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Anthem Is A “Science Fantasy” Like Star Wars, Says BioWare

by Jelani James

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It’s been a while since we heard anything about BioWare’s new game, Anthem, and the only thing we know so far is about it is everything detailed to us at E3 — which wasn’t much. However, thanks to an interview with boss Aaryn Flynn held by CBC, there is one interesting tidbit we now know about the upcoming title: it is set to be “science fantasy” like Star Wars, rather than “hardcore science fiction” like Mass Effect.

“It’s in a genre we call science fantasy, very much like Star Wars, very much like the Marvel Universe,” he said. You see a lot of amazing things happening but we don’t worry too much about why they are happening or how they are happening; the science of it.”

When Anthem was first revealed, it had a very Mass Effect type of feel overall. Quite honestly, if Mass Effect turned into a game that was supposed to mirror and allegedly rival Destiny, then Anthem would be it. So what exactly makes this game so different when compared to BioWare’s older IP?

It’s all about the game world and the way its aspects are explained, according to Flynn.

Mass Effect is more a real hard core science fiction IP. [Anthem] is much more about just having fun in a game world that is really lush and exotic and really sucks you in.”

What can we get from all this? It appears Anthem will just be a game where things are as they are, and BioWare won’t really feel the need to explain every single detail about the player’s world — unlike what it did with Mass Effect. The easiest way to compare the two would be by likening Anthem to Star Wars (which Flynn does) and Mass Effect to Star Trek. While the latter was very in the moment and intentionally political at times, the former made no attempt to explain important concepts, like the Force, until it unfortunately tried to do so in the prequels.

Amusingly enough, BioWare’s decision to take Anthem in that direction makes it seem even more like Destiny. For example, one of the major concepts in Destiny is “The Darkness” and players don’t even know what it is yet. Along with other similarities such as both franchises’ stories slated to take place over the span of a decade, it will be hard to not draw parallels between the two once Anthem debuts next year and finds itself going head-to-head with Destiny 2.

Anthem comes out in autumn 2018 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

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