News | Bioware will stop developing the new version of Anthem

Bioware has discontinued development of the new version of Anthem.

The new version, also known as ‘Anthem Next’, has been in the works since the end of 2019. The Anthem released in 2018 did not bring the intended success for Bioware and publisher Electronic Arts. Anthem Next would overhaul the game and make the game more popular than ever.

In a blog post, Bioware announces that the development has been stopped completely. The finger is pointed to the situation surrounding corona and the fact that people have to work from home. Bioware announces that the current version of Anthem will remain playable.

The blog post also reports that Bioware will now focus entirely on the Mass Effect franchise, the highly anticipated next installment of Dragon Age, and updates to Star Wars: The Old Republic.


News | 'EA determines the future of Anthem this week'

Electronic Arts would decide this week whether Anthem will receive support in the future or stop the support.

Bloomberg reports this in a report. Developer BioWare has been in the business of “significantly reinventing” Anthem for quite some time after the game failed to achieve the intended success after launch in 2019. EA would decide internally this week whether BioWare can continue working on this revision, or whether support for the game will be discontinued entirely.

Last year, a small team within BioWare was put on reinventing Anthem. The team has since posted some regular updates on this process. This team would consist of about 30 people, according to Bloomberg’s report, but to fully implement the changes would require a larger team. It would at least be a tripling of manpower. That’s why EA would make a final decision this week.


News | Bioware announces redesign for Anthem

Bioware is working on a redesign of their most recent game Anthem.

Casey Hudson announced this in a new blog post. He says he prefers this redesign to last year’s extensions and updates.

“Over the past year, the team has worked hard to improve the stability, performance and quality while providing three seasons of content and features,” said Hudson. “We also heard your feedback that Anthem needs a more satisfying loot experience, better progression, and an end-game that gives more satisfaction.”

He continues: “In the coming months we will focus on redesigning the long-term experience, and specifically addressing the core gameplay loop with clear goals, motivating challenges and progression with meaningful rewards, while enjoying the fun of flying and fighting in maintain a great science fantasy setting. “

When the redesign of Anthem should appear exactly is not known. Hudson says it wants to give the studio the time it needs.


News | Anthem now playable via EA Access

Anthem is now available via EA Access.

The subscription service on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 allows gamers to play various EA games for a fixed monthly fee without any further costs. Anthem is now a game of that, about six months after the game was launched.

When Anthem launched earlier this year, there were quite a few problems with the game. However, EA said this summer that they still have faith in the game and developer BioWare.

Next week, on September 19, Access members can also try out Fifa 20. This is a 10-hour trial version.

You can read my Anthem review here.


Review | Anthem

While the reviews  in progress, I waited for the day one patch for the final conclusion.

Anthem tells a very and broad story that master storyteller BioWare knows how to handle and tell. At least, you would expect that. Unfortunately, the story remains safe on the surface. Just like the gameplay, the characters and the amount of content. Anthem is not a bad game, but certainly not a good one either. Does this mean that you cannot enjoy it? Certainly not! But those looking for the complete looter-shooter experience must have a lot of patience or play a different game.

Rarely did a game give a more paradoxical feeling of freedom than Anthem. Your Javelin, your personal Iron-Man suit, lets you experience a wonderful feeling of freedom with minimal effort. At the push of a button you ascend and fly just over the treetops of the truly beautiful world that BioWare has created. You avoid enemy fire with a barrel roll and while floating, you approach special enemies while using your skills. Shooting at the pretty silly and suicidal enemies is wonderful. You fire or freeze a group of enemies, and then you throw a bomb on it for a huge damage bonus.

But just when you think you are one with the world of Anthem, when you think you are an iron killing machine, the game will blow you back. You can’t stay too long, you have to keep going. And if you don’t fly to the next point fast enough, you can expect a loading screen, even though this loading interrupts part of the story you’re trying to follow.

It is symptomatic for the whole of Anthem. The game has no continuity, no immersion. Anthem does not want you to do a whole lot in one go, but to break everything into pieces that are behind a loading screen. Take as an example the equipment and weapons to be found: this is hidden in a kind of box that only when you stop your playing session shows what is in it. Stopping playing is rewarded in a certain sense, which is a bizarre and unfortunate design choice.

You always have to return to the Forge, the place where you can customize your Javelin with your finds and change the looks. There’s nothing wrong with the Forge itself: it’s a handy screen in which you quickly switch between your ¬†weapons and equipment in the form of icons. In an instant you have changed your Javelin in terms of color and cosmetic parts. You can buy cosmetic parts with real money, but also for a reasonable sum of the ingame currency. The problem of the Forge is that this part is behind a loading screen and cannot be accessed while playing. Adjusting your weapons or equipment to a situation that you had not anticipated is not possible while playing. The result is that you sometimes feel Javelin useless, while you have the right equipment in your possession.

Fortunately there are still the challenges. These challenges, ranging from killing a certain number of monsters with only a specific weapon to completing a certain amount of events, do not offer really exciting rewards, but they do give you a lot to do. There are also daily, weekly and monthly goals to complete.

You can only start the endgame yourself when you are level 30, and then it is about content that you already know, but that can then be played at a higher level of difficulty. Anthem then scatters with a good loot and that is of course great, but it also ensures that players of level 30 have quickly brought in the best loot so that there is really little left to do, apart from the challenges.

Anthem’s biggest problem, however, is that it was developed by BioWare. You can expect more from BioWare than what Anthem is at the moment. That is not entirely fair. Because when you look objectively at the game itself, it is scanty, but certainly playable. If you are only looking for simple fun shooting in a beautiful world while you fly through the air like a bird, Anthem may be something for you, because the game is really excellent. But this will be the minority. Everyone who likes to play BioWare games expects more from the story and the world. This developer invariably offers the highlights of his games there.

In addition, Anthem is not really what it promises to be. Anyone who likes to play looter shooters will notice that Anthem is actually not with the strange loot system. Anyone who likes to play co-op in a close team can do this in Anthem, but then via a Discord server, because the game itself offers a kind of pseudo team game without functional means of communication. But even the people who only come for flying and shooting will be bothered by all the loading screens and the huge amounts of bugs that the game still knows.

Of course Anthem is not the first game of the last years that has been launched with many start-up problems. Many people make the comparison with Destiny 2 and The Division and rightly claim that those games got a lot better with a lot of attention and updates after they were released. The big difference is that Destiny 2 and The Division were already great games at that time. Both had too little content and were judged on that, but the developers were able to work on it: they could immediately start expanding the game.

Anthem not only has too few exciting endgame content, but is also a much lesser game. The game gets in the way of players, and that is difficult to correct with a few patches. BioWare not only has the task to add more content, but must first make the game more playable if it is to attract and retain players. That does not mean that it is impossible for Anthem to ever become very cool, but it does not happen quickly.

Score:

7,0

– No distinctive variation in the world.
– Loading screens.
– Story filled with holes and not really fascinating characters.

+ Flying in the game world is and feels great
+ Visual a stunning spectacle