With E3 coming up in less than a month, I figured I should maybe start thinking of things the various developers might be showing off, just so I can avoid as much disappointment as possible. Although Nintendo has already gracefully declined to show up this year (well, there goes the fun) and I have my doubts that Bethesda is going to show up with anything worthwhile after blowing their load last year, there still sure are some games that are coming out. So, to remind myself what I’m doing here (“at” E3), I’ve been keeping tabs on one of the games that I’ve been in love with for a long time:
No Man’s Sky Mass Effect: Andromeda.
Though the release date of this new venture into the Mass Effect universe keeps getting pushed back, it doesn’t stop me from being cautiously optimistic that it’ll end up being a good game. (Lord knows that Dragon Age: Inquisition could have probably used another half a year in development at least.) Not much is known about Andromeda yet, but fans of the series do know that it takes place long after the events of the original trilogy, which means that Commander Shepard is long dead and has probably, actually achieved some sort of Jesus status—the allusion was strong with this one, so much so that I almost expect to see a Shepard cult in this game. With the Reaper threat gone, it seems that humans—and perhaps all other species—are looking to branch out in space in search of another home. Or… something.
As much as I loved the original Mass Effect trilogy, there are already lots of things that have me kind of questioning the overall quality of Andromeda. First of all, Andromeda, yet again, makes the player character be a human. I guess that’s okay, but I really wanted the option, at least, to play as a different species. We know what humanity’s deal in space is already, especially with the Alliance Navy (if that’s still around). Sure, different humans have different stories, but I wanted BioWare to take a step outside of the human bubble and make the experience richer; playing as another human who more than likely saves the universe is so… dull (on paper).
Outside of my personal qualms, the various business decisions surrounding both this project in particular and BioWare as a whole seem extremely suspect. Back in February, the lead writer of Andromeda, Chris Schlerf, left the project and BioWare all together. This is on top of Andromeda’s Development Director Chris Wynn’s departure in December. BioWare’s loss of these long-standing staff members is already worrying enough, but when two of them are directly related to the project in such high positions, it leaves me wondering if Andromeda will end up being cohesive at all, or just being a cash grab here to weasel money from fans who just want to drive around in the Mako once more.
2016’s E3 with undoubtedly leave fans with a more solid sense on where the franchise is going, so I look forward—for once—to seeing EA’s panel. It seems strange to me that less than a year from release, we know so little about the game; going back to Dragon Age, I feel like fans knew so much even a year before Inquisition released, but that could be me misremembering. Andromeda supposedly releases in early 2017, so that’s not that much more time to work on things, but all the same, I hope what we’re shown this year assuages my fears and makes everyone galactically hype.