EA, BioWare, and Neill Blomkamp teamed up to release Anthem's "Conviction" earlier today, a live action short that is meant to detail life on the world of Anthem prior to the events of the game. The video clocks in at just over three and a half minutes, and at the end of the video, it's difficult to really parse what it is really trying to say.
"Conviction" is the latest part of the Anthem advertising campaign as the game gears up for release later this month. Neill Blomkamp, best known for films District 9 and Elysium, was brought in by BioWare to develop a live action short of what the world of Anthem looked like before players get a chance to explore it during the game's narrative. On paper, the move made sense - Anthem is releasing into a tight window of competition, with a number of other promising 2019 titles competing for a limited pool of consumers. Giving players familiarity with its world and what's at stake is an easy way to set it apart from other games pre-launch.
With that said, though, "Conviction" leaves a lot to be desired. The video, which can be found on YouTube, functions more like a trailer for the game rather than a cohesive live action short. There are comments from characters about life on Anthem, and there are various scenes that at least convey a sense of betrayal, exploration, and discovery. Yet the video curiously leaves viewers without any context whatsoever, so the end result is something that looks extremely pretty but doesn't really offer up any new or exciting information for fans looking to learn more about Anthem.
It's not that the short isn't interesting. "Conviction" does a good job of capturing some of the elements that people are excited about regarding Anthem. The Javelin exoskeletons look incredible over the course of the short, and the special effects that show off how the world of Anthem is strange and new are engrossing. Unfortunately, in three and a half minutes, the short does nothing to inform people of what was promised in the first place: insight into Anthem's past.
It's a bit of a misstep for Anthem, a game that by all accounts appears to be on the brink of achieving something great. BioWare has repeatedly stated that the studio has focused on creating an engaging story, demonstrating that the developer has paid attention to the woes of Destiny. Hands-on gameplay features have suggested there's something good on offer, though the end-game of Anthem is where it will truly be made or broken. All signs point to what should be one of the biggest releases of the year.
"Conviction," despite being pretty, is a pretty empty offering, though. Hopefully the same can't be said for Anthem when it releases later this month, February 22, on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Source: Oats Studios