I know its a little early, but after last weeks announcement of the Mass Effect Andromeda release date. I have already started counting down to it, in fact I have already decided I will be taking some time off work to play it. I live in the UK, so I will need to wait a few extra days as it will be releasing on the 23rd March for us. This game is going to be so so sooo gooooood!
I am a big Mass Effect fan, the original game was the first game I actually played created by Bioware. I remember initially struggling to get to grips with it, with the lack of a proper tutorial, no auto save function, frame rate issues and gameplay that was very rough around the edges. But what kept me hooked on the game, was the world Bioware created, actually the universe they created.
"Don't forget those Elevator rides, oh those long elevator rides"
This was very much a space opera that you were playing, and the actions and decisions you make would both have small and very large scale, impactful repercussions. Both with the characters you interact with and the universe itself.
The sequel improved on every aspect of the original, and pretty much covered all the bases from fan feedback. The third and concluding chapter was a great game, and leading up to its final arc, many of what you did in the previous two games had some sort of impact on your characters story.
"To this day, the loyalty missions you do with your crew are one of the most fulfilling and engaging side quests I have played in any RPG"
But unfortunately the ending sort of felt flat, and with a backlash of angry fans response to it. Led to Bioware, adding additional content to provide closure and tie up a few loose ends. It sort of left a bitter taste in my mouth, but I will never forget the incredible journey I took part in over the three titles.
Five years on, many fans have not forgetting the awful ending. But still have been eagerly anticipating the next chapter in the franchise.
Andromeda is a completely new story and has no ties to the original main character. From the early trailers and some behind the scenes footage, this game looks to be more about exploration and traversing new planets not discovered by mankind.
You will play the role of a Pathfinder, looking for new planets for human species to colonise. Where the original games had you picking from different character classes, in this game you can choose whatever class you want to play as at any time. You can then boost your skills and attributes to these classes as you progress through the game. One major talking point from both Mass Effect 2 and especially Mass Effect 3, was that the customisability for your character went from streamlined to very limited. A lot of the RPG mechanics had been stripped down, making the game feel more like an action adventure game, Andromeda looks to be going back to the roots of the first game while still maintaining the excellent combat in the following two installments.
You will be able to traverse these planets both on foot and in a vehicle, like Mass Effect 1 and early screening suggest this vehicle will have a lot more to it, than just being used to get from point A to be B. There will be an engaging vehicle combat system and the vehicle itself will have features to help with exploring and finding hidden treasures.
The worlds themselves look incredible and beaming with life, with extra emphasis on variety and having interesting side quests to both further the plot but add more layer to the Andromeda universe.
The villains shown in the trailers look to be just as frightening and menacing as the Reapers (one of the main enemies from the original trilogy) and will be interesting to see what they are going to be about and what role they play in the story.
"I feel this story will be more personal, which to be honest after the original trilogy. I think is a good decision, lets just have fun being a Path finder for now"
Overall the game actually looks to be a lot more grander in scale in terms of gameplay over the first three. I hope Bioware have really gotten the most out of the processing power from the new consoles, and not only bring a beautiful new experience. But also new game changing RPG mechanics. We have had the conversation panel, the moral decision choices and being able to build relationships with characters. Now I want to see what their newest game changing mechanic will be, well I'm hoping there will be anyway.
Even if there isn't, I know this game is going to be epic and Bioware are going to remove the sour taste of the ending of Mass Effect 3, and remind us again why we fell in love with the universe, and make us fall in love again with Andromeda. By uncovering new planets, meeting new species, forming a close bond with a new crew, and fly a new spaceship and so much more.
If you're a fan of RPG, action adventure, and sci-fi. Do yourself a favour and buy this game when it comes out on the 21st/23rd of March. Also if you have an Xbox One and never played the original trilogy, they are all backwards compatible now. I highly recommend you give them a try too. Just so you will know why I am so hyped for this game, but also they were great games in their own right.