Anthem has long been teased as an ambitious and promising return to form for BioWare, but, surrounded as the game is by controversy and doubt, its success remains to be seen.
What is Anthem?
Anthem is BioWare’s highly anticipated take on the online action-RPG genre, rivalling recent titles such as Destiny with a similar combination of RPG elements and shooter gameplay. The Mass Effect developer’s new IP promises to deliver a dynamic open world shared by up to four players per team, encouraging exploration and discovery alongside a strong central story.
Boasting the talents of staff members involved in the development of critically acclaimed titles such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and the Mass Effect trilogy, the game is expected to have a great narrative and interesting characters—areas often lacking in other games that share Anthem’s genre.
Why are we excited?
Anticipation for the release of Anthem is more cautious than genuine; though BioWare is an otherwise trusted developer, Mass Effect: Andromeda greatly disappointed fans with its lack of technical polish and lacklustre story, tainting BioWare’s image.
Furthermore, Anthem is being published by EA, a company frequently criticised for hindering development and pushing disliked business models on games at the expense of their overall quality. Add to this concerning factor a seemingly troubled development cycle and indications of microtransactions being included, and many gamers are skeptical of Anthem’s ability to deliver on its ambitious promises; fans anticipating its release are rather more nervously awaiting a verdict on its success.
However, the premise of “Destiny done right” from the developers of Mass Effect is exciting enough on its own. If the game successfully delivers on its ambitions, players can at least expect a technically impressive experience, with polished gameplay and an interesting sci-fi setting, if not also the equally engaging story fans are expecting.
Of particular note will be its large, “contiguous” open world, which appears to allow seamless exploration and smooth transitions into co-operative play. Also of interest is how the game handles the dynamic between single-player and online gameplay, as those users who prefer the former are often left behind in these always-online experiences.
When can we play it?
Anthem releases on February 22, 2019 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Do you think that Anthem will be a return to form for BioWare after the widespread disappointment surrounding Dragon Age: Inquisition and Mass Effect: Andromeda or do you think it will be yet another step down an ill-considered path? Drop a comment, then come back tomorrow when we take a look at the newest entry in one of the most memorable franchises in modern gaming.
Honourable Mentions – OnlySP’s Most Anticipated Games of 2019
This coming year is set to be chock full with amazing games. Over the past 12 days, the OnlySP team has shone a light on those titles that we are most excited about, but some of our individual favourites were not represented in the consensus vote.
Zanki Zero: Last Beginning
Coming from some of the key team members behind the Danganronpa series, Zanki Zero: Last Beginning is an unusual survival game.
In the wake of an apocalypse, eight clones on a tropical island comprise all that remains of humanity. The clones have accelerated lifespans, meaning they survive for only 13 days; however, a machine called the Extend Device ensures their continual resurrection, with each death granting different buffs and gameplay bonuses.
Curiously, the game is divided into chapters, and players control particular characters in each chapter, rather than having the chance to choose between them at will.
As a survival game, threats to life come from many different angles, including starvation, dehydration, and, of course, combat. However, felling enemies—mostly evolved animals—will drop resources that players can use to build amenities and prolong the characters’ health.
Survival games have exploded in recent years, but the narrative focus and unique clone-based premise separates Zanki Zero: Last Beginning from its genre contemporaries.
Zanki Zero: Last Beginning released in Japan last year, and will make its debut in the West for PC and PlayStation 4 on March 19.
Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord
Announced more than six years ago, Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord has not been officially confirmed for a 2019 release, but fans are hopeful.
Despite the title, Mount & Blade II is a prequel to its predecessor, set two centuries before the wars depicted in the earlier game. The title takes place during the glory days of the fictional Calradian Empire and recounts its fall, as it shatters into an array of disparate kingdoms. On the surface an action-RPG, Mount & Blade II promises a deep, diverse experience with layers of strategic elements.
Third-person melee combat will make a return and will be accompanied by in-depth siege- and diplomacy-based gameplay. Meanwhile, an organic economy system will aid in bringing the Calradian Empire to life.
OnlySP’s Dylan Warman went hands-on with the game back at E3 2017, finding it to be a satisfying experience with a few minor flaws remaining to be ironed out. However, a year and half has already passed and still no end is in sight for the lengthy development.
The widespread expectation is that Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord will release on at least PC at an as-yet unspecified date in 2019.
Sir Daniel Fortesque will soon join the likes of Wander, Spyro the Dragon, and Crash the Bandicoot, as Sony is, once again, dusting off the Medievil name for a remake.
Originally announced with a brief teaser at the PlayStation Experience event in 2017, the project was surrounded by silence throughout almost the entirety of 2018. A common query among perplexed fans was the extent to which the game would represent a new experience, given the initial billing as a full remaster.
However, in October last year, Sony Interactive Entertainment chairman Shawn Layden dropped the bombshell everyone was waiting for: Medievil will be a full-blown remake. The core design and art will be retained, but the game will not simply be a reskin of what has already been.
The developer responsible for the project, Other Ocean Interactive, has previously made a name for itself with ports. With this legacy, the team seems to be following in the footsteps of Bluepoint Interactive, which crafted 2018’s excellent remake of Shadow of the Colossus.
Medievil is expected to be available exclusively on PlayStation 4 some time in 2019.
The father of XCOM, Julian Gollop, will return to the genre that made him a living legend when Phoenix Point launches later this year.
In 2047, the apocalypse is already well underway. Melting permafrost during the 2020s unleashed an alien infection—the Pandoravirus—upon the unsuspecting Earth, mutating humans and animals into all manner of monsters. Facing off against this existential threat, players assume command of the Phoenix Project, a global organisation dedicated to protecting humanity.
Fans of XCOM will almost surely be right at home with Phoenix Point, as the game follows the same model of pairing turn-based direct-control combat with a global strategy layer. The player begins as a small, isolated unit and must grow their reach and strength by acquiring resources through both diplomacy and conquest.
Despite the fundamental similarities, the development team at Snapshot Games is including a few unique wrinkles to the formula, including a range of adversarial human factions and enemies that mutate in response to player actions.
Originally set to launch last year, Phoenix Point is now expected to release in June 2019 on Mac, Windows, and Xbox One.
Total War: Three Kingdoms
For the latest mainline entry in the Total War saga, Creative Assembly is delving into a part of world history long desired by fans but never before visited: China’s Three Kingdoms era.
Total War: Three Kingdoms centres on the fall of the Han Dynasty, casting players as the leader of one of eleven factions vying for control over the vast nation.
While this latest game remains, at its core, Total War, the development team is engaging in some intriguing experiments. Foremost is the implementation of guanxi, an aspect of Chinese culture that describes the interconnectedness of human life. Throughout the campaign, the characters form relationships with others, and players will have to take those connections into consideration when planning their moves.
The other major new addition is a mode based on the classic novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which will put more of a focus on individual characters. In this mode, generals have supreme strength and can be controlled directly during battles and sieges.
Following its delay out of last year, Total War: Three Kingdoms is scheduled to launch on March 7, 2019 exclusively on PC.
Thank you for joining us on this jaunt through the games that have the OnlySP team most excited for the coming year. With hundreds of titles to choose from, innumerable others missed out, but rest assured that we are keeping our eyes out for everything in the realm of single-player gaming.
If your favourite/s failed to make our shortlist, please take the time to give them the attention they deserve in the comments below, and be sure to follow OnlySP on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for all the latest from the world of single-player gaming.
- The Final Fantasy VII Remake Might Turn Away Fans Instead of Creating New Ones on
- Observation Review — Lost in Space on
- American Fugitive Review — A Grand Tale of Theft and Auto on
- Report: Game of Thrones Creator Collaborating With FromSoftware on
- Earthworm Jim: PR Stunt, Vanity Project, or Harmless Nostalgia? on
- Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, and Detroit: Become Human Hitting PC Before Year’s End on
- Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey Will be Exclusive to Epic Games Store for 12 Months on
- Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey Will be Exclusive to Epic Games Store for 12 Months on