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RPG Grind Time – Five Things Mass Effect Andromeda Needs To Prove

Kimberley Wallace
 

The Mass Effect trilogy remains one of my most treasured gaming experiences; each character still holds a special place in my heart. It’s hard to forget shooting bottles off the Citadel with Garrus or that special moment with Liara viewing the archive of your journey during the finale of Mass Effect 3. I was invested in these lives; I was hellbent on saving the galaxy. The trilogy got me to care, which isn’t something most games can achieve. Andromeda is the next chapter in the Mass Effect series, and with it comes higher expectations.

This is the first Mass Effect game on this generation of consoles, and so much has changed since the trilogy ended in 2012. BioWare has the difficult task of not only innovating and topping its trilogy, but also appealing to a new generation of gamers and keeping up with the demands of this new era of RPGs. I was fortunate enough to visit BioWare for the recent cover story and got an extensive look at the game. I could not be more excited to start a new chapter in the series, but if the game is to succeed, it needs to surpass some tough obstacles. Here’s what Mass Effect Andromeda needs to achieve to keep the series on track.

Create A Compelling, More Open WorldThe trilogy has its share of linearity, but one thing BioWare has been boasting about in Andromeda is how much freedom and exploration it holds with a more open world. Part of the fun of being on different planets is discovery, and feeling boxed in doesn’t really sell the adventure. With this, though, comes the challenge of filling these spaces with intriguing encounters, whether that be battles, side quests, or worthwhile items. This will be Mass Effect’s first crack at creating larger spaces, and hopefully it learned from Dragon Age Inquisition’s successes and shortcomings. BioWare must ensure this world is, first and foremost, fun to explore, and that each planet has its own unique identity, but without too much to do that isn’t meaningful, like in Inquisition.

Hopefully, the larger world opens up the opportunity to create even more intriguing side quests by having extra dungeons and hideouts around every nook and cranny. I’m most interested in seeing the different environments and how much more detailed planets can look with the advanced tech. I’ve always thought Mass Effect could do much more with its world; I’m hoping Andromeda delivers in that regard.   The Series Can Move Beyond ShepardWe spent three games role-playing as Commander Shepard. Her (or his) legacy is strong, as we shared the highs and lows of being a hero.

The series has been so ingrained in Commander Shepard’s plight that it’s…

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