Developer BioWare confirms the return of loyalty missions in its science fiction role-playing game franchise with the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda.
As many fans will attest, loyalty missions were an incredibly enjoyable aspect of Mass Effect 2, as they allowed players to take part in quests made to explain more of the backstory behind the game's various squad members, as each character received their own. Although the feature was dropped for Mass Effect 3, BioWare's creative director Mac Walters recently confirmed to the outlet Game Informer that loyalty missions will be returning for Mass Effect: Andromeda when it comes out on its release date next year.
During the discussion, Walters detailed his affinity for loyalty missions and his excitement for bringing them back in Mass Effect: Andromeda. As a matter of fact, he explained that one of the reasons behind his adoration for the specific quest-type is due to its ability to operate as a piece of plot that is moved forward more so by ancillary characters than the protagonist.
"As a writer, one of the things I loved was the freedom to say, 'I know this character is coming along,' so they can carry a lot of the narrative. That made my job easier, but it also made it more fun, because I could tell a more specific story in one of those missions."
Of course, as many fans looking forward to Mass Effect: Andromeda surely remember, loyalty missions in Mass Effect 2 had the ability to affect how the ending sequence for the second installment panned out, but according to Walters, they will simply be one of many different side activities that can be completed in Andromeda and won't impact the overarching narrative. While that might not sit well with some fans of the franchise, Walter's additional suggestion that gamers will be able to continue playing even after completing the main story — just like in previous entries — ought to be be received positively.
"The big difference between this and ME2, where you did a loyalty mission and that all impacted the ending, is that they're much more optional in this case. If you don't want to engage with them, you don't have to. If you want engage with them after the critical path is done, you can do that."
Naturally, a lot of Mass Effect: Andromeda fans would like to know more about how the loyalty missions are going to work once the game is releases early next year — that is, if it doesn't get delayed again. Unfortunately, though, Walters didn't provide any further details on the matter, but Game Informer did state that the side-quests give BioWare the chance to "play with some non-standard gameplay elements." Obviously, fans are going to have to wait a mite longer until it gets closer to Andromeda's launch for more information on loyalty missions, so until then, they can at least pore over the game's first major cinematic trailer for potential clues for the time being.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is currently scheduled to release during the first quarter of 2017 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Source: Game Informer