Anthem is getting a 'substantial reinvention' – but is it too late?

(Image credit: BioWare)

BioWare has committed to a "longer-term redesign" of Anthem, which aims to essentially reinvent the game as we know it. 

In a new blog post, BioWare general manager Casey Hudson announced the redesign and pledged that the studio is working to improve upon core aspects of the game that received negative feedback from players and critics.

"Over the last year, the team has worked hard to improve stability, performance and general quality of life while delivering three seasons of new content and features," Hudson writes. "We have also heard your feedback that Anthem needs a more satisfying loot experience, better long-term progression and a more fulfilling end game. So we recognize that there’s still more fundamental work to be done to bring out the full potential of the experience, and it will require a more substantial reinvention than an update or expansion."  

"Over the coming months we will be focusing on a longer-term redesign of the experience, specifically working to reinvent the core gameplay loop with clear goals, motivating challenges and progression with meaningful rewards – while preserving the fun of flying and fighting in a vast science-fantasy setting. And to do that properly we’ll be doing something we’d like to have done more of the first time around – giving a focused team the time to test and iterate, focusing on gameplay first."

This reinvention means BioWare is moving away from full seasons in order to focus its attention on the redesign, but there will still be events, store refreshes and season content.

"Creating new worlds is central to our studio mission, but it’s not easy," Hudson continues. "Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we miss. What keeps us going is the support from players like you. Your feedback gives us guidance on how we can improve, and your passion inspires us with the courage to create. I look forward to working together with your involvement and feedback towards the best possible future for Anthem."

Can Anthem be revived?

(Image credit: Anthem)

It's been one year since Anthem released to a largely negative reception, with fans and media criticizing the game for its dull story, repetitive end-game and bugs – among other things. 

In our Anthem review, we said:

"It is a game of oxymorons and inconsistencies. The story is designed to be single-player but the game is clearly not. The gameplay is an absolute joy but is stifled by the repetitive nature of the end-game. The character animations are truly sublime, but most of the characters themselves are cliché and predictable. 

"Anthem is a fun game, and a stunningly pretty one, but with flaws in nearly every other aspect of its design. It will improve with patches, updates, and a strong community, but it isn’t a particularly strong foundation. This is less an anthem, and more an annoying earworm..."

While BioWare tried to implement smaller patches to improve the experience, none have been quite enough to change the perception of the game and Anthem became one of 2019's biggest disappointments. 

Maybe BioWare's redesign will breathe some much-needed new life into Anthem.

Vic Hood
Associate Editor, TechRadar Gaming

Vic is TechRadar Gaming's Associate Editor. An award-winning games journalist, Vic brings experience from IGN, Eurogamer and more to the TechRadar table. You may have even heard her on the radio or speaking on a panel. Not only is Vic passionate about games, but she's also an avid mental health advocate who has appeared on both panels and podcasts to discuss mental health awareness. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more.