Last night I spotted Mass Effect 3 sitting dormant in my Steam library, and through all the pain and disappointment that the game still manages to impart on me (Different coloured endings, my arse) I still couldn’t help thinking how great the Mass Effect Trilogy was. This of course got me thinking about the Upcoming Mass Effect Andromeda. Specifically, how I imagine it could be with all the worse bits of the earlier games removed, and all those juicy awesome bits left in.
So the trailer is below, and it certainly does look really good and it looks to be heading in the right direction for me.
Right let’s start with the obvious one, that is in short a thinly veiled criticism of Mass Effect 3. It was the same ending! What were you thinking Bioware! How could you do it to me? Ok, so the wounds are still fairly fresh. In Mass Effect Andromeda I want the overall storyline to have many different endings, not different coloured endings but actual bona fide endings that are very different. More importantly, I want these endings to be dependent on major plot events and activities performed by my character not whether I’ve mined enough titanium or spent days hopping endlessly across the galaxy delivering gadgets and doodads to every man and space-dog.
A Whole New Story
At first I liked the idea of everything joining up. So that the end of Mass Effect 3 was linked to how your game in Mass Effect: Andromeda would start. Then I realised that this just wouldn’t happen. It would be very difficult to drag in details from all three prior games, across various console and computer versions plus factor in everything in a new beginning. Then I found out that the galaxy in which ME:A is set is many years in the future and several million light years from the Milky Way. Now I’m going the other way, I want this story to be a completely different story with completely different characters and no cross-over what-so-ever. OK, so maybe Commander Shepherd can be briefly talked about in the odd conversation, but he should be treated like Robin Hood (more of a myth than a man.) Let ME1-3 and let’s start again with Mass Effect Andromeda.
In Mass Effect 2 & 3 you couldn’t explore planets at all. You could mine them for resources or scan them for artifacts but there was no sense of exploration. Mass Effect 1 had kind of the right idea, you could move around on planets on the incredibly bouncy MAKO vehicle, but you could only explore a bit of the planet and apart from one or two things to explore, it was basically a barren rock devoid of purpose. Allow me to explore planets in Mass Effect Andromeda. I want to find hidden treasures, tech and temples. Help people who may join my crew, or find side missions that send ripples through the storyline. Bring in an element of exploration and I will be very happy.
Non-human Playable Races
A little thing, but Commander Shepherd always had to be human, this worked for the storyline of the original three Mass Effect games, but hopefully the next story allows some variation within the character creation. After all, most races seemed to speak English anyway so it’s not like they’d have to record millions of new voice lines. Plus new races add possibilities in regards to reactions, and the way events play out. A Krug would be more likely to choose and excel at violent interactions, while Quarians would have advantages at anything cerebral. Obviously, it wouldn’t be these races as they are set firmly in the Milky Way but I’m sure the same could work for the races in Mass Effect Andromeda. Though there’s an Asari in the trailer, so there could be some race cross-over. I doubt that this will be the case. I think the new protagonist will be a boring human being. Pfff.
The last part for me involves the multi-player mode and how it was so tied into the ending for Mass Effect 3. For those not aware in Mass Effect 3 you had to play the multi-player modes in order to build up your Galactic Readiness. The higher your score the more it contributes to the better ending in Mass Effect 3. This is a nice idea, except for the fact that it ticks away from every day you don’t play multiplayer, and these days it’s damn near impossible to get a multiplayer group quickly. It’s one of the main reasons I can’t bring myself to play ME3. However, I do like the idea of multi-player being included within the game and to a point I don’t mind that it’s tied in to one or more of the endings, but it shouldn’t be linked to all endings. In other words nobody should be forced to play multiplayer so see a better ending.
So, excitement is building for Mass Effect Andromeda and apart from the odd trailer or snippet of info, we’re still kind of in the dark. I’m optimistic about MEA and feel they will actually do a good job. Although, as far as I am concerned we won’t really know until we get to the end of the new trilogy.