In May of 2017 it emerged that EA was putting the Mass Effect franchise on hold. The publisher was unhappy with the performance of the recently released Mass Effect Andromeda in terms of sales, critical reception, and fan reaction. As well as scaling back developer BioWare Montreal and moving much of its staff to EA Motive to work on Star Wars Battlefront II, the series was effectively put in hiatus.
Taking place not long after the events of the first Mass Effect game, Andromeda sees the player taking on the role one of two Ryder twins as part of the Initiative. This new mission is a plan to leave the Milky Way galaxy and colonize a new collection of planets in the Andromeda galaxy. It’s a bold move and it doesn’t pay off smoothly, with the 600 years of travel leading to a number of problems. These are primarily an unknown phenomenon called the Scourge that has waylaid many of the Initiative ships and a race of villainous aliens known as Kett. You spend your time from the beginning of the game battling these forces and attempting to revitalize the seed worlds for habitation.
In what will be a first for the franchise, Mass Effect: Andromeda will give players the ability to craft their own weapons and give them personalized names. Ian S. Frazier, the lead designer for the game, made the revelation on Twitter whilst confirming that the customization options would also be available for melee weapons.
Last year, EA executive vice president Patrick Soderlund told Game Informer in an interview that his company was not looking to make any remasters of their popular content despite an obvious demand from fans. However, recently, the same person seemed to change his stance when he told Game Informer that the mega publisher was now looking at how remastered titles had been successful and was likely to jump on the bandwagon in the future.
While many people are obviously very excited to get their hands on the highly anticipated Mass Effect: Andromeda, one aspect has already caused some confusion. This is exactly how it fits into the canon of the franchise as a whole and just how it links to the controversial ending of Mass Effect 3.
One of the biggest questions heading into Mass Effect: Andromeda was that of how much the game will connect to the original Mass Effect trilogy. Developer Bioware has gone on record noting that the game will not be entirely influenced by the ending of Mass Effect 3, but will still be in the same universe obviously.
While it was painfully clear that the ending to Mass Effect 3 did little to satisfy players, causing something of a controversy for the way that BioWare handled the player’s personal decisions in the final moments, many people still want the chance to continue that story somewhat in the future. This is despite the fact that BioWare has made it clear that Andromeda will be a completely separate entry into the franchise, set in a different time and place to the story of Commander Shepard and the Reapers.