EA and BioWare showed off some new Anthem content today, largely focusing on how they’re blending single-player and multiplayer together. That’s been one of the primary concerns among players, and today’s presentation has provided a lot more clarity and context on how that combination will work.
The key term is “our world, my story” – and while that’s a pithy turn of marketing phrase, it’s also a pretty solid way of describing how BioWare is splitting the difference. Fort Tarsis is a single-player hub where you talk with NPCs, get your role-playing on, and take on missions.
Once you’ve gotten a mission, it’s time to hit the open world, and this is where you can matchmake with other players – if you want. There’s storytelling here, but you don’t have choices to make here, as those sorts of decisions are locked exclusively to Fort Tarsis, and a handful of other story-based instances.
Completing certain missions might bring a new character back to your Fort Tarsis, and to other players’ Forts as well – it’s only here that you’re able to talk to those characters, make decisions, and take on new missions. Your relationship with that character might take a different form than how that story goes with another player, and there can be subtle changes to the Fort as a result.
However, none of those choices will lock you out of missions or any other gameplay content. BioWare wants to open up the role-playing genre to new players, and avoid giving the sense of choice paralysis that comes with the knowledge that your dialogue decisions can’t prevent you from seeing entire aspects of the game.
Minor characters – those that don’t give you missions – might still show consequences from your choices, disappearing from your game entirely. But BioWare is explicit that your decisions won’t offer the same sort of far-reaching consequences that we’d see in a game like Dragon Age or Mass Effect.
It’s a different kind of game than BioWare has made in the past, but it sounds like there’s plenty of BioWare flavor sprinkled in over top. The Anthem release date is set for February, and there’s going to be a demo to let you play ahead of release.