BioWare reveals that it has plans to abandon the dialogue wheel with its upcoming title Anthem, although the game will still have some dialogue choices. This is a huge departure for the company, whose games have featured dialogue wheels since 2007's Mass Effect.
In most BioWare games, dialogue choice plays an essential part in storytelling. Usually, when a player talks to an NPC, a dialogue wheel comes up allowing players to choose from several different responses. These responses, though, are not random. Each response will garner a different reaction from the NPC, either in that conversation or later conversations. BioWare first released the feature with Mass Effect, which at the time, proved groundbreaking. Since then, players have expected the dialogue wheel with every title the company releases.
In a break from that tradition, though, BioWare's Anthem will not have a dialogue wheel. Anthem executive producer Mark Darrah confirmed this on Twitter:
Anthem isn't just getting rid of dialogue choices, though. BioWare's classic romance options won't appear in the game either. That separates Anthem from almost every other BioWare game, titles that have always offered several options for players to romance other characters within the game.
Anthem is a shared world RPG where players become "Freelancers," tasked to join a team of four other players to explore the world and face the dangers it possesses. With BioWare promising the game will offer something players haven't seen yet, dropping these signature game features shows it wants to give gamers something different than its previous titles. Anthem follows up the disappointing release of BioWare's Mass Effect: Andromeda. That title garnered criticism from players who argued it was just a retread of everything BioWare had done in previous games.
Anthem already has an uphill struggle. The company first showcased the game at the 2017 E3 conference. Since then, BioWare delayed the game's release until 2019. That announcement made some begin to speculate the game's graphics would get downgraded from what fans first saw in 2017. BioWare, however, assured fans that the graphics would not suffer from a rushed deadline.
Considering the dialogue wheel and romance options are two of the most popular features of BioWare's RPG titles, some fans might find themselves concerned about Anthem. It's a massive departure from the kind of gameplay they have grown to love. BioWare is taking a risk with this title. One can only hope the company doesn't alienate fans with these changes.
Source: Mark Darrah