During the production of Mass Effect: Andromeda, BioWare was working on a semi-secret new game, which was finally revealed today at EA's 2017 E3 show. The teaser is brief (watch it above), and leaves us with lots of questions—many of which we hope will be answered during Microsoft's E3 show on Sunday when we'll see the first gameplay footage.
For now, though, we can use the teaser and previous statements EA has made about the game to put together a fuzzy picture of what BioWare has been up to.
Anthem will release in Fall 2018
Earlier, I updated this story to say that Anthem would release in spring 2018, because that's when the official YouTube channel's about section said it would release. Apparently, that was a mistake. The game's YouTube channel has since been updated with a fall 2018 release window. (Thanks to Alessio Palumbo from Wccftech for pointing this out to me in the first place.)
It's not an RPG
Anthem is described by EA as an "action adventure" game, not an RPG, as reported by Polygon. However, that doesn't mean BioWare-style storytelling and NPC friendships (and more-than-friendships) are necessarily out of the picture. EA CEO Andrew Wilson also said that we can expect "the great RPG character development and story progression that BioWare is known for."
Based on the trailer, it very much looks like a monster-hunting shooter reminiscent of Destiny. Which brings us to the next detail...
It will be a "live service"
"This game is built around a live service, and through our creative process, we’ve decided to add more to the disruptive new social designs for our players," said Wilson during the same investor's call. So clearly there is a multiplayer component, which suggests we could be looking at a cooperative shooter or melee action game of some design.
What isn't clear is how BioWare-style "RPG character development and story progression" fits into that. We could see cooperative missions and loot collecting eating up time in between episodic story missions, which the teaser may hint at when we hear "the story doesn't end here, it's just the beginning." That's just speculation, though.
There are monsters
Big ones. Not having seen anything else threatening outside of the wall, we're assuming these beasts are our primary antagonists. However, this being BioWare, there may be more to it than roaming bundles of muscles and teeth—some kind of intelligent threat, too, which drives the story.
The scenes of soldiers suiting up suggest we'll be some kind of elite force that ventures into the unknown—an overgrown planet that may or may not be Earth.
There'll be choices to make
"You either live with the choices you make," says the teaser, "or die trying to change them."
It may just be a dramatic cliche, but it seems pretty clear that choice is being emphasized here—there aren't many lines in the teaser, so it'd be odd to include this one without reason. The second part of the sentence is harder to interpret, though. Will we be trying to change our pasts? Or, if trying to change our choices results in death, is this a hint at permanent consequences for our actions? It could be neither, but I'd love to see BioWare experiment further with the 'morality' systems it's been tinkering with for years.
Either way, I'm excited to find out more at the Microsoft conference. It's airing at 2 pm Pacific on Sunday—find out where to watch and see the full E3 2017 schedule here.