot systems, the way players interact with one another, and the world itself. One suggestion indicated that the map might be split into different parts instead of being kept as one map while another would make it so that players don’t have to head back to Fort Tarsis after completing every mission.
Electronic Arts has been committed to keeping Anthem up and running, though events like BioWare Ben Irving and other developers leaving BioWare have cast an even bigger shadow over the game’s future. Despite what these developments might’ve suggested, Kotaku report says that dozens, perhaps hundreds of developers across BioWare multiple offices are still working to make Anthem a better game.
As one of the few who saw promise with Anthem’s core gameplay, I said upfront that I was reticent as to whether or not BioWare would be able to actually give us a worthwhile living MMO-esque world. Everyone quickly figured out that you didn’t need to be a seer to make that prediction, and the game has suffered ever since. Now, it might have a fighting chance, and salvage BioWare’s reputation in the process. In the meantime, there’s always the next Dragon Age to dream about.