Mass Effect: Andromeda could be longer than Mass Effect 3, according to lead designer Ian Frazier who also reveals that the upcoming RPG is “very beginner friendly.”
As a result of the divisive release of Mass Effect 3, developer BioWare has made some big changes to the franchise’s next release, Mass Effect: Andromeda. For example, ME3‘s ending influenced the upcoming game’s story and the new title will also ignore the last entry’s endings by explaining that the news of what happened at the end of the controversial game simply hasn’t reached the Andromeda galaxy yet. Furthermore, the next installment in the sci-fi series even ditches the Paragon/Renegade system that ME3 (and the other games in the Mass Effect trilogy) were known for.
However, these aren’t the only big changes that fans can expect when Andromeda launches on PC and consoles next month, as the game is also set to be much longer than its predecessor. After a fan told Mass Effect: Andromeda lead designer Ian Frazier that they’d needed two days to complete ME3, Frazier revealed in a tweet that players would “need more days for this one.” Frazier didn’t offer any estimates about how long the game would take to complete, but some are already booking entire weeks off of work to play the game as a result.
— Ian S. Frazier (@tibermoon) February 21, 2017
— Ian S. Frazier (@tibermoon) February 22, 2017
But despite this extended playtime, fans shouldn’t expect the game to be all filler and no killer, so to speak. BioWare previously promised that Mass Effect: Andromeda side quests would be “meaningful” and that the developer had taken cues from RPGs such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt when putting its sci-fi game together. The developer has also said that there will be plenty of opportunities to romance companions in the new game too, meaning that a fair amount of that playtime may well be spent courting rather than just charging into battle, which will delight fans of both mechanics.
However, something that could be a little more divisive is the news that Mass Effect: Andromeda will be “very beginner friendly.” In another conversation with a fan, Frazier said that the team wants “new players to be able to hop into MEA easily without playing the trilogy first.”
As the first Mass Effect game made for current-gen consoles, BioWare may be right in thinking that Andromeda could well be people’s first taste of the series’ universe, and that an over-reliance on references to previous events or bits of lore could be off-putting to new players. On the other hand, though, some existing, veteran fans may be disappointed that the game hasn’t been made with them in mind. There’s also the argument that more people would know the lore (and therefore wouldn’t need the game to be specifically “beginner friendly”) if EA and BioWare release a Mass Effect trilogy remaster, so it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
Mass Effect: Andromeda releases March 21, 2017 on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.