Mass Effect is a franchise I’ve been a fan of ever since playing the first installment on Xbox 360 when it premiered in 2007. I can’t fathom how many hours I’ve spent over the years with my Vanguard Shepard charging and shot-gunning enemies, getting to know complex characters, and multiple replays to see how the stories change. With Andromeda fast approaching on PC, Xbox One, and premiering as the first Mass Effect title on the PS4, I can’t wait for more people than ever to have a chance to discover this fantastic franchise that I love.
What I’m excited for most in Andromeda is the introduction of a new story and new characters exploring a new galaxy. Those of you who’ve played Mass Effect 3 may be wondering how it’s extraordinarily different endings are accounted for in Andromeda’s new story. Interestingly the game begins between the events of Mass Effect 2 and 3, allowing it to conveniently sidestep the conclusions to the final chapter. Seeing as everyone part of the Andromeda Initiative were asleep and traveling during the events of Mass Effect 3, they’re isolated from its conclusion when they awake 600 years later. While certainly a novel and effective way to skirt the radically different and divisive endings in 3, I am puzzled how the races of the Milky Way found the time and resources to launch an intergalactic colonization mission with the Reaper threat looming. Hopefully, this is something they’ll address in the game, which I can’t wait to discover and explore the new frontier of Andromeda in.
New Lessons: The developer of the Mass Effect series, Bioware, have also clearly learned a great deal since Mass Effect 3 landed in 2012. One of the producers even went as far to say they’ve looked at poorly received gameplay elements in their last title Dragon Age: Inquisition, while taking cues from what The Witcher 3 was applauded for during development of Andromeda. These are particularly exciting developments to hear personally, as I skipped Inquisition based on its faults despite having played the previous 2 installments, and absolutely loved The Witcher 3.
New Gameplay Elements: They’ve also revamped the class system to be far more flexible by not confining you to a single class; instead allowing you to use and level up the skills you enjoy reminiscent of The Elder Scrolls games. Multiplayer also makes a return in Andromeda, and thankfully it’s reported this time around the optional mode will impact the single player story far less than it did in 3. Finally, with what’s been described as faster combat, the addition of weapon crafting and jetpacks, it sounds like we’re going to be in for a treat with the gameplay in Andromeda!
Living Open World:
Of course, no modern RPG is complete without a massive and living open-world. This is the part Bioware has stated they took cues from what The Witcher 3 did well, so I expect to see an absolutely massive open-world with bountiful and meaningful content to explore. Naturally one of the unique aspects of Mass Effect’s open-world is your ship. Gone is the Normandy from the past games and instead enter the Tempest; a small and quick explorer which also carries a new rover called the Nomad for exploring the surfaces of planets you’re sure to come across.
Mass Effect Andromeda’s release date is March 21st and is now available for pre-order in Standard, Gold, and Deluxe editions. Whether you’re an experienced player like I am or have never seen a Mass Effect game before, I definitely recommend checking this one out. Are you as excited for Andromeda as I am?