BioWare has explained its reasoning behind not allowing Anthem players to soar too high.
The EA-published title, which launched a little under a month ago, has been bashed for its bugs, its strange loot system and a tendency to crash systems. However, flying around in a Javelin is described as being one of the most thrilling features.
Sadly, players can't reach the highest of altitudes because of an invisible ceiling that seemingly pushes down when they get to a certain height. But BioWare's senior gameplay designer Daniel Norlander has revealed that the disciplinary downward currents are actually there to increase the overall enjoyment as it relates to flying.
Speaking during a GDC 2019 talk called "Rocket Man: Creating Flight For Anthem," Norlander explained the flight ceiling after a query arose in a Q&A, claiming that Gravity Rush was inspirational in BioWare's Anthem design.
"We actually did experiment quite a lot," he said. "It's a really good game, by the way - I really like it. What they do is they tend to hide [the ground] with visuals effects or things like that, which blocks out the world when it's really far below you. We tried some approaches [like that], but the main concern there was still that you didn't really have to fly through the world - you could just fly above it."
To be fair, it would be less fun flying above everything instead of expertly maneuvering through the game's dense world. And, as Norlander pointed out, it was discovered that players were way more engaged by having to fly through the network of canyons, ruins and jungles, which is why the devs chose to place a ceiling and keep gamers honest.
"At that point, you could just head off into the distance and just sit there and not have to interact, or do anything with it," he continued. "I think as soon as we lowered the ceiling a bit, and you actually had to fly through the world, we found that players were way more engaged by it - so that's why we opted for that."
Norlander was also made to address the fact that free falling is strangely faster than flying downwards.
"We tried adjusting the fall speed to be slower to compensate, but it kind of made it feel like you're flying through syrup," he said. "So it's definitely weird physics behavior that falling is faster than flying down - but as it didn't really cause any actual exploits or issues in the game, we actually ended up shipping with this behavior."
So, that settles that. No one wants to do anything through syrup, right?