Mass Effect Andromeda released over a year ago with mixed critical reception, however, the game was heavily criticized by the community for its weird facial animations. However, Bioware has assured that this won’t happen with the upcoming Anthem as the studio has let go of facial animation tech used for the game.
Speaking with GameInformer, executive producer Mark Darrah confirmed that Bioware has retired the old facial animation tech used in Mass Effect Andromeda and has moved on to a new technique so that the weird facial animations don’t break the immersion.
We had used a specific piece of technology up to and including Andromeda that we’re not using anymore. Part of it is just paying more attention to it and making sure it’s tuned properly and giving it specific attention.
Not only that, he noted that Anthem will feature fewer characters that “on average talk a lot more” indicating that Bioware has put a lot of effort in facial animations for those characters who actually have a lot to talk about.
[Characters in Anthem] talk more but each character has a certain amount of effort required to set them up to talk, to move their face properly at all. So we have much fewer characters that on average talk a lot more, where in a Dragon Age or Mass Effect you have tons of characters that say one or two lines. There basically is nobody in Anthem that only says one or two lines.
Facial animations in Mass Effect Andromeda definitely broke immersion at least at launch. While Bioware did roll out patches to fix it up but the damage was done and this whole thing affected the game overall.
Speaking of the facial animations in Anthem, Bioware has hinted that the game will not feature full-face customization like in the previous titles such as Dragon Age Inquisition.
However, Bioware didn’t specify as to why it has decided to not feature full-face customization but part of the reason might be the fact that for the majority of the game our character will be wearing a Javelin suit covering the whole body which would make full-face customization somewhat pointless.
Furthermore, given that Anthem is based on the live-service model, Bioware intends to expand the game post-launch. However, not all of the game’s content will be paid as the studio has confirmed that Anthem’s all story DLC will be free.
Anthem is a multiplayer action-adventure game in development at Bioware and is scheduled to launch in February 2019 for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.