BioWare boss says Anthem is 'science fantasy' like Star Wars or the Marvel Universe

Anthem, BioWare's shared-world shooter, will tell the tale of humans on an alien planet who rely on power-armored suits called "Freelancers" to protect them from all sorts of threats. Mass Effect 1 and 2 lead writer Drew Karpyshyn revealed earlier this month that he's working on the project, so it's reasonable to expect that an entertaining story will be told amidst all the shootsplosions. 

However, in a recent interview with the CBC, Aaryn Flynn, general manager of BioWare Edmonton, described the game as "science fantasy" and suggested that players shouldn't expect quite the same commitment to the nuts-and-bolts of the story as they got from Mass Effect. 

"[It's] very much like Star Wars, very much like the Marvel Universe, where you see a lot of amazing things happening, but we don't worry too much about why they're happening, or how they're happening, the science of it," Flynn said. "Mass Effect is more our real hardcore science fiction IP. This one is much more about just having fun in a game world that is lush and exotic and really sucks you in." 

Flynn said his interest in making a game like Anthem is rooted in a desire to be able to play with his sons, a "life situation" he said other people at the studio are encountering as well. In a similar vein, he also noted that ideas for Anthem's game world, despite how fantastical it is, often come from "our own personal lives."   

"We've had folks who have moved into Canada, who are immigrants, and so often those stories find their way in. 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 game," he said. "And so it all comes from your personal experience, the writers, the designers, the artists, they all want to put into the game things that they've admired or experienced in their lives." 

Anthem is slated to come out in the fall of 2018, and BioWare hopes it will mark the start of a "ten-year journey." The CBC's full interview with Aaryn Flynn is below.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.