Upcoming multiplayer squad shooter Anthem marks a change of direction for veteran RPG studio Bioware, but not every aspect of the game will be new territory for the developer. In between the online missions which see you sharing the game world with other players you'll visit Fort Tarsis, the Anthem hub area, which will be single player only. The view will switch from third-person to first-person, and you'll get to talk to the supporting characters, filling in backstory and advancing the ongoing narrative.
Conversations with NPCs in this area will be simplified from the more complex conversation systems Bioware has used in games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age. There will only be two responses to choose between, and neither is attached to a rigid good/bad morality system.
"We are showing this to an audience that is not used to these kind of decisions and conversations," executive producer Mark Darrah explained to PC Gamer at PAX West. " We wanted to keep it simpler, but we also don't want to present you with any false choices."
The aim, it seems, is to find a seamless way to incorporate the sort of online communal action mainstream players crave without ditching the focused storytelling that made Bioware famous. Here's hoping they pull it off.
Anthem is due on February 22 2019 for PS4, Xbox One and PC. A demo is planned for February 1, available by pre-ordering the full game or subscribing to EA Access.