It feels like it’s been forever coming, but EA and BioWare’s first new entry into the Mass Effect series since 2012 is nearly upon us. Despite there being a few trailers and snippets of info, unless you’re diving deep and risking spoilers for something you’ve waited five years for, you might be like us and trying to go in as fresh as possible.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t dream. While we adored the first three games, we do have some hopes for this new one. With new technology brings lots of possibilities, and after Dragon Age: Inquisition pushed that series further down a path we loved, here are our hopes and dreams for Andromeda.
With the PS4 Pro having been available for a little while now, we already know that the Andromeda is going to support HDR from the get go on PS4, PC, and Xbox One (via the S model). What we’ve learned from playing games that support High Dynamic Range (HDR) is that it can actually be more important than 4K support at times. While high resolution textures look great, HDR adds believable lighting and gives us the wow moments we so crave. Hopefully BioWare are going to take advantage of this to create some truly breathtaking vistas, because the possibilities (thanks to it being set in Space) are endless. Please, BioWare, blow our socks off with the visuals.
Characters we can fall in love with
Whatever you think of the finale to Mass Effect 3, you can’t deny that the trilogy created memorable characters that we adored spending copious amounts of time with. Some of them we met in the first game, some we met late in the second (and some were pre-order bonuses), but we’ll never forget our conversations, and what these fictional aliens meant to us. It’s vital to the series going forward that Andromeda starts as it means to go on and gives us characters we want to spend days on end adventuring with. If BioWare can get even close to the feeling we get when thinking about Mordin Solus or Urdnot Wrex, we’ll be very happy indeed.
An epic story
If you honestly sit down and think about it, it was the previously mentioned characters that made the story of the Mass Effect trilogy, not the actual overarching narrative. Truth be told, it was a bit safe: big bad is coming, stop big bad, save galaxy, get the girl/boy/alien. We’d love BioWare to flex its muscles a bit in a similar way to Dragon Age: Inquisition, where you felt like you were constantly making major decisions that affected the story. Again, this is fictional space, so take advantage of that and make something outlandish that grabs us and never lets go.
Don’t leave us hanging
Whether EA will admit it or not, we are certain this will be the launchpad for more Mass Effect games, but that doesn’t mean we want to end on a cliffhanger that paves the way for a painful two year wait for another game. As we mentioned, the developer has previous when it comes to ending games in this series, and we just want a satisfying conclusion. Allude to the next game, for sure, but just don’t leave us hanging for two years: we already waited five!
An optional PSVR mode
With Star Wars: Battlefront, EA and Dice made a cracking shooter, but we also got a fun, optional PlayStation VR mode that was both cool and interesting. Even if it’s something as simple as making the Mass Effect codex into some kind of holodeck via VR, we love the universe and would like to go in first person and explore in virtual reality. Actually, the idea of a VR holodeck codex, given the vast nature of the lore is a great idea, so do that, please, and feel free to credit us.
Bring back the RPG elements
After the first game, BioWare ditched the more RPG-nature of the series and went more towards the third-person shooter genre. While early signs certainly point to that continuing, we’re really hoping that EA is hiding the RPG stuff from the trailers, and that when we boot the game up for the first time and have a mammoth six hour session, we’ll at least get some RPG-lite elements.
More powers and ways to interact
This ties into our feeling that the series is set in a made up place in space, and with that in mind we don’t see why Mass Effect can’t borrow from the more outlandish ideas that games like, say, Destiny use. Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting for a moment that Andromeda has space wizards, but perhaps some more interesting powers, weapons, and (generally) ways to interact with people, places, and things might be nice.
Better places to explore, with more detail
Mass Effect Andromeda uses Frostbite, an engine that, quite frankly, makes games look ridiculously good on hardware that probably shouldn’t be able to look that good. Hopefully we can get larger places on planets that are explorable. We don’t expect full-blown planets that are richly detailed, but we’re hoping that BioWare veers more towards spaces that enrapture us because of how intricate they are, or how much thought has gone into the visual design, instead of large planets that have small areas that feel similar to places you’ve already visited.
Whatever EA and BioWare do, we will be there day one on March 21 with controller in hand, excited to see how many of our dreams have come true.