E3 2017: Anthem vs. Destiny 2: What We Know

Co-op battle. A science-fiction/fantasy setting. Fan hype. Endless amounts of loot.

Are we talking about BioWare’s new Anthem release, or Bungie’s anticipated sequel Destiny 2?

On the surface, these two games seem similar, but is one going to be better than the other? What should you know before making a purchase?

Franchise Similarities

First, let’s look at what the two games appear to have in common:

  • Co-operative, open-world gameplay. Both games are going to feature a similar kind of co-operative, open-world gameplay. Players will have huge, interactive maps to explore, and can team up with each other to take down common enemies. For Destiny 2, this makes perfect sense—why fix what isn’t broken? But Anthem has received some criticism for almost mimicking the formula here.
  • Science-fiction/fantasy aesthetics. If the games featured radically different landscapes and aesthetics, it would be easy to favor one over the other based on personal preferences. Instead, both games appear to have the same futuristic sci-fi fantasy motifs.
  • Constant updates. Both developers have promised to give their users near-constant updates, including gameplay rebalances, new missions, and new items to gather.
  • Practically unlimited loot and upgrades. The real secret to keeping gamers interested in a game long-term is giving them more character upgrades, items, and loot to earn—and both games appear to offer them.
  • A focus on story. The trailers for both Destiny 2 and Anthem seem like the games are focusing on story, which is a welcome addition to the genre.

Anthem’s Unique Features

That being said, BioWare has some big advantages with these unique features:

  • A new world. Destiny looks, in some ways, like a simple expansion to the original game. Anthem, however, offers an entirely new world to plunder—and a new system of gameplay mechanics to experiment with.
  • Diving and jetpacks. Anthem also offers some new ways to explore, including sophisticated Iron Man-like jetpacks, and the ability to dive underwater. This could make the world of Anthem far more immersive and interesting.
  • Loot sharing. After battling a common enemy, it appears that Anthem players have the ability to split the loot, making the game more mutually rewarding for co-opers.

Destiny 2’s Unique Features

Don’t count Destiny 2 out yet, as it has some key advantages of its own:

  • DLC. One of Destiny’s best selling points is the constant introduction of new DLC, including missions, stories, and in-game items. Destiny 2 will likely follow the same model.
  • Community. While Anthem’s new world is interesting, Destiny has history—and that means it has a bigger, established community of players ready to jump into the world immediately upon launch.
  • Immediacy. Speaking of launch, Destiny 2’s is coming first. Destiny 2 is set to hit shelves this September, while Anthem won’t launch until late next year (if it even launches on time).

A Note on Perception

Though we do have lots of information, we’re still somewhat limited in comparing the games until they’re actually released. We only know what we’ve been shown and told, so either game may hold surprises for gamers when they release—especially if game-day bugs and server problems interfere with the experience. Only time will tell whether Destiny 2 or Anthem reigns supreme, so keep your mind open as we gather more information about each.

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