Anthem

In which BioWare explained how the story works, without actually explaining much, or showing any of it.

You know BioWare, you keep telling us there’s story here, but you never show it. See, recently I watched some 40 minutes of Cyberpunk 2077, a game that is by no means in a playable state and which for all accounts will probably take like two more years to finish. And in that video I saw a great deal of story with multiple branching narrative paths, a lot of characterization for our heroes, a ton of world-building… What? Oh, am I not being fair for comparing Cyberpunk to Anthem? Ok then.

On a somewhat lighter note, the trailer is full of some fantastic gems. Like “explosive missions”. Dang, don’t you just hate it when your mission explodes? Bums me out every time. “Uncover answers to your questions about Anthem”. Well that’s good at least, because I happen to have plenty of questions. Like what the hell is even going on? “You may even encounter shadowy figures”. Oh no! Not the shadowy figures! My goodness, it’s almost like it’s a city or something!

And of course, the big one, the crowning jewel of this… Crown: “This is real-time storytelling: a reinvention of personal narrative in a multiplayer game.” As opposed to what exactly? Turn-based storytelling? Sequential storytelling? See, I was working under the assumption that all stories are told in real time, but apparently I was wrong! Is this like a Doctor Who moment where it turns out every time I thought I was listening to a story in real time I was actually time traveling? Who’s responsible for this? Is it the Master? It’s the Master, isn’t it?

I mean, ultimately I’m trying to throw a lot of shade here, but there are still things to like about Anthem from what we’ve seen. My cautious optimism may have ran out, but despite all the above, I actually still think the game is going to be fun. You know, for a given definition of ‘fun’.