When anyone hears the name BioWare, they almost certainly think of Mass Effect. If not a particular game, they might think of story-intensive titles or games with romance options. It's that last one there that's caused a bit of a stir. BioWare's biggest title post-Mass Effect: Andromeda is Anthem. It's a bit of a breakaway from previous titles, in that it focuses on multiplayer and the action side of first-person shooters, rather than a story. This is a very bittersweet change for many fans that has led to some complaints. Among them is the lamentation that romance and sex options were what drew many to BioWare games.
For me, Mass Effect was a title I just had to play because of the great reviews it was getting and the promise of an immersive story. In the first game, the romance and sex were an added bonus for me. That all changed in the second and third installments, when I staunchly pursued Garrus. The rest of the story and gameplay were excellent of course, but the relationship became more important to me. As I finished up Mass Effect 3, the romance and (somewhat awkward) sex scenes became one of my favorite parts of the trilogy. I knew that I would give anything BioWare created in the future a chance, because they clearly had some wonderful minds behind their titles. I'm a girl that loves love, so I admit I tentatively hopped on the bandwagon when everyone voiced their concern regarding Anthem leaving it out.
Here's the thing; Anthem is a very different game. It's a FPS that relies heavily on the multiplayer aspect. Within your bases, you can enjoy a single-player experience, but in the world, you will most likely rely on your friends or Internet acquaintances. BioWare could probably include some kind of romance and/or sex option in the multiplayer world, but I can't help but feel it would be forced and shoe-horned in there. They could almost certainly include it in the single-player areas of the game, but the same concerns remain.
On the one hand, this feels very much like a missed opportunity. It's possible that BioWare might include romance or sex with DLC or future updates, but it won't be included in the base game. This has the potential to drive a lot of potential players away. Those who want those features might not even give it a chance. This could spell doom for the game, even if it is mostly dependent on the popularity of its multiplayer. Those who want the action (but not the shooting kind) will have to be sweet-talked into the experience. It's not entirely impossible, but I feel this is a fight BioWare needs to be prepared for.
On the other hand, if BioWare does deciede to include romance and sex later, there are plenty of opportunities. If they went the multiplayer romance option route, they could allow players to have their own “moments” together either in the big world. This would be great for significant others who are playing together, allowing them a little virtual fun. It might be a bit awkward for everyone else, but perhaps not. The easier route for BioWare would be to include romance and sex in the player's home bases. Imagine a NPC patiently waiting for their suited hero to return from battle. There are all kinds of great possibilities there! I can even see it now: The Hero Returns DLC! It's time to meet the lady or lad who supports you at home.
I plan to try and enjoy Anthem no matter what, but I'm curious how all of you feel. What do you think of it? Will it need a little romance? Is it something crucial to you or will you enjoy the action packed shooter regardless?