Amid all the big announcements this weekend at E3, we got to see the latest Bioware game on Saturday before the week even started. Teased about two years back, EA has finally shown its new game universe off to the public and press. Anthem is an action RPG where you control a suit of super armor and explore a vast science fictional landscape fighting foes as well as defending your settlement from the Wilds. Hang on a second, powered armor, lone protectors, defending your fortress from alien and hostile foes in an overgrown wasteland that sounds a lot like Destiny.
After watching the Anthem gameplay video several times last night, it has so many similarities to Destiny 2 it is almost too much even in how the players mention loot to each other and upgrades or experience throughout the video. The same casual and funny approach was taken in Destiny 2’s launch trailer. Compare the two and you’ll see. However let’s look much deeper at how these two games will match up over the coming year.
The Anthem Advantage
Bioware does have something in its back pocket: Storytelling. The team at Bioware was founded on immersive story and strong story-driven game narratives. This could be a big boost over any other game that has been made in this category. Any of these sci-fi epics will have fun gameplay, likely some PvP, and zones to explore. However, Bioware will tie in the deep story arcs. Even in the trailer, the first NPC gives you purpose and direction to find a missing team. You are shown a dystopian market and brought up to your first Javelin suit to go out and explore. If Bioware can augment the game with a rich story for its fans, then you will be a big plus for them.
The interface on Anthem looked very simple and unobtrusive. Years of action RPGs have bars, choices, and time stops for combat. It now looks like Bioware is turning to much more action play. The transitions were seamless and the screen was not clouded by skill bars or options. You got to see much more of the beautiful world that the team is creating. Movement looked fast as players flew around on jet packs and sprinted through the overgrown ruins in the jungle environment. The video showed some amazing visuals for sure. But will it be enough?
The Destiny Angle
Destiny 2 is set to launch this fall. That alone puts the game almost a year ahead of its competition. It also has an established play style that people are comfortable with. However, the sequel needs to bring something new to the table beyond just weapons, progression, and armor.
Bungie has made it clear that the storytelling elements to the sequel will win players over and that fans demanded more from the original. If Bungie can get a strong narrative behind the game, then fans may latch on to this world even stronger than the original.
The other part which will weigh heavily for fans is the matchmaking system. The developers seem to be trying to get this system very dialed in so players and clans will be able to meet up and explore both PvE and PvP areas together. One of the limits of co-op gameplay is having to wait for people to join up when you are doing a raid. If this issue is smoothed out, then it could add a lot to the game for players.
Will You Play Both?
So a year apart means that gamers will be able to decide on how they want to spend their money. However, knowing this industry well, Bungie will target a huge amazing expansion right around the time EA launches, it is open competition right? We’ll see how this plays out.
Overall, both games do look fun. The interesting questions will arise as we see more of Anthem and where the game will be headed. The four person only co-op play may actually be limiting in the experience, however most Bioware fans do not want huge open worlds, they want personal adventures. The similarities are there for sure, but this new fantasy approach to sci-fi is a fun genre which will certainly keep us all playing for a while.