Bioware has hit a rough patch with its recent games, and after the release of Anthem, a lot of players will remain suspicious of any new release. This was not always the case, as the studio is well known for creating some of the greatest RPG games in history, including the Mass Effect trilogy and the Dragon Age series. Even with the disappointing release of Anthem, it still stands as a game that houses many features that could easily inspire future games.
Out of all the concepts that would work perfectly with Anthem’s gameplay mechanics, Iron Man probably has both the most traction and the most in common with the current mechanics. Even at launch, Anthem was immediately seen as a possible inspiration to the Marvel Comics hero, and this persisted even after the negative reviews for Anthem started flowing in. There are many great features that Anthem introduced to the gaming community that should be mainstays for any future Iron Man simulator.
Why Anthem Failed
Anthem’s downfall was not very apparent from the trailers and the pre-release press, yet, after the game launched, it was immediately noticeable that the game would not stay afloat for much longer. To start with, Anthem chose a game style like that of Destiny, which is a risky model to begin with. It also offered no unique qualities when compared to other games in the genre. This made the game seem like a shrewd copy of Destiny and was something that fans of the genre were not looking for.
One of the best parts of Anthem’s gameplay is the suit mechanics that let players fly through the skies of the alien world. Yet, this was not enough to show fans that the game could stand on its own, and the borrowed features were only a part of this problem. The game was riddled with issues from launch, including connection issues, gameplay glitches, bugs that forced a restart, and repetitive mission design, all of which led to the downfall of Anthem.
Anthem’s Flight and Suit Mechanics
Out of everything that Anthem offered, the most exciting feature, especially for a future Iron Man game, was the flying mechanics and the suit customization. It is abundantly clear that Bioware took a lot of inspiration from Iron Man when designing the flight and suit mechanics for its game. This makes the mechanics a perfect fit for any future Iron Man game, as players will not only be able to fly through the skies as Iron Man, but will also be able to customize the suits, equipping them with new weapons similar to something Tony Stark would do for his suit arsenal.
In any Iron Man game, the true mechanics that need to shine through for the game to stay true to its character are flight, combat, and suit design. From Anthem’s free play mode, which allows players to explore the world outside of missions, players have a chance to see what an open-world Iron Man game may look like. The upgrades to the suit and the movement through the world could all inspire a new Iron Man game, with Stark Tower acting as the base and upgrades unlocking as Tony Stark discovers new ways to improve his invention. Finally, the hover abilities as well as the different combat styles available depending on the Javelin could influence Iron Man suits.
How Anthem Has Helped Future Iron Man Simulators
One of the toughest things to get right in gaming is flying mechanics and this is apparent with the many attempts at a Superman game in the past. Even in Marvel’s Avengers, Iron Man’s flying abilities were never up to the fan’s expectations. So, for a standalone Iron Man game to succeed, or for any simulator to stay true to the character, it would have to be able to mimic the superhero’s flying method. No game has emulated this more than Anthem with the Iron Man-style suits showing gamers around the world just what an Iron Man simulator could look like.
Anthem’s flight mechanics feel great with hover adding a great opportunity to attack from the skies and movement that is reminiscent of Iron Man from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. These elements would work great with Iron Man’s suit arsenal, and while Anthem still promotes the use of melee weapons and guns, an Iron Man simulator could easily get rid of these and instead house weapons in the suit itself. Any Iron Man simulator should look to Anthem for inspiration for flight and suit mechanics.
What An Iron Man Game Could Look Like
While the suit and flight mechanics would be important elements to include in an Iron Man game, the overall structure of Anthem should not be used as a blueprint, for obvious reasons. Any future Iron Man game is likely to be more comparable to open-world superhero games like Marvel’s Spider-Man.
Like Marvel's Spider-Man, an Iron Man game will need to give players an open world through which they can fly through and explore. Further, Iron Man’s villains are notorious for dealing a lot of damage, such as Iron Monger and Madam Masque, which would mean the world itself should have destructible elements to it. However, the core concepts that the game should take from Anthem are the flight mechanics, the upgradable suit, and the use of a home base to plan out quests or just to lounge around while waiting for the next mission to load up.
There certainly has been a push from Marvel to introduce more of its characters into gaming by giving them a standalone series, and this has led to a lot of success for developers like Insomniac Games. After Marvel’s Wolverine was announced, a lot of buzz revolved around other superheroes getting their own games, and Iron Man has the most potential for this. Anthem may not have been the revolutionary game it was hoping to become, but it still has the chance to inspire countless games in the future due to its great flying and suit mechanics.
Anthem is currently available for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.
MORE: Anthem's Cancelation Will Be Felt by Mass Effect and Dragon Age For Years To Come