It's getting reeeally difficult to avoid comparing Bioware's upcoming Anthem (opens in new tab) game to Destiny 2 (opens in new tab) these days. The upcoming multiplayer open world adventure, in which you play as a robot-suit wearing "Freelancer" on an alien planet, bears a number of the same DNA traits as Bungie's shared world shooter, with publisher Electronic Arts clearly attempting to woo over that particular audience of gaming hobbyists.
For a while, however, one thing was missing from Anthem that remains a key part of the Destiny (opens in new tab) experience to this day: social hubs. From Earth's iconic Tower to Rise of Iron's Felwinter Peak, these combat-free spaces have been a place for Guardians to hang out, recuperate, and generally take a breather from all the shooty-shooty-bang bangs going on elsewhere.
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BioWare has made no mention of a similar kind of social space in Anthem since its reveal last year but, perhaps in response to a clear demand from the Destiny crowd, the studio has announced at the last minute that the game will indeed feature a social hub of its own, known as The Launch Bay.
Anthem's Lead Producer Michael Gamble casually revealed the Launch Bay (opens in new tab) on his personal Twitter profile last night, announcing that the hub will support up to 16 players and "let you hang out with your friends, use the forge, reload and grab a new contract."
The Launch Bay is not to be confused with Anthem's other HQ, Tarsis, which is the single-player section of the game designed to progress the story from a first-person perspective. Gamble called the Launch Bay "brand new", which makes it sound as though BioWare conjured it up in the game's final stages of development, which - as it happens - has also just gone Gold.
While it won't feature in Anthem's upcoming demo this weekend, you'll be able to check out the Launch Bay on February 22, when the game launches worldwide on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Tide over the wait to Anthem by checking out the best open world games (opens in new tab) that you can pick up and play right now.