Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s creative director, Mac Walters, discusses in an interview how the game’s new villains will be different from the iconic Reapers.

Mass Effect: Andromeda will be the first game in the beloved sci-fi RPG series that will not follow the adventures of Commander Shepard, and that means the new game will also mark the first time in Mass Effect history that the Reapers are not the main antagonists. That means that the game won’t be able to lean on an already established universal threat, and Mass Effect: Andromeda will need to find a new evil for players to unite against.

That being said, however, Mass Effect: Andromeda represents a unique opportunity for the team at BioWare to improve on some of the short-comings that were present in the original trilogy’s narrative. Creative director Mac Walters recently sat down for an interview with OXM, where he suggested that players won’t be facing down an inherently evil race of creatures like the Reapers, and that the Kett are much more nuanced:

“Clearly there’s some bad apples [among the Kett], and you have to deal with them, but what does that mean for the rest of Andromeda? What does it mean for the other Kett?”

Walters explains that the Archon, the main villain and a member of the Kett race, will be featured heavily in the game’s story even when he isn’t directly present, as the crew in Mass Effect: Andromeda will discover he is a divisive leader even among his own people. It’s a welcome change from the Reapers, who were a galactic force incapable of being reasoned with – the presence of good and bad Kett certainly presents BioWare with more narrative options, at least.

That nuanced storytelling is consistent with what the developers behind Mass Effect: Andromeda have been preaching for some time now in interview, namely that the game will feature more substantial side missions. BioWare has gone on record saying that Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s side quests were inspired by The Witcher 3, which, if executed successively, will no doubt make an already great series even more compelling.

mass effect archon kett

Having an easy source of all the problems in a game’s universe is nice, but the storytelling behind the Mass Effect series has become so deep and intricate that it has outgrown an all-encompassing threat like the Reapers. Mass Effect: Andromeda represents a number of significant changes for the series, but chief among them is a brand new villain who offers a number of exciting storytelling opportunities that simply weren’t present in the original trilogy.

Mass Effect: Andromeda arrives on March 21, 2017 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.