Thanks to today's EA Play press event, we now know a great deal more about BioWare's Anthem. The game thrusts players into an unfinished world crafted by gods long gone. You have to explore and tame this world with the help of other Freelancers like yourself.
One thing that won't be happening when you explore is hopping from map to map, like in Destiny or Mass Effect: Andromeda. Instead, Anthem is one big continuous world for players to fly across once they've left the confines of the game's single-player hubs.
"It's contiguous," says Anthem lead producer Mike Gamble. "Once you're in the open world, you just run around the open world. There's no loads. Everything's contiguous. You have access to the whole thing."
Anthem is built in such a way that the game is always loading another section just out of sight. That allows BioWare to have huge maps strung together in a way that makes it feel like you're exploring the face of a hostile planet.
"You have to do it in a way where you can constantly load new content underneath," says Gamble. "So for example, you're flying through the world and you know that there's an underground cavern. You dive into the water. At that point in time, we can load in all the stuff that's underground and unload the stuff in the overworld. You never know the difference."
Given that the world is seamless, BioWare is planning to handle its boundaries in other ways. Anthem will also grow over time, meaning BioWare will add onto the world post-launch. According to Gamble, the Shaper Storm shown in the first reveal points to one way BioWare can add walls to the world.
"Well, I don't want to give away too much," he says. "Where it's obvious, there will be natural limitations of some kind. It's a dangerous world. If you recall the trailer from last year, the Shaper Storm that they went into? That's an example of something that's incredibly dangerous and world-altering. But those world events are a piece of a very large world. How the players transition across the boundaries of the game? You'll have to wait and see."
Anthem is coming to PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on February 22, 2019. You can check out our everything we know guide on Anthem too.