I have been a huge fan of BioWare ever since they went to A Galaxy Far, Far Away. Little did I know that playing Knights of the Old Republic would turn me into a western RPG fanatic. Bioware did everything right in KOTOR; they normalized the combat, made the characters feel like they were ripped right from the Star Wars universe and surprised me with twists and turns in the story. This one game made me a lifelong fan of all of their RPG titles. Mass Effect and Dragon Age soon topped the list of games I must buy on day one. It has been four years since my last trip on the Normandy, and I’m itching to get back in the saddle. Thankfully last year at E3, EA dropped a trailer on us for Mass Effect: Andromeda, which makes me extremely excited for this release.
It is obvious that this trailer has created more questions than answers. For instance, who is the main protagonist wearing the N7 armor? Is that a scarred Shepard who survived the terrible ending of Mass Effect 3 or a new character that we are going to be introduced to as we play? Does the N7 armor mean that they salvaged the Normandy or this a new one in homage to the original crew that saved the galaxy from The Reapers? Will Garrus be calibrating through the entirety of this release or will there be different returning cast members? I need to know, and we hopefully only have to wait until the Holiday season, but I realize that release dates are changed more often than underwear.
I’m hoping that we get a dose of all-new from this installment. The first trilogy was Shepard’s and will stand the test of time as a classic but something fresh will be welcomed. Dragon Age: Inquisition had a relatively new cast, and you were re-introduced to some old characters, which I enjoyed greatly. Andromeda should take this route as well; it should have some quests that show you where certain classic characters ended up, but nothing that takes away from the new characters time in the spotlight. I still want Garrus calibrating all over the Normandy though; it won’t feel like a true Mass Effect game if he is not.
Many people will not agree with me on this, but I hope they bring back mining. I actually enjoyed doing that in Mass Effect 2; it was relaxing after a few hours of combat. Just sitting there listening to the same chords over and over while finding certain minerals really put me as ease. Judging from the trailer, inspecting planets looks to have advanced from just scanning and probing, which I’m alright with. I also didn’t mind driving around in the Mako looking for caches of minerals and supplies, so a nice combination of the two would be welcome.
BioWare should also stick with the amazing gameplay, character development and artistic design that we loved in previous Mass Effect games. You never need to fix what is broken, and none of those are broken. I would like to see space battles though. I never really got to take the Normandy through its paces in a battle with Joker at the helm. I’d like to take part in a space battle above some unknown planet. I mean if Call of Duty is doing it, I think that BioWare can pull it off. I would also like to see BioWare ready with a real ending this time for however many games this will be. The first trilogy’s ending didn’t seem very well thought out, almost as if they didn’t realize the first game would be a hit. Hopefully somewhere in the BioWare offices, there are some dry-erase boards with the story mapped out for each game, including an ending this time around.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is likely to be one of, if not the best game for whichever year it is released, whether that be 2016 or 2017. It is one of my most anticipated games ever. I know that I’ll never get another Knights of the Old Republic – Editor’s Note: I think there’s a chance with EA having the Star Wars license – so Mass Effect is the closest that BioWare will ever give me. Seeing as I know very little about this upcoming release, I cannot wait for EA to show off more of it at this year’s E3. There’d better be a huge booth, lots of televisions with footage, and hopefully some playable planets. Don’t do us dirty EA; bring the goods!