Mass Effect: Andromeda is effectively ignoring the endings of Mass Effect 3, putting distance both in setting and in story between the two RPG shooters.
The absence of Mass Effect: Andromeda gameplay, or really much of any substantial content, from E3 perpetuates fan curiosity regarding the new game. It also perpetuates fan association of the Mass Effect franchise with the infamous endings of Mass Effect 3. Thus, as Eurogamer has now shown, fans are quick to ask just how Mass Effect 3‘s endings will affect the forthcoming game. The official word has been provided, and according to Bioware GM and VP Aaryn Flynn, the third entry in the series will have no effect at all on Mass Effect: Andromeda.
According to Flynn, Mass Effect 3‘s endings will play no role in Mass Effect: Andromeda — it’s effectively ignored. Don’t expect any green-skinned synthesis humanoids or an immortal Shepard-controlled Reaper armada. Instead, Mass Effect: Andromeda will explain away the endings of Mass Effect 3 with one word: space.
The events of Mass Effect: Andromeda are hinted to take place so far away from the Milky Way that, despite the fact that the story takes place long after the third installment, the events of the trilogy haven’t reached the setting of the game. It’s the nature of space travel — very long distances take a very long time to travel.
Bioware’s Creative Director for Mass Effect, Mac Walters, implies this rather heavily in his Eurogamer interview, noting the concept of “how long it takes to travel between galaxies.” The exact details regarding the game’s setting will have to wait until it launches. But Aaryn Flynn does make clear, whatever the exact reasons may be, that Mass Effect 3‘s endings will be absent.
“We want this to be a new story and it would be very hard to say it’s a new story, but also that you need to understand how [the past trilogy] ended. [. . .] 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.”
Fans shouldn’t assume that means the entirety of the original Mass Effect trilogy will be ignored by Mass Effect: Andromeda. Instead, Walters heavily implies that Mass Effect fans should absolutely look forward to many references and throwbacks — perhaps even friendly faces:
“It’s important for us to have elements from the Trilogy for fans to have in the background. Ultimately this is intended to be a fresh story, but we want to have things for people to find and go, ‘Oh, I remember that character.'”
Obviously, everything Flynn and Walters have to offer at this point is very vague and perhaps even misleading. Fans have to assume that how Mass Effect: Andromeda begins, as well as how humanity and its allies reach this distant location, plays a key role in the experience. That they’re unwilling to discuss these specifics until later this year or even into 2017 shows just how close to the chest these details must be kept. Or maybe it’s nothing of the sort and EA’s marketing team is keeping Bioware quiet so they don’t steal Battlefield 1‘s thunder. Whatever the reasons for the secrecy, at least fans can count out Mass Effect 3‘s endings being the cause.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is planned for release in March 2017 for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.