January 17, 2018
'Anthem' Dev Explains Game Will Have Larger Areas Than 'Destiny,' Discussing More Than One Social Space

BioWare developers have been extremely active in the Anthem Reddit forums to the delight of gamers. Technical Design Director Brenon Holmes is one of those and has shared a little about the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC sci-fi shooter's open-world plans and social space plans.

The overall world size of Anthem is currently unknown. However, Holmes does provide a hint at how BioWare is structuring those worlds when a fan asked if the game supports a true open world or if it will consist of sub-zones like Destiny.

For those that aren't aware, Destiny is famous for dividing each destination players visit into smaller sub-zones. Disguised passageways connect the sub-zones, which allows the game's servers time to load everything needed for a new area.

"We're taking a different approach (we have different tech) [from Destiny], so our areas are a fair bit larger," Holmes explained in response. "But there will likely be some loads between some of the areas. We're still figuring out the exact details on a lot of this stuff."

Anthem is being built on the Frostbite 3 engine, originally developed by DICE for the Battlefield franchise and expanded to all other titles under the Electronic Arts banner. BioWare has developed Dragon Age: Inquisition using this engine and did have the occasional loading screen when moving between zones. It will be interesting to see how much further the Anthem developers can take the engine to make transitioning from one area to another to be perceived as seamless.

Social Spaces

The social space from the Anthem debut trailer.
BioWare/Electronic Arts

The debut trailer for Anthem introduced viewers to at least one social space but will there be more?

That's the question one fan had and Homes responded, "We're discussing some of this kind of stuff internally right now. What would you like to see?"

The Reddit thread is filled with suggestions on how BioWare might add more than one social space to the game, but the main thrust appears to be that each social space needs to be meaningful and have a reason for players to visit.

Destiny 2 currently has multiple social spaces between the Tower and the Farm, plus semi-social space like the Lighthouse for the Curse of Osiris expansion. However, players don't have a reason to visit the Farm after completing the campaign unless a quest or task specifically requires them to visit. Thus, the social space is not very social.

Anthem is currently slated to be released in the fourth quarter of 2018. Those interested should expect more reveals to drip out over the next couple of months leading up to a huge blowout at E3 in June.