March - last edited March
So, I've decided to take a break from complaining on fanmade Discord servers to ask a question: What sort of environment do you want to see in the game next?
Right now, the only map variation we really have is "Jungle", "Jungle ruins" or "Caves", and while Bioware have done a great job of stretching these concepts out and keeping them feeling fairly fresh, and the area outside Fort Tarsis (Bastion, I believe it's called?) is very nice looking, I - personally? - want to see something different with future content. There's only so long I can fly through the same green and grey wetlands before it starts to get a bit stale.
I've compiled a list of some areas that we could potentially see in Anthem with future content. Some of it has in-game lore areas that could potentially work, but others are just ideas that I think would be cool to see. I've placed up a poll over on Strawpoll, which you can access here:
Before you vote, though, here's an expansion of what I mean by each of these options, along with some nifty art I found online that could, potentially, demonstrate what I mean.
Snow, mountains and wintery biomes.
Pretty self explanatory here, and I feel this would make a nice change of pace from the current lush, humid, jungle style environment of Bastion. Imagine flying your Javelin around a giant, mountainous landscape, covered in snow and dotted with patches of dense woodland. Instead of waterfalls, we could fly our Javelins through blizzards and snowdrifts to cool our jets. Perhaps in this area, we'd always have the "cooled" buff applied to our Javelins, but incoming ice element attacks could be more dangerous.
In terms of Lore, while it's never been confirmed (to my knowledge) I suspect that the Dominion's homefront area of "Stralheim" would be a good fit for a cold, snowy, mountainous area as they're described as being "from the north", and the name "Stralheim" is very evocative of Northern-Europe naming conventions. In-universe it would work for any major campaign focused on fighting the Dominion on their home turf.
Deserts, canyons and arid environments.
Again, another easy to explain one. Deserts are a common staple of sci-fi, and personally I feel this one would be a bit more difficult to make while keeping it feeling "unique". But given the variety and landscape Bioware gave us in the area of Bastion? I'm confident they could pull this off. A desert environment could give us big cliffs, canyons, oases and interesting tunnel networks to explore. If Bioware wanted to take this to the extreme, they could make it so that Javelins were harder to fly during the day when it was hot, and easier to fly at night when the temperature plummets.
As far as I'm aware, there's no "in-lore" areas that are canonly arid, desert environments. But just off the top of my head, I can think of a few possible story explanations. Firstly, we could get an area controlled by the Regulators (as opposed to being under Sentinel or Dominion rule) with a lot of Outlaw factions roaming the desert. This could also make for a cool "home" zone for the Scorpion enemies, with possible new boss monsters like giant sand worms or huge reptile monsters.
Oceans, beaches and tropical islands.
While an area like this does, admittedly, run the risk of being too similar to the existing Jungle biome, if done right, an ocean-themed area full of small, tropical islands and beaches could potentially be a really cool new zone. Especially if it included an expansion on the swimming mechanics, which could see our missions taking us into big, underwater locations like sunken cities or marine caves and trenches. Plus, it gives us the option of fighting both pirates and sea monsters! Both of which sound like fun to me.
In-universe, we have "Fortuo", which from what I've managed to piece together appears to be a very ocean-centric part of the game's world. We meet a character from Fortuo who is described as piloting a Javelin that's permanently tethered to their sailboat, and how they fight by constantly cooling off their jets by diving in and out of the water. This, I feel, would be cool to see represented in game, and having missions in Fortuo would help to expand the world and lore a lot.
City scapes, forts and urban areas.
Probably the biggest departure from the current game map, but as proven by games like Crackdown, Infamous, Prototype and Saints Row 4, this sort of environment is absolutely possible to achieve in a free-roaming game with lots of maneuverability. Instead of rocky mountains and cliffs interspersed with foliage, we could fly our Javelins between towering, glittering skyscrapers and get into fights with gang members or mutated animals down in the streets and alleyways. Admittedly, this could cause complications with the whole "civilians" thing and all, but it's possible the area in question could be a kind of cordoned-off zone of a city that's perhaps been overrun by gangs or monsters from a Shaper relic gone critical, kind of like the "Dark Zone" in The Division.
Lore-wise, the obvious candidate for this area would of course be Antium, the "royal capital" we've heard so much about. All descriptions of the area in game from characters and lore entries seem to indicate that Antium is a huge, bustling metropolis with a lot of potential for political upheaval, organised crime, and other sorts of fun stuff that could be used to build a mission structure on.
Dark woods, swamps and old ruins.
And now for something completely different: What about a horror themed area? Anthem is currently devoid of any areas which are truly "creepy", in my opinion. Sure, we have some swamps in Bastion, and a lot of old Shaper ruins. But these areas are less "unnerving" and more just plain old mysterious. So why don't we get a new area that takes the "gothic horror" knob and twists it up to 11? I'm talking old, gnarled woodland filled with fog and mist. Desolate, eerie swampland full of nasty monsters, and of course, huge, decrepit ruins and castles, preferably in a kind of victorian gothic style with a sci-fi bent.
In the game's story right now there aren't any specific areas or cultures that spring to mind for an area like this, but I can easily think of an idea to excuse an area like this: Imagine, if you will, a once lush and vibrant area that was at some point subjected to a massive cataclysm, much like the Heart of Rage at the start of the core story campaign. Only this one was much older, perhaps predating the game's story by hundreds of years. And now the area is a twisted, warped wasteland full of creepy, unnerving phenomena? We could have ghosts, ghouls, and undead monsters brought to life through residual Shaper relic energy, we could have people driven mad by the Anthem making crazy cults, and so on and so forth! An area like this would, in my personal opinion, be really fun and hold a lot of potential.
Alien landscapes and other dimensions.
Last, but not least, we have areas that don't have any sort of real-life counterpart. Snowy mountains, deserts, beaches, cities and spooky areas are all pretty par-for-the-course when it comes to making fictional landscapes. So what if we do something completely out of this world? I can't really suggest too much here because the potential is practically infinite! But Bioware have proven that they know how to make some damn good fantasy and sci-fi landscapes in their previous games, so I suspect they could easily cook up something that'd catch our attention for an area like this.
Naturally, the in-universe example for an area like this would be anywhere that the Anthem of Creation has been left to run rampant. We already know that the Anthem can mess with the nature of reality, doing everything from changing gravity to dividing people into multiple different people, not to mention trapping people in weird temporal alternate dimensions and giving them memories of things that never happened (or haven't happened yet) The possibilities for a weird "alien landscape" as a result of Shaper technology is limitless. Seeing as all we've seen Shaper Relics do in-game (excluding cutscenes) is spawn a bunch of monsters, I think having an area that has been so thoroughly warped and changed by a Shaper Relic that its unrecognisable would be really cool.
So, there you have it! 6 possible ideas for new landscapes we could potentially see in Anthem's future. These are, of course, just things I thought up myself. If there's an area or environment that's not on this list that you'd love to see, feel free to talk about it! And of course, be sure to vote in that strawpoll to pick which of these 6 you'd most like to see. I don't know if anybody from Bioware or EA will actually pay any attention to this thread. But on the off-chance they do, it could be a good way for us players to give them an idea of what we'd like to see most! And of course, a place to discuss how some of these areas might work.
Hope you enjoyed reading, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the poll pans out. Have fun, folks!
An area where loot is plentiful and I'm chasing stats and not just loot drops. Areas are fine in the game for the most part, there are more immediate concerns.
I’d like an area that makes sense story-wise and geographically next, please. I.e. no snowy tundra stuck between a desert and a jungle just for the sake of variety.
I also don’t really feel like hardcore urban or hardcore spooky would necessarily fit the theme and the lore of the game. It’s not a cyberpunk game and it’s not a zombie shooter (thankfully).
One thing I would love to see more of is working Shaper relics (similar to the second part of the tutorial mission). Of course, those could probably be integrated into any environment.
An added bonus to a snowy biome would be the fact that (presumably) your javelin would have the “cooled” effect applied to it most of the time, resulting in extended flight time. An added bonus to a sea/ocean type biome (for me, at least) would be the underwater exploration part – though I’d expect them to expand the underwater gameplay significantly before going there.
A desert biome sounds fairly boring, from a gameplay perspective – there wouldn’t be a whole lot of natural mechanics to cool down your thrusters, and while hypothetically there could be geological features other than sand dunes in there, overall it really doesn’t seem very fun (unless it’s some advanced endgame area where increased difficulty and managing limited resources – that don’t even exist yet – are part of the design).
I don’t care what they look like as long as they are bigger than current ones and have plenty of quests and secrets
I'd like to see more ruins with lots of lore objects telling us more about the history of Anthem's world and humanity's struggles within.
"From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire."
[Robert Frost - Fire and Ice]I don't work for EA. The opinions I express are my own.
March - last edited March
Agree with the deserts and desert ruins with some nice sand kickup and dust blowing around. Add in some little oasis for cool downs and little bit of lushness.