Wary excitement – Mass Effect Andromeda
So, Mass Effect Andromeda is officially out in less than two weeks – and if you want to use the Origin Access you can even start playing 10 hours pre-release. And despite my excitement after the last trailer (not the launch trailer, the one before), I find myself still wary of the game.
Yes, I’m still super excited for the a new Mass Effect Game per se, I adore that Natalie Dormer will be the voice of Lexi T’Perro, I am really looking forward to the new approach on romances – especially that it seems to be possible to have polyamorous relationships? – and I’m sure I’ll have a hell of a lot of fun with the multiplayer!! \o/
From what I saw of the gameplay and what I heard from some story possibilities (and I tried to keep away from spoilers as much as possible), that also leaves me really looking forward to it.
I think Bioware could have done better by having characters address you with your first name but only if you keep the original names Scott/Sara.
But while Bioware has been praised for inclusiveness, I am not (yet) impressed from what I’ve seen in the ME:A promotions. On the one hand, Bioware says they don’t want to disclose any romances beforehand, on the other hand they wave the “Look, you can bang at least two hot chicks as a man!” flag around – and the launch trailer is so obviously targeted at straight male players, it’s really annoying. (That they keep promoting Scott Ryder more than Sara Ryder is annoying in itself.)
At least they are aware of this, since there will be another launch trailer with Sara:
I am SUPERWORRIED that they have not disclosed a human/human lgbtq relationship and I’m gonna be so pissed if the only m/m or w/w options are with aliens. (PLEASE let them be smarter than that.)
They won’t show the character creation options, thus not disclosing whether it will be possible to make a darkskinned character. Why?!
I am so damn unimpressed from what I’ve seen from the animations. Like, have you seen this? That is not. good. *shakes head sadly* If they do the same things as in DAI where you end up with people permanently hovering or clipping (on Ultra settings!) or stuff like this, I’ll be so annoyed:
But what makes me wary more than anything else is the “open world” approach. What always appealed to me in Bioware games is the story. A close-knit, immersive, lore-rich, dramatic story with a ton of character development and full of possibilities. (The reason why DAI falls short so much.) I have yet to see the open world game where the story is still the main focus. And when I read things like this, I get nervous. Not in a good way.
Here’s what BioWare producer Fabrice Condominas had to say about the game’s size and depth when talking to Gamereactor UK: Oh, it’s bigger than any of the three [games in the original trilogy]. In terms of the footprint, for example, it’s gigantic. One planet can be the size of Dragon Age: Inquisition as a whole. Not all of them, but some of them. But it gives you an idea of scale.
The size of the world was part of the problem in DAI since it flooded you with useless and unimportant sidequests distracting you from the main story. Which is no problem per se – not if you approach the story of a game without a certain timeframe and make the “explore as much as you want” part of it. But as soon as you start putting time pressure on the character and afterwards have no consequences if the player still dabbles and explores and wastes ingame time, the whole story arch loses its credibility. ME2 did that very well – explore as much as you want to UP TO THIS POINT and if you continue to do that afterwards, people are gonna die because you delayed. That was very well written and excellently done and added to the whole of the story. Not like in DAI where nothing you do has any effect at all on the story. At all.
Now, I know the team of Dragon Age and Mass Effect are not the same and I do hope that they learned a lot from how DAI was received – not from the ridiculous 10/10 reviews but from the mass of critique that came afterwards and that pointed out the plot holes, the lack of consequences, the horrible handling of the two gay characters, the horrible handling of Sera who was coded as cleary not neurotypical, among other things.
(Also, they could really use more female writers in general.)
So, I stay excited but warily. This does not mean I don’t look forward to the game, I really do – but I don’t expect much. Except having fun with the multiplayer, that I will have. 😉
What about you? What are your thoughts and expectations about Mass Effect Andromeda?