Mass Effect Andromeda was announced two years ago, but details about the game are still sketchy. We know that it takes place after the events of Mass Effect 3, that it’s set in the Andromeda Galaxy and that the main character is called Ryder. Other than that, not much else has been revealed. On Monday, EA plans to release a trailer for the game, so perhaps we’ll learn something new about it. Here are a few things I’d like to see from Mass Effect Andromeda:
1. No cheap endings
I hate to dredge up Mass Effect 3’s lousy ending, but to say that it was anti-climatic would be a huge (Hugh Mungus, even) understatement. The story had us bracing for an epic conclusion. On one level, that’s what we got. Shephard and his crew pulled off a Hollywood-style 9th inning rally when everything looked hopeless, replete with a big, dramatic explosion. But on another level, it was a letdown. What sucked about the ending was why the conflict had to happen at all, as told by the Reaper’s creator.
The Reapers gave the impression that they were beyond human comprehension, when it turned out they’re just another race of synthetics – albeit a very powerful race of synthetics – who were created by a being with godlike powers and childlike motives. The being’s motive for creating the Reapers didn’t make sense. I won’t go into it, but it seemed like Bioware’s writers put very little thought into the game’s conclusion.
This is why the ending sucked, not because Shephard died. (Remember that he “died” in Mass Effect 2 and was brought back to life. Since Mass Effect Andromeda takes place in the future, and since Captain Shephard is such an iconic game character, I’m 99% certain you’ll run into him somewhere, even if you can’t play him.) But back the ending: it was bad because it insulted the player’s intelligence. Give us a climax that gives us closure and a sense of wonder.
2. No tokens, and no pandering
See my previous article. In Mass Effect 3, you encounter a man in the armory named Cortez. The first and only thing you learn about him is that he’s gay. What other purpose does he serve, other than to pander to gay Mass Effect fans?
And why did Captain Shephard, who showed no signs of being bisexual in the first two games, suddenly develop an interest in same-sex relationships in Mass Effect 3? Were there gays on the Normandy all this time, but they just hadn’t caught Shephard’s eye? This was something new about the character that seemed like it was just thrown in there to pander to gays. Bottom line: if a character is gay, don’t let that be the first thing we learn about him.
3. Send us to the Yahg homeworld
In the DLC mission Lair of the Shadowbroker, the player is introduced to a new alien species: the Yahg. The Yahg are big, violent creatures who can read other intelligent beings like a book. They wiped out a Council Delegation that was sent to Parnack (the Yahg homeworld) on a diplomatic mission and were subsequently cut off from the Citadel. In short, they sound pretty badass. Imagine a quest where you have to gain the confidence of a Yahg before bringing it aboard the Normandy as an ally. Take us to their homeworld: I wanna see it!
Bioware makes great games and I’m sure Mass Effect Andromeda will exceed everyone’s expectations.