Anthem, the next game from Mass Effect and Dragon Age studio BioWare has a February 22 release date for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. In the run up to this, Anthem Producer Thomas Singleton revealed that the sci-fi shared world shooter won't be as fun alone as it would be when you're playing with friends. Tragic considering that the game's story missions can be played solo. Nonetheless, we should know for sure how this pans out when the Anthem demo hits from January 25 for those who pre-ordered the game or have EA Access or Origin Access, the demo will be available to all from February 1. That being said, Singleton's comments aren't exactly reassuring for those of us who would prefer exploring Anthem's scenic vistas and narrative without others.
"This is launching a new IP for EA, for BioWare, and we're super proud of it," Singleton said to Official PlayStation Magazine (via WCCFtech). "We're excited because we're bringing connectivity and co-op environmental gameplay to the game along with great storytelling and that's rarely done. We're pushing team dynamics, that's where the game really begins to sell. Where the product shines is playing as that squad, you're working together as a unit to go and conquer various missions. If you want to play the experience solo that's your option, it probably won't be as rewarding, you won't have that team dynamic. The game will scale based on whether you're by yourself or playing with three other people."
Apart from this, it seems that Anthem would be doing a few things differently compared to the likes of Destiny. With BioWare being aware of the competition, it plans to bring its own flavour to the shared world shooter genre.
"The team has definitely looked out into the market and seen what's done well and what hasn't done well, right, and that's why we're doing some of the things in this product that Destiny and some others haven't." he said. "We are trying to go into the story further, we are trying to bring in the level of customisation from a Javelin perspective, and making it a meaningful difference for players."
Previously, Anthem executive producer Mark Darrah answered fan questions, detailing aspects of Anthem including solo missions, co-op, number of character creations, and matchmaking.
Darrah has been interacting with Anthem fans directly via Twitter for some time. On the subject of story missions and whether they will be available to groups only, he said you can play them on your own.
Anthem is designed as a co-op experience and works best with four players, Darrah said, with each server also supporting four players. Still, the game will adjust to “group size”.
The co-op areas that require teams of four – Strongholds – aren't “campaign missions” but rather "high difficulty experiences”. Missions will also be “relatively linear within themselves” while “free play is wide open”.
Anthem players will also have the option to create multiple Freelancers – the in-game character – per account, allowing families to buy one copy of the game and share it amongst yourselves.
Beyond that, Anthem will have match-making so you don't have to align your schedules with three other friends for co-op play.
If you're a fan of video games, check out Transition, Gadgets 360's gaming podcast. You can listen to it via Apple Podcasts or RSS, or just listen to this week's episode by hitting the play button below.