BioWare’s Anthem was revealed at Microsoft’s E3 press conference in 2017, showing off some really cool features, such as flying around in your mech suit like Iron Man, or said suits’ various combat capabilities. BioWare’s Brenon Holmes has now responded to various queries on a Reddit thread that pertain to those suits in particular, and it’s some pretty interesting stuff.
For starters, he spoke about verticality within the game. One of the things that impressed most people when the game was revealed was how players will be able to seamlessly fly in the environment, go to ground, and even use their suits to go underwater. The verticality aspect, though, will of course have limits. “We really want you to feel a sense of freedom with our exploration mechanics,” Holmes said in a comment. “There will be some amount of progression and skill expression with flying, which will affect how far you can go and what you can do in the air.”
“There are also limits as to how high you can go, we’re playing around with a flight ceiling prototype right now,” he continued, moving on to the topic of just how high you can really go while flying around in your suits. “It’s fairly subtle, and feels more like a heavy down draft. We’ll have to see about specific height limitations… it’s all kind of up in the air right now as it’s mostly dependent on performance.”
And what about combat? Anthem promises to give players choices between various suits to equip, each with their own unique capabilities, basically letting players switch classes when and how they want. But will there be combat-focused sections in the game where the players find themselves out of their suits? Well, it might be more complicated than you think, according to Holmes. “We had a prototype of this early on,” he said, “but we ran into a lot of problems. The world is fairly dangerous, some of the smallest “non-hostile” creatures in the game are basically like small horses to humans… and they probably eat humans honestly. So you didn’t really have a lot of combat interaction beyond getting eaten.”
“The larger problem had to do with getting stuck,” he continued. “You could hop out of your suit and then fall into a ravine and basically just get screwed… since humans have nowhere near the same mobility as a suit. All in all, while it was a really cool atmosphere thing (it was terrifying!) – there wasn’t enough gameplay to support it without a ton of work.” In response to this, one user suggested having scripted moments in the game with specific, controlled environments to allow for combat outside of mechs. “That’s definitely an interesting idea,” Holmes said in response. “There’s definitely the possibility of some of this kind of stuff down the line – we just need to figure out if there are good ways to deploy it alongside our other types of content.”
Interestingly enough, another user also asked if there would be in-game settings which would allow players to switch things around to suit them in case they were left-handed. Holmes gave a pretty honest answer, saying that that would be low in priority in the list of things to put into the game. “I’ll ask… but I’m pretty sure the answer is ‘no’,” he said. “Not that it’s impossible, just rather complex… and in the overall set of priorities, I’m guessing something like this is going be fairly low.”
Anthem has been in the news a lot recently, with reports emerging on how the game might have been delayed to 2019, as pressure mounts on BioWare to finish development on this highly ambitious title. You can read all about it here and here. Stay tuned to GamingBolt for continued coverage.