At this point in its evolution, Mass Effect is facing the same crossroads that Star Trek did when it created Voyager. Mass Effect fans have now spent three full games with Krogans and Ansari, fully explored the political landscape, and confronted a deadly invasive species. Compare this to a Star Trek universe that had three generations of Klingons and Ferengi, multiple wars and peace between races, and dealt with two deadly invasive species in the Borg and Jem’Hadar.
Voyager attempted to freshen up the series by taking the familiar cast of races into far off places. Placing the show in the unexplored Delta Quadrant gave the writers a wide berth to have the crew encounter just about anything (which usually amounted to humanoids with makeup on their foreheads).
Mass Effect Andromeda is embracing this approach by placing its familiar looking protagonists on a long journey to a far-off galaxy. If utilized correctly, this could give Andromeda a wonderful sense of adventure. Expecting the unexpected would add tension and excitement to every new location. Their tagline “We are the aliens” says it all.
Andromeda can use this premise to instill a true sense of exploration. Every planet could host a unique culture completely free from any preconceived notions. They could have eyes on their butts for example.
Mac Walters, (writer for Mass Effect 2/3, Creative Director of Andromeda) spoke with Game Informer about his vision for Andromeda and about leaving the original trilogy behind to create something new and exciting.
“So much of the magic from the first game came from looking forward…anything was possible…there was no Mass Effect”
Walters’ current team has members that grew up playing the franchise, but he wants them to feel free to craft their own stories beyond Sheppard’s iconic tale.
“I wanted especially this team to feel like they had that freedom…so they could focus on what is possible, as opposed to…we did it this way before, we have to do it that way…let’s also be forward thinking, let’s really use our imaginations, what would you, as a fan, be excited about seeing?”
I agree with Walters that the first three games told their story to completion and a new perspective is exactly what a fourth entry needs. I’m looking forward to boldly go where no Sheppard has gone before.
How do you feel about the new direction?