One of the most important aspects of shared-world shooters like Destiny and The Division deals with just how much replay value the experience will have. This desire to jump back in and continue to play with your friends months after release is what tends to make these games differ from other titles on the market.
With BioWare and EA preparing to launch their own take on the shared-world shooter next year with Anthem, many have wondered just how much replayability the game will end up having. Personally, what I have seen of Anthem so far makes me think that it’ll keep me coming back far more regularly compared to its genre counterparts like Destiny 2 or The Division. Here are five reasons why I think Anthem has the potential to be much more replayable compared to others of its ilk.
A More Explorable, Streamlined Open World
As much as I enjoyed Destiny 2 last year, I was never a fan of bouncing around between different hub worlds. Even though each world had its own cool vibe, they each felt a bit limited in scope and didn’t contain enough nooks and crannies compared to larger open world environments.
With Anthem, I love that the entire world will all be stitched together as a whole and you won’t need to bounce between different regions. Having one wide-ranging open world to explore will give you more exploration while keeping it streamlined. Plus, Anthem seems like it’ll have some far different areas to search through, such as the underwater environments that have been shown in gameplay trailers. Everything I’ve seen of Anthem so far has actually made me feel a desire to search through its highly-detailed world compared to some of the bland locales seen in other shared-world games.
Tight Controls and Explosive Weaponry
When I played Anthem during E3 last month, one of the things that jumped out to me right away was how supremely satisfying that the shooting controls were. Even though BioWare has never been primarily known for its gameplay chops, the weapons and kickback that they each had felt brutal and impactful. Combine this with having a variety of unique weapons at your disposal that all feel unique from one another, and you already have the early makings of success.
Creating satisfying gameplay that is still fun to play hours upon hours into an experience is potentially the most important aspect of bringing players back to a game over and over again. This is something that Bungie has achieved with the phenomenal shooting controls found in each of their Destiny games, and I think that BioWare has now found that same sense of feel-good gunplay with Anthem. Even though I’ve only spent a small amount of time with Anthem, it already feels like the most solid gameplay experience that BioWare has ever made.
A Story and World With Depth
This is one of the areas of Anthem that we still don’t know much about, but I’m placing my faith in BioWare due to their history of quality storytelling and worldbuilding. With games like Mass Effect, Knight of the Old Republic, and Dragon Age amongst their past work, I have a lot of trust that the studio will once again craft an interesting and multi-layered universe that will quickly draw me in. Even coming off of the rough release that was last year’s Mass Effect: Andromeda, I still firmly believe that BioWare is one of the best storytelling companies in the business.
If BioWare can pull me into Anthem just as much as they have in some of their previous games, then I’ll be looting around this world trying to learn all that I can about its lore and history for hours on end.
Satisfying Traversal Controls
You can fly in Anthem: this is an obvious selling-point of the game, but it just can’t go without being said. Mere moments into our demo of Anthem last month at E3, it immediately became apparent just how fantastic it feels to fly in this game. Not only are the controls buttery-smooth when taking to the skies, but there’s a certain weight behind your character that makes you feel like a tank. All in all, flying just feels good.
This is one of those mechanics that I just can’t see getting tiring across the dozens of hours that I’ll likely pour into Anthem. Much like this year’s upcoming release of Spider-Man, if your game has engaging and enjoyable traversal controls, I’ll always be more likely to return to it in the future just to spend time wandering about. Combine this awesome flying with the wide-open world in Anthem that I’ve already talked about, and you’ve given me enough reason alone to continue coming back time and time again.
Unique Enemy and Character Designs
When you’re playing shared-world games like Destiny or The Division it’s important that you don’t get tired of what you’re looking at. Not only is this important in terms of the environment that you find yourself in, but the things that you’re shooting should probably be pleasing to the eye as well. In my time with both Destiny and The Division, too quickly did I get tired of the drab designs that each of the enemies had, but in Anthem, most of what I’ve seen so far has been really unique. The giant — seen in the above image — along with the large insect-like boss seen at the end of Anthem’s E3 demo both look awesome. Even though we haven’t seen too many foes from Anthem just yet, I dig what we’ve seen thus far.
Not only are the designs of enemies looking great in Anthem, but the designs of each Javelin look cool as well. Plus, Anthem being in third-person will allow you to always see the design of your Javelin. This is a small touch in the grand scheme of things, but being able to physically see the cosmetic changes that you’re making at all times will continue to make things feel fresh far further into the game. Cosmetic changes are important in shared-world shooters and being able to view your own personal character more often than not is a nice touch.
Anthem is slated to release next year on February 22 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. You can zip on over to Amazon right now to reserve yourself a copy ahead of time.
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