When Bioware’s Mass Effect: Andromeda was announced back in June of 2015 there was a rush of excitement and glee. These feelings were caused from a player-base that was thrilled to have more from a series that had taken them on quite a ride. The first three Mass Effects were critical successes but they had all previously been on a console from the last generation (Playstation 3). With the Playstation 4 having been on the market and pumping out games since 2013 it was time for Bioware to step up and release their next big project. Unfortunately for Bioware and their die-hard fans, Mass Effect Andromeda was a disaster on release and never quite caught up with its own problems. It was a failure for Bioware, to say the least, and the developers took a huge hit from their savage player-base losing a lot of faith in the companies ability to produce quality titles and release them when they were truly ready.
Turn the page to the nearing release of Bioware’s next project Anthem, releasing in February 2019, and you don’t quite have the same excitement factor as before. There are no games in a series before this one to compare it to, the previous big release was an utter failure and the Mass Effect fan-base is looking for other games not named Mass Effect by the same company to fail. All of these elements and more are setting Anthem up to be a pure disappointment upon release.
At E3 2018, Bioware showed a closed-door demo of Anthem to a select few industry journalists, developers, and other important symbols that could give them an idea of what Anthem was going to be all about. This closed-door demo signalled a warning to everyone else: this game is probably not in a state where we want people talking about it and we are unsure of the press that this will get. This hesitation by Bioware to have a closed-door demo at one of the biggest stages for gaming can be seen as a development team that is worried about their product. Some can say it is passion but others can see it as weakness. Bioware did eventually release the demo to the public but not before they were positive it received the feedback they wanted.
Anthem has also seen multitudes of gameplay footage released throughout the year so that prospective players can see what they are about to get their hands on. Some games, like God of War, felt like they didn’t need to release an abundance of gameplay footage to sell their product. They had confidence and on release this proved well. With Anthem’s need to show gratuitous amounts of gameplay and take players through very detailed elements of the game they are once again hesitant on a product they should be confident in. Every step Bioware takes seems to be with Mass Effect: Andromeda lurking behind them.
Anthem will have major PC specifications upon release. More specifically, the E3 closed-door demo ran on twin GTX 1080 Ti GPUs all while hitting 4K at 60 fps. Sure, some can say they wanted to show off the very best in graphics and frame rate at the same time and they wanted to prove that they were still a powerhouse to be reckoned with in terms of performance but this also proved that the console versions may be step behind especially in a generation that seems to be leading towards the release of new consoles within the next 2-3 years. There is no way that the Playstation 4 Pro or the Xbox One X will have the capability to match or come close to what the E3 demo produced. It looks like the need for superior GPU power will give Anthem to power it needs to run on 4K at 60fps. Will console players be happy with the lower standards? They obviously have been with other titles not matching PC specs but Bioware has something to prove and by releasing their next title at a disadvantage to one platform may cause a rift in the community. Some gamers may not even look at Anthem because of it.
Bioware’s Anthem is definitely setting up to be a disappointment but this doesn’t mean it has to be. There is still time and there is always that base of players that are willing to forgive. February 2019 is right around the corner and this should be an interesting time for Bioware to prove that they are still capable of making quality product. Anthem was even pushed back a couple times, which should mean they are learning from their mistakes, right? … Right?