With all the coverage that Anthem is getting, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that BioWare had ever developed anything else. Fortunately, they haven’t. In their Summer Update dev-blog post, the studio talk about what they’ve been up to over the past few months, including promoting Anthem art-books and comics at the San Diego Comic-Con. In amidst all this they did find time to let slip that they’ve got “some teams hidden away” working on projects that Dragon Age and Mass Effect fans may like.
While that ever-so-vague hinting could suggest almost anything (although I wouldn’t say no to another in-universe book from Dragon Age: Inquisition’s Varric), they do insist that they hear the calls for more Dragon Age and Mass Effect “loud and clear”. It’s just a pity that they’re not quite ready to let us in on what’s cooking, but it’s nice to know that there’s something bubbling away in the background. It’s easy to forget that studios as massive as BioWare almost always have multiple groups at work, but we only tend to hear about one at a time.
They also talk a bit more about Anthem’s story structure. While the mission space will be shared with other players, what happens in your home-base of Fort Tarsis will be closer to what people expect out of a BioWare single-player RPG. There’s the usual narrative choices, relationships developing (although less so on the smooching front) and consequences playing out for your actions. While some look at BioWare’s output over the past few years cynically, I don’t feel they’ve wandered too far from their classic style.
One other note in their summer update that caught my attention was talk that they’ve got “amazing plans” for Star Wars: The Old Republic. The game has always walked an awkward path between traditional MMO structure and classic BioWare RPG storytelling, and occasionally making sweeping deviations into different styles. During one particular story arc, the game even re-introduced the Knights Of The Old Republic dialogue system, so I’m curious as to what they could have planned that would make for “the game’s most exciting year yet”.
While we wait for BioWare’s next big reveal, don’t forget that Anthem will be stomping out on February 21st via Origin