Why Anthem Doesn’t Need a PvP Mode
Any time a game comes out in which the player has a gun, someone will undoubtedly ask for a way to shoot their friends in the face. At a time when all games are online and the word multiplayer is synonymous with deathmatches and arena fights, Anthem has set out to do something a little different and only use its multiplayer for cooperative play, yet despite that a number of people are asking for BioWare to include an option for PvP. The problem is, this is actually a terrible idea that would break what is shaping up to be a fantastic and much needed epic game from EA Studios.
I get it, we love competition and we see a game featuring exo-suits with guns and asking for PvP is kind of like blurting out some nonsensical one-liner to a hot girl at a party; you’re saying what you think is what you want, but did you really think it through? Let me explain why we all need to take a moment and reconsider PvP being added to Anthem. First and foremost, BioWare is a company known for its exceptional world-building skills with the games narrative reinforcing that humanity is working together to get by. Freelancers aren’t mercenaries or soldiers, they are explorers and protectors, they are there to keep the people safe.
“Okay, but that’s just lore, what does that matter?” you might ask. Good question! BioWare doesn’t half-ass narrative, this idea of coexisting and working together is built into the very fibers of the game. While each Javelin is distinct and uniquely equipped with a variety of skills and abilities, the true power of the Freelancers come from working together: repairing downed allies, comboing special abilities, and using your strengths to work together on the battlefield and take down the Scar, Dominion, or anything else that comes at you. Any heavy damage dealt in the game comes from two players using their abilities together. This is a game built for cooperation and teamwork to meet a common goal.
“You could still do PvP though!” you could interject. Sure, but as soon as PvP is implemented the game will need to be adjusted and balanced to hell with a number of patches and these balances will be made with PvP in mind, taking heavily away from the PvE experience. For example, let’s say the Storm uses its ability to freeze an opponent in place, well now not only does the Storm have the advantage but the short cooldown means it can essentially be spammed and give the Storm an easy kill. To circumvent that, now the potency of the attack needs to be reduced or the cooldown time increased and suddenly the glass cannon is drastically less effective in PvE. This same idea can be said for a wide range of Javelin abilities because they are designed to work together, not against one another.
Anthem’s combat is built around abilities first and guns second, so nerfing these abilities means the guns would need a buff to make combat worthwhile and then you really do simply have another run-of-the-mill clone shooter game. Anthem is meant to be more than that. For those of you who played the demo you experienced just how brutal the server issue was and how long it took to fix. Any given instance is built to have only four players in it at a time: campaign, free play, or stronghold will always have a four-player maximum. This means a PvP mode would either be a 4-way Deathmatch or a 2v2 match so that players can still combo. Either that or the game now needs to be tweaked and adjusted to handle more than four custom characters in an instance, again further changing the game from its original design. Implementing a PvP isn’t as simple as slapping an arena together and letting people kill each other. Putting in PvP means ignoring the subtle crafting of nuance and narrative that went into Anthem and pushing it aside instead for endless updates and balancing patches. It’s like ordering lobster and asking for ketchup.
I get that it’s shiny and new, I get it’s very pretty and off the top of your head it’s easy to say “hey it’s just like those other PvP games, this should be PvP too!” but the point, the very reason for this game, is it’s co-op experience and pushing for PvP is getting your grandma’s homemade lasagna and then asking for a bowl of ramen instead. BioWare is giving us what is shaping up to be the incredible experience we wanted Andromeda to be, so don’t start spraying it with ketchup and mustard thinking Anthem is just another hot dog when it very well could be a porterhouse steak.
Do you really think Anthem needs a PvP mode? Do you agree it should be left to its own devices? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or the Comments section below. Anthem is set for release February 22nd on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. For more information check out the game’s official website.