Anthem’s Brenon Holmes Touches On Ray Tracing Tech And Weapons

Anthem has been attracting attention for all the wrong reasons lately, and while development on the game isn’t all that clear as to what’s going on now, technical design director at BioWare, Brenon Holmes, touched on ray-tracing tech, weapons in Anthem and more.

Publication site HotHardWare recently published a piece on Nvidia’s RTX technology and real-time ray tracing being the “holy grail of gaming graphics,” which got the attention of Brenon Holmes.

The Technical Design Director at BioWare who’s working on Anthem, had this to say:

“We had some discussions around this, but the amount of work to integrate is more than we can afford to do right now… especially as it would probably just be for very high-end PCs.”

Holmes was asked by a user if folks on console would see this kind of tech two to three generations from now, in which he replied:

“I’m not really a graphics guy, so I’m not really sure. Two generations from now would be like 10+ years though… which is a really long time when it comes to hardware.


So if not this, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some other super fancy technique in this space.”

On the topic of Reddit and Holmes, he also took to answering fan questions about Anthem‘s suits, ballistics, and weapons.

When asked about what is his favorite thing to do in Anthem right now, he answered:

“Right now I’m having a lot of fun just running around with the Colossus suit and using the Mortar on everything. (you can sort of see this in last year’s E3 demo).


They’ve been doing some iteration on him lately and he’s really coming together. I’m really enjoying one of the new melee abilities they’ve propped up recently!”

We learn from Holmes that the Colossus suit is coming together quite well, and that new melee abilities have his attention for the better. Contrary to armor, weapons will sport both hitscan (like OG Doom’s pistol, shotguns, and chaingun) and projectile-based ballistics that have weight and travel time.

In addition to the above, Holmes elaborated on this by sorta answering a query in regards to weapons:

“It depends on the weapon… most are projectile based (some of them move very quickly), others are hitscan.”

He continued on about weapons by saying:

“Guns can be hitscan and resolve the impact of the shot immediately (on the same frame), we did this for ME 1-3. They can also be projectile based, which is more like the Battlefield games… in this case you have a projectile that moves very quickly.


There are advantages and disadvantages to both systems… what I was referring to in my post was about more than just guns. For us, standard guns generally use very fast moving projectiles (an impact might be determined within a few frames).


Non-standard guns and other types of weapons could use slower projectiles (that you can actually see), “hitscan” or other methods of detecting a hit.”

Lastly, Holmes says one good way to sum up Anthem is that it’s like Warframe meets Monster Hunter World. We learn this when a fan asks if it’s okay that Anthem fits between said games:

“That’s definitely a way of describing it… That’s what we would refer to as “the razor”. The problem with razors is:


  • Good ones are really hard to come up with
  • People will always interpret them differently depending on their experiences… So you usually need supporting material to really help drive it home.


There are elements in your razor that fit, but it really depends on exactly what you mean… and on the next level of detail.


I think we have a fairly good way of describing the IP and the game… unfortunately, I don’t think we can talk about it quite yet…”

EA and BioWare’s Anthem is currently slated to release sometime in 2019 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.


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