Bring to life a new IP and a new World there must be history, lore, and a sense of belonging and purpose. Who are we and what set the events that we find ourselves in into motion, and the possible course of action(s) that is needed. BioWare has provided this in the form of Cordex, written manuscripts, scrolls, small pieces of text hand scribed by scholars, historians, adventures. A mosaic of people, places, events that gives us that sense of purpose, urgency, and history in this new world. Immersion. There was real concern that BioWare would only focus on the action, and the shared world part of the game. Even in their own admission story would be overshadowed by the need for cooperate game play.
Whether moved by voiced concerns within the gaming community, lesson learned from other AAA developers in a underdeveloped backstory. BioWare has provided us the context of the world of Anthem within the narrative in the form of Cordex entries. One could argue that playing any BioWare game was filled with history, lore and memorable characters that filled any wiki on each game with countless megabits of information. You would win that argument because you would look no further than Shepard or the Inquisitor. Now a Freelancer.
Yes there needs to be a compelling narrative, but without a fully developed backstory a player is always trying to find their footing within the game world. A well established world gives the player a sense of what has transpired, what is the status of the world at the moment, and what may be in store for us in the future. A well developed backstory is the bases for a well developed narrative. We get a glimpse of the past, present, and future in these Cordex entries from the game.
*Cordex Entry: The Heart of Rage
An unending, violent cataclysm created when the Dominion attempted to seize control of the Shaper relic known as the Cenotaph. The ensuing force destroyed the city of Freemark.
The Heart of Rage is like no cataclysm we've seen before. The wind throws around enormous debris like children's toys. Striders have little chance of surviving the cataclysm intact, and lancers have died attempting to travel inside. There is no immediate solution, but if its expansion remains unchecked, the creatures and destruction it created will ravage the countryside. Shadowmark has already been evacuated. Fort Tarsis may eventually be next.
- Cataclysms And Their Effects, 44th edition
*Cordex Entry: The Shapers
Humanity's name for the supreme beings that created the world itself. It is a long-held belief that the Shapers used the Anthem of Creation to build all aspects of our existence, but had to depart suddenly, leaving their tools behind and our world unfinished.
Although they are called "The Shapers," their exact number is not known, and all details or motives are purely speculation.
*Cordex Entry: Shapers Ruins
Massive, ancient Shaper constructs scattered throughout our world. Ruins are classified differently than relics. Not only are ruins often an enormous size, but some do not appear to be capable of accessing the Anthem of Creation. Possibly, those ruins were used strictly for structural purposes. Determining a ruin's original or intended purpose is a matter of educated guesswork rather than proof.
These entries show a history with future discoveries within the world of Anthem. Mysteries to solve, places to discover, and enemies to vanquish in a shared world not realized by other developers. Optimism may be alive in Anthem.
*Cordex entries courtesy of Matthew