Despite promising they’re “100% committed to Anthem”, BioWare is apparently reducing support for the game and moving resources into development for Dragon Age 4. While for some this is probably good news, it’s hard to get excited when the series’ fourth installment is likely destined to be another flop from the once beloved Mass Effect creators.
Dragon Age 4 was prematurely announced at Geoff Keighley’s Game Awards back in December 2018. There’s speculation that it could be "Anthem with dragons", but no one really knows as development on the project has been rebooted.
EA pushing their biggest mistake to the side to focus on Dragon Age 4 would be a wise move from a hater’s perspective (meaning mine and the majority of the population), but there’s no reason to believe in or be hopeful about anything made by BioWare anymore.
Honestly, BioWare’s continued existence is just sad as it’s impossible to shake off the feeling that EA is one day going to give them the Old Yeller treatment. This certainly wouldn’t be surprising thanks to BioWare’s recent line-up of flops, and because of how they’ve lost pretty much everything that once made them so special and revered.
- Were we wrong about "Mass Effect: Andromeda"?
- The biggest problem with "Anthem" is that it’s boring
- BioWare lost their magic with Anthem, but Mass Effect 2 was the beginning of the end
BioWare isn’t BioWare anymore
BioWare hasn’t been BioWare since Mass Effect 3. The studio was once renowned for excellent RPGs with gripping narratives and superb characters, but that hasn’t been apparent for years. In fact, Mass Effect 3’s controversial ending was the beginning of BioWare’s decline and an embodiment of the broken idol they would become.
Yes, Dragon Age: Inquisition won Game of the Year in 2014, but – if we’re being frank – that was a terrible year for games thanks to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One having only launched in the previous year’s Fall. The only competition BioWare had to fend off for Game of the Year was Bayonetta 2, Dark Souls II, Hearthstone, and Middle-earth: Shadow Of Mordor (hardly the most competitive scene).
Mass Effect 3 was released back in 2012, and the quality of BioWare’s games have drastically declined. Inquisition winning Game of the Year says everything about how unremarkable 2014 was for video games, Mass Effect: Andromeda was middling to horrendous in 2017, and Anthem is the most boring, incomplete, and shallow game I have ever had the misfortune of picking up. And these horrid games all share two things in common: terrible stories and characters.
BioWare used to be the bar for excellent stories and characters in video games, but that hasn’t been true since they butchered the conclusion to the Mass Effect trilogy. Now, instead of BioWare, gamers look to CD Projekt RED, Naughty Dog, and every other studio that has improved their storytelling capabilities.
The characters in Dragon Age: Inquisition were shallow shells only defined by their sexuality, the same applied to the crew in Mass Effect: Andromeda (accompanied by some embarrassing dialogue), and in Anthem it is impossible to like or hate anyone because all the NPCs and cast look boring and do nothing meaningful. At least in Inquisition and Andromeda you could screw the most titillating animatronic without a heart, but Anthem doesn’t give suffering gamers that pleasure as it doesn’t have any meaningful robots.
And this has been the problem with BioWare games since 2012. They play okay with the combat usually being somewhat fun, but the story and characters are lame or non-existent, and the designs are becoming more boring and woeful (Mass Effect: Andromeda became infamous because of its “ugly” memes, and everyone in Anthem is a generic Mass Effect face template).
There’s no allure for BioWare anymore as while they’ve recessed every other studio has improved dramatically. BioWare doesn’t offer good stories and characters anymore while other companies do in spades, and you don’t even need to go to BioWare games anymore for gratuitous and awkward sex scenes as CD Projekt RED has gamers covered.
Anthem is BioWare’s worst game, but the studio has just gotten worse since the release of Mass Effect 3. Even if Dragon Age 4 isn’t a games-as-a-service scam like Anthem, it’ll still likely be spoiled by the poor writing and characterisations that made Dragon Age: Inquisition and Mass Effect: Andromeda so laughable.
Have something to tell us about this article?