Apart from Mirror’s Edge, Mass Effect was all that most people cared about seeing during E3’s press conference this E3. While the EA conference was incredibly disappointing, as is tradition, they did manage not to screw up the reveal of the newest Mass Effect title: Mass Effect Andromeda. We were given little more than the trailer, but the trailer we got was really great looking, and got across a new theme that may be hitting the Mass Effect franchise this time around.
The trailer for Mass Effect Andromeda shows an unnamed N7 operative browsing across a star map to the tune of an old western song, giving you the feeling of an unexplored frontier. People have been speculating for some time now that we would be seeing the new Mass Effect game making its way to the Andromeda galaxy, and that looks like the case. This being the case, it seems like we’ll be seeing a soft reboot of Mass Effect lore, with threats like the Reapers no longer relevant (The Reapers, as far as we were told, were confined to the Milky Way galaxy.)
The scenes we saw during the Mass Effect trailer were all devoid of any civilization, and at the end we got to see the Mako riding around on a barren planet’s surface. The tagline shown off by the game was “Discover a new galaxy.” I don’t think EA could be any clearer about the themes of Mass Effect Andromeda if they tried to: we’re going to be space cowboys.
This is a huge change from what we’re used to in the Mass Effect series, which is used to bringing us into character as somebody who’s very much involved with galactic politics. It’s hard to see the Mass Effect franchise move forward without Shepard, and quite possibly without all of the characters that we’ve come to love over the past decade or so, but any future for Mass Effect is something that I’m going to be excited for.
EA dropped the ball with their conference, but that’s what we all expected. To see Mass Effect there was huge, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the folks at Bioware have in store for us. Let’s hope it lives up to the legacy that the original trilogy left behind.