Jonathan Warner came out to settle the debate going on at online discussion websites about Anthem’s map size by explaining that the volume of Anthem’s map size is rather subjective. The Game Director at Bioware insisted that just what you see in straight vision is not “it” for Anthem’s map size. Warner states that Anthem has been taken to a perspective of verticality. This means that you can explore the heights and whirl in the deep waters rather than just moving straight ahead.
One thing that Jonathan Warner failed to clear out of the air was engagement. The depth of the map does not mean that the players are supposed to wander aimlessly just for the sake of visiting new spaces on the map. Maps are designed to lure players deeper into it through enticing content. This issue was also highlighted by many Reddit users too after Jonathan’s interview surfaced online. One of Warner’s answers to the questions while addressing the topic of Anthem’s map size thoroughly was:
I would say this to everybody. Because everybody kind of wants to know, “Hey! How big is the world? Is it going to be big enough for me to really explore and enjoy and love it?” and the answer to that is yes, but I want you to start thinking about the world of Anthem less as a flat plane with some bumps on it, right? And more like it’s a volume so you take a big open world map and now you open up the verticality of it. Up into the sky, down into the water, and just think about how that multiplies the area that you can traverse and the places you can discover, it’s a big world.
Technical Director at Bio Ware, Brenon Holmes backed Jonathan Warner by commenting on the issue of Anthem’s map size. Holmes directed towards the fact that there are more vertical components to discover in the map if you broaden your viewpoint. Jonathan addressed the issue in his interview with IGN too.
A user recently also took it to Reddit by comparing Anthem’s map size with other significant open-world games. The comparison was based on travel time. Travel time is basically the calculation of end-to-end time taken to traverse along the gameplay on the typical mode of transport in that game.
The lengthiest path of each game is chosen to calculate the distance. Anthem’s travel time was 9:45 hours of flying mainly but not the whole time obviously. Fallout 4 gave travel time of 9:09 running, whereas The Division had 8:10 hours of travel time on foot too. The total driving travel time of GTA V was 2:45.
Whether it is the depth or the engagement of the map, there ought to be a balance between both. For instance, you wouldn’t want to go swimming in the water all the way down just to find yourself drowned for nothing in the course of “exploring” the map. BioWare may not be concerned for Anthem’s performance hurting their company directly but they must attend to every issue about Anthem’s gameplay to avoid disaster in the future.