Bioware has been known for creating games where the player’s choices create a ripple effect out to the rest of the world. Mass Effect 2’s Suicide mission springs to mind in that if you haven’t developed enough of a relationship with some characters, they may be less likely to survive intact. I remember playing that mission half a dozen times so that Legion, Grunt, Tali and Jack would walk out relatively unscathed.
But how do you make player choices matter in a shared world? If we take a look at a game like Destiny there could be millions of players who have tackled the Raid and triumphed but there is nothing in the world to ‘ruin’ or spoil that for the newer players.
Anthem presents two distinctive zones, the public space outside Fort Tarsis, full of beasties, warring factions and general danger, and Fort Tarsis itself. Rather than being a social hub, Fort Tarsis is your own private escape, your own private bunker for you to interact with vendors, collect quests/rewards and witness the results of your actions.
As part of Gameinformer’s month of Anthem coverage, game director Jon Warner explained the divided approach to storytelling in having a cooperative outside and personal inside worlds.
“So we can’t have a mission where I blow up a fortress out there in the world, because the fortress out there in the world exists for all of us. But when you have a personal story space, I can actually have consequences to the choices I make”.
According to the Gameinformer article, these changes could range from a change of opinion towards your Freelancer to potential geographical changes. While the details have not been revealed as yet, any potential geographic changes would make sense due to the volatile and world-altering nature of the Shaper’s tools.
Having the distinction between private and public spaces and allows your choices to mean something crafts an adventure that is classicly Bioware but yet incredibly different. Having player choice impact the base story means each member of any given Freelancer squad could be on an entirely unique journey despite tackling the same missions as a team.