The recent space exploration title with plenty of issues is now being put on the shelf.
Bioware’s massively successful series, Mass Effect, had hit some turbulence with the release of their latest game, Andromeda, mostly in the form of scary looking facial and walking animations, and more than a shit ton of bugs. The problems didn’t take away the enjoyment I personally had with the game, as I fell in love with Mass Effect from the beginning, and even then it wasn’t perfect. With all it’s faults, the game became a beautiful excursion in unknown territory, all the while making you feel right at home. Sadly, the end of the game left us all with burning questions that many would hope for a slew of DLC to be headed our way, now the execs at Bioware leave us hanging in the absolute worst time.
WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD
At the very end of my journey through Heleus, reaching 99% and clocking in at 87 hours, I had been left with a bittersweet taste in my mouth. I saved the day for the Milky Way inhabitants and even made some tough decisions along the way. Each hard choice was said to effect the future. One of the notable moments I’ll highlight to illustrate just how much is left open.
- I saved the Krogan from the Kett before they perfected the exaltation (the manipulation of their DNA and mixing them with all the current Kett DNA to create new versions of Kett) but sacrificed the Salarian Pathfinder and some other Salarian crews. This was said to have me pitted against Salarian Kett forms on the battlefield, which I saw none. This also would have set way for major story development in the future.
- A secondary Kett leader talked about backing off and taking forces away from the Archon, while promising to allow her to live to return to her people. This would have major consequences for the future of Heleus, it left a group of Kett unchecked, which could tip the scales. Also, this olive branch could lead to a Kett defection that could aid the Milkway People in the future. It’s all up in the air!
- An Angaran scientist found that an ancient lifeform that Angarans worshiped could be used to heal faster, and many other unexplored properties. The decision to let them keep harming the basically endangered species to help the race and others in the future or to shut them down may seem small, but could make an impact later down the line.
I wont put anymore here because I feel like many people made similar choices or just breezed through the game and missed it. I hate spoiling things for others but to prove a point, it was the best way. This didn’t even mention some of the larger and more painful choices I made in my own playthrough.
Now, I’m not saying the game franchise is dead, at least I’m hopeful in that matter. Below is the statement BioWare Montreal Studio Director Yanick Roy had to make in regards to the hiatus.
“Our teams at BioWare and across EA put in tremendous effort bringing Mass Effect Andromeda to players around the world. Even as BioWare continues to focus on the Mass Effect Andromeda community and live service, we are constantly looking at how we’re prepared for the next experiences we will create.
The teams in EA Worldwide Studios are packed with talent, and more than ever, we are driving collaboration between studios on key projects.
With our BioWare and Motive teams sharing studio space in Montreal, we have BioWare team members joining Motive projects that are underway. We’re also ramping up teams on other BioWare projects in development. There will be much more to come from BioWare in the years ahead.
Nothing feels permanent with this, it doesn’t sound like it’s completely dead, just on the back burner for a while. Though this isn’t exactly unheard of, if you go back and look at the timeline of releases for the last 3 installments to now, there is noticeable gap between them.
Mass Effect Aka The Reapening: Released 2007
Mass Effect 2 Aka Suicide Squad : Released 2010
Mass Effect 3 Aka The Multi Color Space Ride: Released 2012
And as we know, Mass Effect Andromeda (Funky Face McGee) was released this year. The first titled had a gap of 3 years, where the second had a standard game development 2 year cycle. From 3 to Andromeda we have a five year time lapse and the love never faded for the series. Does this just mean we play another waiting game with Bioware?
I’d say so, given the track record of the company, Mass Effect will just be placed on that catch all shelf, waiting for the dust to settle a bit before diving into another entry. The DLC is another story entirely, I have low hopes of seeing any DLC for about as long as it would take for them to pick up the sequel. And we only have ourselves to blame for that (and maybe they are at fault a bit too). I’m not saying the game wasn’t a bit of a train wreck in some areas, but I am willing to admit if the reaction hadn’t been at the polar extreme then maybe the designers would feel a little less like they were on thin ice.
Yeah it was buggy, but when people started making death threats to the animator because of how things looked, I would have dropped the project and walked onto the next one as well. Bioware has been patching the game, and with the recent patch, it’s finally reaching the point it should have been at, and that’s them being nice and doing maintenance for our sake. They know they messed up, the truth of the matter surely hurt a bit to see just how critical everyone reacted to the games issues. Simply look at this article by International Business Times where lead designer Ian Fraizer talked about the things he saw people say.
Just thinking about the idea of waiting for another entry in the series hurts, more than it probably should, but I know that this is the gaming business. You can’t, or rather shouldn’t, live off of one franchise for the rest of your studios career. Bioware obviously has other projects in mind that they want to get out, One going by the code name Dylan that many speculate will be revealed at E3 this year. I support Bioware in all they do, even though they sucked my soul out of my body and into my PS4 for 87 hours of my life. I’m slowly regaining my humanity, but the part of me still left inside of Andromeda are craving to keep pushing forward.
However long it takes for us to see something besides a patch or multiplayer from Bioware, I’ll be waiting patiently in my escape pod, hoping for the next signs of adventure.