Thoughts on Mass Effect: Andromeda as an Open World Game

Since first publishing this post on Mass Effect: Andromeda over on United We Game, there hasn’t been much in the way of new news about it. Could it be that Bioware is waiting until E3 next month to offer up some more reveals? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Till then, here are my own scintillating (haha) thoughts on what could be and shouldn’t be in the new Mass Effect adventure.


Image by Flickr user Beautiful Games (CC)Image by Flickr user Beautiful Games (CC)

It’s recently come to light that Mass Effect: Andromeda might be an open world game, one with a “seamless, open world galaxy,” as the headlines state. Seeing has how I’m currently knee-deep in the vivacious world of the original Mass Effect trilogy (on ME2 now, and loving it more than before), I couldn’t help but wonder what the games would have been like if they had been open world games, a la GTA IV and V instead of the mission-based games that they are.  Does the gaming landscape need an open world Mass Effect game? Would it be good for the series? Are we talking, like, No Man’s Sky meets Dragon Age: Inquisition or something else? And what would that mean for players? Would it have to be connected to the Internet to play? How…?  Why…?

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  1. Open world would make galaxy exploration more intrinsic; it fits. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved the space exploration throughout the series. But it just didn’t immerse you enough. With an open world galaxy and the inclusion of the Hammerhead exploration, this could be AMAZING!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re not wrong there! It did kinda stink that second and third games didn’t offer much in the way of planetary exploration like the first one did (even if everyone complained to high heaven about the MAKO, myself included). I think the industry is going to learn a lot from No Man’s Sky. Considering that news of ME: Andromeda strongly suggests a similar influence, the success of failure of No Man’s Sky could highly affect what Andromeda becomes.

      Or not. We are talking about Bioware after all. Not to suggest anything deceptive, but it’s company that tends to forge its own path, even to its detriment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It certainly does, which is why I will always continue to respect Bioware’s work, even if they are afraid of being more adult like CD Red Projeckt’s content.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, those are two very different developers! I think Bioware is really good at emotional storytelling while CD Projekt RED is better at producing physical, hard-hitting stories.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. There certainly seems to be a trend going on with franchises becoming open-world experiences. It worked in Metal Gear because it still told a linear story; the open-endedness was mostly limited to the mission areas, which I thought was surprisingly effective. It seems like the problem with making an RPG a linear experience is that you sort of have to compromise the story’s integrity in order to make them that way. I’ve found the RPGs with the best stories (such as Planescape: Torment and Undertale), are linear experiences because it’s a design choice that complements the idea of having a complex narrative far more effectively than an open-world design.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good point. I have to admit that I’ve harbored my own biases against linear RPGs, which is funny (terrible?) because the Mass Effect games are very linear. Their paths are just cleverly hidden behind wonderful storytelling.

      I guess I shouldn’t say that Mass Effect *can’t* work as an open-world game; and the fact of the matter is that I’d love to see it surpass all expectations, whatever kind of game it is. And that’s especially if it manages to combine the freedom of open-world play with a plot that just doesn’t quit and without sidequest over-bloat.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m kind of the opposite. I’ll give any good game a chance, but I’m not sure if I’ve found an open-world RPG that has amazingly good storytelling. With linear games such as Deus Ex, it’s easier to account for what the player might do, thus you get all these cool moments where the plot deviates when you do something the game doesn’t specifically tell you to do. With open-world experiences such as the Elder Scrolls, the writers have to keep in mind the nearly infinite number of things a player may have done up until any given point in the plot, and settle for making most major plotlines self-contained with the occasional branching path.

        To be honest, I haven’t finished any of the Mass Effect games, so I’m not sure if an open-world experience would hamper or enhance the experience. Guess we won’t know until the game is out, will we? Until then, it’s up in the air.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Personally, I found GTA IV’s story to be quite compelling, and I liked it’s open-world setting. It was by no means a perfect experience, but I think it was a fairly balanced game. It made me want to both follow through with the story and complete the sidequests. Then again, I played it at a time when I had *time* to play games. With less time now, I’m much more critical of games like Skyrim that allow for too much non-important gameplay. Could be why, now the Mass Effect games are hitting all the right spots for me. (I think we have Deus Ex somewhere — I didn’t know that it was a linear game. Might have to put it on the to-play list.)

          Yeah, Andromeda is a wait-and-see case. I almost don’t care about whatever hype machine may form for i between now and release — just give me the finished game and let me judge the experience.

          Liked by 1 person

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