BioWare confirms that its forthcoming space adventure game Mass Effect: Andromeda is not going to be the beginning of a new trilogy for the franchise.
As most Mass Effect: Andromeda fans are well aware, BioWare's recent celebration of the science fiction series with yesterday's N7 Day festivities contained plenty of juicy reveals, including, but not limited to the release of the game's first major cinematic trailer. Now, it seems as if the studio has lots more to share about the title, as it was recently discovered in an interview held between Game Informer and Mass Effect: Andromeda's creative director Mac Walters that the forthcoming sci-fi release will not begin a new trilogy for the franchise.
According to Walters, fans shouldn't expect Mass Effect: Andromeda's story to be similar in structure to the initial three titles that had Commander Shepard as the main character. As far as the next entry in the series is concerned, the the game begins with players taking on the role of a soldier with limited skills and battle experience in the protagonist known as Ryder, with the plot playing out like the traditional hero's journey narrative pattern as identified by the American scholar and mythologist Joseph Campbell.
As Walters describes it, in the first Mass Effect, Shepard had already been a familiar entity within the game's universe, but when it comes to Andromeda, BioWare is trying to tell a contained story. That said, though, the fact that the forthcoming game is intended to work as a standalone title doesn't rule out the possibility of more stories using the Andromeda galaxy as a setting in the future.
"At the end of this, we want it to feel like a story has completed. Yes, for the universe, there's much more you could explore, and we want to tease that, but it feels like its own story. It's like, 'Great. I had my Ryder sibling becoming-a-hero story. What's next? Is it going to be Ryder? Is it going to be something else? Who knows?'"
When describing Mass Effect: Andromeda's multiplayer features and campaign, the game's producer Michael Gamble made statements similar to Walters, in that the title will tell a "different type of story" that fans of the franchise might not be expecting when looking at the original trilogy as a reference point. Interestingly enough, Gamble even went as far as to tease that BioWare wants Andromeda's ending to be a "surprise."
Beyond Mass Effect: Andromeda's story and attempt to be a standalone game, Walters also declared that the game's campaign can be played offline, and that crew members and companions cannot be killed, which ought to make for some interesting loyalty missions. Furthermore, Andromeda's creative director also teased that campaign co-op could possibly work in the Mass Effect universe. However, Walters didn't explicitly reveal whether or not the feature will actually be available, but should it eventually be confirmed, it will likely be in the coming weeks and months.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is currently scheduled for release sometime in the first quarter of 2017 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.