If your character in Mass Effect: Andromeda is Scott Ryder and you were disappointed that you couldn’t have a romantic relationship with Jaal, then the 1.08 patch for the game is going to be good news for you. Once your game is updated, you’ll be able to get sweaty with the angaran resistance observer. BioWare assures fans that this change wasn’t done lightly. They consulted with members of the community and weighed the feedback they received before moving forward. That’s fine, but when are we going to get a Krogan as a love interest? This is a series in which you can woo an alien with such a weakened immune system that coupling with a dirty human should be a death sentence, but somehow that works. Let’s get some nookie from Wrex!
In other Mass Effect news, Kotaku has a report that alleges that most of the game’s development took place in the last 18 months prior to launch. Issues cited by studio sources include difficulties adapting the Frostbite engine, a change in project management, staffing problems, and communication challenges with geographically distant offices.
To say that Mass Effect: Andromeda is a bit sloppy is putting it mildly. Since its launch a couple of weeks ago, the latest installment of BioWare’s space roleplaying adventure has become a meme factory for anyone looking to poke fun at the glitches, tin ear writing, and clumsy animation. A particularly bad dialogue sequence between the player character and a Director Addison quickly became a social media joke. “My face is tired.” The grammar-Nazi correction. The garish rouge. Those dead doll eyes. Those eyes.
The 1.05 patch for Mass Effect: Andromeda may correct one of the more simple issues in the game. BioWare is “improving the appearance of eyes for humans and asari characters.” It may not completely end the “my face is tired” joke, but it could fix those uncanny valley eyes. Fixing all the animation in the game would be quite the undertaking, but revamping the eyes so they aren’t glassy stuffed animal orbs jammed into every character’s face could be a good start.
Mass Effect Andromeda is launching on March 21st in North America, and March 23rd in Europe. BioWare’s announcement dropped the official release dates and pimped the ambitious nature of the science fiction dating sim. No need to worry about quality. BioWare’s own team says it’s great.
Over this holiday break, developers at BioWare took home a version of the game in what we call the “holiday build”. This is a longstanding studio tradition that goes back to the early days of the original Mass Effect. Many load up a PC or console and go home to play as much as possible at their leisure. Coming back from holiday, the feedback has been great. Getting the endorsement from members of our studio, many of whom played key roles on the original trilogy, was definitely a key factor in helping us lock in on the date.
You can read the Quarter to Three review of Mass Effect 3 here.
“Female or male?” This question has plagued Mass Effect players since the start of the series. Which gender should a player make their Commander Shepard? Which is correct? For a long time, the official marketing materials from BioWare featured only the male Shepard, so it was assumed that he was the default. Female Shepard fans rejoiced once the studio began using their favored option in pre-sale imagery. All along, the argument has raged. FemShip is too bossy. MaleShep is too generic. Thankfully, Mass Effect: Andromeda presents a solution. In the latest PlayStation Access, BioWare’s Mac Walters revealed that the male and female versions of the new player avatar, Ryder, are both canonically correct. In fact, they are siblings.
“What a lot of people don’t know – little surprise here – is that these two are brother and sister and they both exist in the game world at the same time. If you’re playing as the sister Ryder – female Ryder – your brother is somewhere in the universe.”
You can watch the full gameplay demo of Mass Effect: Andromeda from the PlayStation Meeting here.
For some people, the ending of Commander Shepard’s galaxy-spanning journey was a controversial one. The outcry over the perceived weakness of the multiple-choice ending was vocal enough to spur Electronic Arts and BioWare to patch further exposition into the climax and epilogue. Fans wondering how Mass Effect: Andromeda would handle the end of the last game can rest easy. It’s not going to address it. Instead, BioWare’s Aaryon Flynn explained to Eurogamer that Mass Effect: Andromeda’s setting is far enough away in terms of distance and time from The Milky Way, that nothing you did really impacts the new game.
“We’ve done it in such a way that allows all of those decisions you made to remain intact in the canon of the universe, but also allows a new story to begin.”
That’s one way to negate persistent fan theories about star-children and mind wipes.
We all know another Mass Effect game is coming. The only question is what will the game be like? Will it be a futuristic elevator simulator? An off-road planetary exploration adventure? A third-person cover shooter with lots of sexy cleavage and derrieres? According to leaked marketing survey details from BioWare and Electronic Arts, we can expect the game to resemble Dragon Age: Inquisition quite a bit, except there will be a lot more collecting. And derrieres.
The next Mass Effect game takes place in the Helius Cluster (a cluster of 100s of solar systems in the Andromeda Galaxy), far removed by time and space from Commander Shepard’s heroic acts and the final events of the Mass Effect trilogy.
As a Pathfinder, who is totally not Commander Shepard, the player will gather resources and allies to combat The Remnant, who are totally not The Precursors, before their technology destroys the galaxy. Details of some features included the return of the all-terrain Mako, establishing settlements to spread influence, and high-level raid style gameplay. Multiplayer appears to be an iteration of the current style found in Dragon Age: Inquisition and Mass Effect 3.
Previous survey leaks revealed accurate information about Assassin’s Creed: Unity and Dragon Age: Inquisition prior to their official announcements.