Anthem Won't Use Hard Sci-Fi Approach of Mass Effect

It will be more Spielberg and Star Wars in terms of storytelling and lore.

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No matter how you felt about Mass Effect 3 or Andromeda, BioWare has always been a storytelling studio in its RPGs. But those story tried to be based on hard science, with silly but believable-sounding explanations and jargon for all the gadgets, physics and abilities that make up the universe. Anthem will be taking a different tack, going more fantastical with its story and lore.

The term BioWare is using now is "science fantasy," akin to Star Wars and Spielberg. In an interview with CBC Radio in Edmonton, BioWare General Manager Aaryn Flynn says that in Anthem, "we don’t worry about why they’re happening, or how they’re happening — the science of it. Mass Effect is more our real hardcore science fiction IP. This one is much more just having fun in a game world that’s lush and exotic and really sucks you in."

Flynn also explained, however, that the game will continue to explore personal experiences and relationships. "We’ve had folks who have moved into Canada, who are immigrants, and so often those stories find their way in," he said. "We have those folks who are from smaller communities, and those stories make their way in. We have LGBTQ members, and those stories make their way into the games. And so it all comes from your personal experience -- the writers, the designers, the artists. They all want to put into the game things they’ve admired or experienced in their lives."

BioWare made a splash at this year's E3 with the long-awaited reveal of its new IP. Publisher EA is pushing the game as a "live service" social experience, and specifically delayed the game to late 2018 or early 2019 so that BioWare could have more time to get the feature set right. If you are interested in the new offering from BioWare, be sure to check out everything we know about Anthem.

Contributing Editor

From The Chatty

  • reply
    June 27, 2017 10:20 AM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Anthem Won't Use Hard Sci-Fi Approach of Mass Effect

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      June 27, 2017 11:20 AM

      No sure how 'hard' Mass Effect's sci-fi was, but yeah, Anthem definitely looks a bit farther in to fantasy. Looks cool, though. It's a lot more interesting looking to me than Destiny.

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      June 27, 2017 11:26 AM

      So less hard sci-fi, and more Wizard from the Moon.

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      June 27, 2017 11:28 AM

      Oh they're ignoring Mass Effect 3's Star Child?

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      June 27, 2017 11:39 AM

      Get out in front of the problem, huh?

      Calling Mass Effect hard science fiction is probably what started any bitching and nitpicking about what was and wasn't hard sci-fi enough in the first place.

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        June 27, 2017 11:42 AM

        STAR WARS would like a word with you, ma'am.

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          June 27, 2017 11:54 AM

          Lol did anyone ever consider Star Wars hard sci-fi? Anyhow, I'm just thinking about this in terms of Bioware's constantly tone deaf marketing.

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            June 27, 2017 12:21 PM

            No, I doubt it. But it was (probably?) the birth of space-fantasy in the public consciousness, at least.

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              June 27, 2017 9:37 PM

              And Star Trek would like a word with you, sir.

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      June 27, 2017 12:21 PM

      "The term BioWare is using now is "science fantasy,"

      and I just lost interest. so sick of magic in games

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      June 27, 2017 1:11 PM

      What does that even mean?

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        June 27, 2017 9:39 PM

        That their story is pretty soft and they don't plan on hardening it up.

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      June 27, 2017 1:31 PM

      "we don’t worry about why they’re happening, or how they’re happening" could be applied to all their games tbh

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      June 27, 2017 1:39 PM

      Will they have time to explain the things they have time to explain?

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      June 27, 2017 1:41 PM

      I mean, the game seems like it's going to be like Destiny. I'd be curious to see if it has any Bioware really in it but I'm not so sure :/

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      June 27, 2017 1:55 PM

      Um... all it has to do is feel original and have likeable characters. Please don't tell another "must avert end of the world" story.

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        June 27, 2017 2:05 PM

        well to their credit they did try that. exploration and colonization - they had a big break from the OMFG THE GALAXY IS FUCKED theme. however that left people underwhelmed, obviously.

        mass effect(s) have a huge pacing problem. too fast, because the galaxy is under imminent threat, people miss all the neat details. too slow, because you are supposed to drive around and collect minerals, people get bored.

        what's the right pace for mass effect? should they get rid of multiplayer to focus on campaign co-op as the new atmosphere for gameplay?

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          June 27, 2017 2:10 PM

          Wonder Woman made me appreciate mid-level stakes (ending a major war, minor plot spoiler). a solid, hero-worthy goal, but not on an absurdly cosmic scale.

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          June 27, 2017 10:24 PM

          They didn't reaally try that. Andromeda was a mess from every angle and made by an anemic B team.

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        June 27, 2017 2:08 PM

        i'm ready for a "must cause the end of the world" story

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          June 27, 2017 9:28 PM

          Have you played Darksiders?

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            June 27, 2017 9:33 PM

            There was thisbone mission at the start, it wasn't the game's end goal

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              June 27, 2017 9:47 PM

              I feel like there are some other cause the end of the world games....

              I liked Darksiders but they were still ready for the Apocalypse where I left off on it. That's a surprisingly long game.