Anthem can’t come soon enough for Bioware.
The original Mass Effect series, regardless of how you felt about the ending, is one of the greatest series in gaming. It was a space opera in the grandest sense. Each game was connected by the players decisions and it featured quite possibly the best cast in gaming. On that note, let the record show that Wrex is the shit and any argument against this will immediately be ignored.
If Bioware had decided to let the 3rd entry be the end of the series, I doubt there would be any real pushback. This was a series that could be and should be remastered as it remains one of the most popular in gaming. There’s an N7 day which celebrates the initial release of Mass Effect, so sufficed to say, it’s kind of a big deal. Instead of letting the series head off gracefully into the sunset, Bioware decided to surprise the gaming world by continuing the series with Mass Effect Andromeda. Who would’ve known that this would be Bioware’s biggest misstep?
At its core, Andromeda is not a bad game. Combat is far more fluid and the available abilities are interesting to use. Beyond that however, it is a vastly inferior entry. It had a fairly disastrous start, most notable was just how rigid and stiff the facial animations were. This, as all things tend to do, became a meme, because the internet is quick to capitalize on failures. The cast of characters paled in comparison to the original series and while the environments were fairly stunning, they were also barren and uninteresting to explore. On top of all this, the narrative wasn’t particularly strong, I cant even remember who the antagonist was. As a package, it was just meh.
What made Mass Effect so special was that it carefully crafted a universe that was unique and was molded by player choice. It was an engaging experience in which every encounter mattered and any missteps would create ripples throughout the series. Andromeda had none of that. It was interesting concept as you were tasked in finding a new home for humanity, but it didnt have the weight that the series was known for. It was lighter in tone and while this isnt necessarily a bad thing, it contradicted the importance of the Andromeda initiative. How you make a story about saving humanity bland is beyond me.
Needless, to say, Andromeda wasn’t the title that fans were expecting. Bioware is synonymous with the RPG genre and while they still have far more hits than misses, you’re remembered for what you’ve done lately and this left a bad taste in the mouths of fans. Of course, it was incredibly disappointing given the hype and expectation surrounding the title. But the real shame is that the Mass Effect universe has so much lore that it deserved to be continued. You know you’re dead in the water when the price cut occurs a few months after release. This is EA we’re talking here, when you fail to miss their sales forecast, you It was an incredible fall for what was a very influential series. This was an instantly forgettable title, which if the Mass Effect series resurrects, could actually work out in its favor.
Andromeda should serve as a cautionary tale for other developers thinking of continuing a beloved series. All it takes one uneven effort to scuttle the plans for a new series. Sometimes it’s best to let a property fade as if it doesnt meet the standard set forth by its predecessor, it will be scrutinized heavily and nothing good will come of it. Mass Effect Andromeda was a disappointment, if it was released under a different name, maybe it would’ve had a chance. But it was clear from the start, that this was not going to come close to the quality that the series is known for.
Not even a cameo by Wrex or Mordin Solus could save this effort.