On one September Friday four years ago, my friend came to visit as he promised to install few video games on my new laptop. His download speed was faster than ours and by that I mean, it used to take us one whole day for 2 GB of data to download.

Before you comment anything mean, I started working and moved to UK 7 months ago and I bought most of the games I used to play on my PCs, for my Xbox 360. I believe it was the right thing to do - to honor and thank the developers the only way I could, for the joy they brought to my life with their creations, with their video games, then when I couldn't afford to do that... Although so many endings did suck and made me write miles and miles of fan fiction to comfort myself.

Anyways, back to the story. My friend installed Mass Effect on Friday,  and by Sunday afternoon he had to visit again to install ME 2 & 3. I  was hooked, completing the whole trilogy in two weeks and then replaying over and over again, also as the DLC's were released. I  fall in love with Mass Effect firstly because of the characters.  Everyone is layered, convincing and have a history behind them (which can be revealed or stay untouched), connections and relationships between races and individuals are strong and elaborately explained through the gameplay, yet they keep the certain amount of mystery around them. Second thing I love is the somewhat free exploration. It may not seem so special today, but I remember the impact it had on me back then. Listening to other conversations and finding out what's happening across the galaxy, strengthening the bonds between your Shepard and others, helping random characters, and the realistic timeline of side quests before and after main events are just few of the many good things I will mention because I could write a book on this topic. Long story short, I still haven't found a game like Mass Effect and probably never will.

 

A NEW STORY

Ever since developers announced the new game, I have been somewhat skeptical because I didn't know where could they possibly go with the original story after the "ending" and that is actually something I eagerly wanted - to continue the journey of my Shepard and the team. As the name (Andromeda) and more and more details were coming out about the plot and new characters, I realized that I just have to let go of the old story and embrace the new one. Bioware anyways introduced the first trilogy and I couldn't have been more happier about it so when it comes to the plot in Andromeda, it's gonna be kick ass, no doubt! Due to the obvious plot starter being the search for a new home for our Milky Way runaways, we have endless possibilities of twists, eg. a war with an undiscovered alien race whose planet our heroes relentlessly decide to colonize or troubles with a sentinel race our heroes awake from deep sleep or "invite" from far reaches of space... Either way, it sounds delightful and exciting and I can't wait!

 

THE GALAXY                                                                             

We've already seen, read and heard so much information related to the game and yet the only thing I still can't comprehend is the fact that we have a whole galaxy to explore. During my stream of No Man's Sky the other day, one individual asked me for my opinion of Andromeda possibly being a procedural generation game. I got very disappointed with No Man's Sky and the lazy galaxy, as I like to call it, but this is Bioware we're talking about. If they're good at two things, it's the content and landscapes (DA: Inquisition, anyone?) and IF the game is a procedural generation one, it certainly won't look as dull and unimaginative as NMS. One possible way of Bioware achieving that is our beloved downloadable content and I am sure they will use it for a better cause of the universe being realistic.

 

THE FAMILY

If you're staying up to date with news about Andromeda, then you know that we have a family to take care of. You can choose between a male and female Ryder sibling and the other one will still be somewhere in the universe. Now, I've already witnessed ranting about how our beloved sibling will turn out to be the main meanie of the game and will most definitely die before or at the end of the game. Bioware was never really a cliche loving game developing studio and I believe they have a different plan for our two galaxy explorers but hey, I never excluded these possibilities, 'though it would be a real shame to start off a new story like that. Some of the versions I like are the ones where the other sibling is a squadmate or where you can play as both of them (this might be the most interesting version) and switch between them, similar to switching between Trevor, Michael and Franklin in GTA V. The only thing is, it might be good that you only have an offer to switch between characters, but can decide not to if you'd want to have a bond and understanding of the chosen sibling only.

As for our daddy Ryder who is notoriously believed to be "a castaway and is possibly fighting with mommy Ryder who is yet another meanie in the galaxy" - no, just no. There's something about ME fandom, just because there was a certain amount of drama in the trilogy doesn't mean that we need to go full on Shakespeare with this game. As far as I'm concerned, I'm fine with the "boring and drama-free" kind of family since I know there will be plenty of other events that will make my heart skip a beat or two.

 

FAMILIAR FACES?

Since it has taken our heroes hundreds of years to arrive at their destination I doubt we will see any characters from the original trilogy, unless there was another ship beside Tempest heading towards Andromeda. But Bioware is not afraid of moving on from Shepard and her/his team because they are keeping the foundations of the Mass Effect Universe that got all of the fans to become ones in the first place. So no, I don't think they will present us with a familiar character, especially not when we have to embrace so many new ones.

 

I've covered few of the many expectations of Andromeda but I will leave the rest for upcoming articles and as we gradually go through new details around the game. In conclusion, I believe that every speculation about the plot or gameplay we make, although satisfying, is far away from the truth so all there is to do now is wait for new details and trailers to be released and to try and stay calm and patient while waiting for the Q1 2017 to arrive.

P.S. If you're feeling lucky, Bioware's Blog recently announced a contest called Explorers Wanted which started on September 12th and lasts until September 28th. Everyone has a chance to be a part of Andromeda as a voice actor for two possible characters. All you have to do is download the script(s), record yourself (can be voice only) reading the lines of the character you're auditioning for and then send it on their e-mail. Bioware also encourages to share your voice on social media.

Let me know what are yout thoughts and predictions on Andromeda in the comment section. How do you think the developers will carry out the idea of explorable galaxy?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published by Nina Ninocka