BioWare Looks to Get "Mass Effect" Back On Track

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   Mass Effect is a franchise that seems tailor-made for me. Incredible sci-fi world-building,
unforgettable characters, light role-playing game mechanics, and solid combat with interesting
player powers. It’s no surprise that I’ve long considered it my favorite video game series.
   Unfortunately, the last few years have not been kind to Mass Effect. Having wrapped up
the story of Commander Shepard in Mass Effect 3 , BioWare had the unenviable task of
following up a dearly beloved trilogy in a way that respected the open-ended, choice-based
nature of ME3 ’s finale. The result? Mass Effect Andromeda , a game that was… polarizing, to
say the least.
   While I’d argue that Andromeda is better than most people give it credit for (in particular,
I find the cast quite likable and interesting), there’s no denying the game had some serious
issues. I’m not just talking about the graphical glitches, either. Mass Effect is a series known for
its fascinating and well-thought-out alien cultures, and yet Andromeda only introduced one new
major species--a huge missed opportunity. It also suffered from much less engaging enemies
than the original games, though in fairness, the Reapers are a hard villain to top.
   Compounding the issue is the fact that Andromeda ’s poor reception scuttled any future
plans for the game; the much-requested Quarian Ark DLC was turned into a novel instead,
wrapping up a major plot thread in a book that, frankly, most fans were not going to pick up.
However, as of this past Saturday--November 7, known to Mass Effect fans as N7 Day in
reference to protagonist Commander Shephard’s military ranking--BioWare appears to be
righting the franchise.
   The big announcement on N7 Day was Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, a full remaster
of the original trilogy for modern consoles. Due out in spring of next year, Legendary Edition will
include all three games, in addition to all DLC. This is huge; fans have been clamoring for a
remaster for years, and it’s gratifying to finally be getting one. The inclusion of all the
single-player DLC is also fantastic, especially considering that Mass Effect 3 ’s Citadel DLC is
among the best pieces of downloadable content I’ve ever played. It’s also a chance for people
who missed the games the first time around to try them out!
   While the Legendary Edition news is certainly exciting, it’s actually not the N7 Day
announcement that got me the most hyped. What really made me jump for joy was the reveal
that a BioWare team has begun work on the next Mass Effect game. I love this franchise, and
honestly, after Andromeda I was worried for its future. Just knowing that BioWare is still working
on new content in this universe makes me very happy.
   Exactly what form that content will take is unknown. Will it be a follow-up to Andromeda?
A return to the more familiar settings of the original trilogy? A prequel focusing on the early days
of the Alliance? It could be anything! Regardless, I’m eager to find out more as development
continues.
   While it may not have been the biggest news last Saturday, the N7 Day announcement
was pretty major for Mass Effect fans. It’s one of many reasons I came out of last weekend with
a little more hope than I’ve have had the last few years.
  More articles and reviews by Ethan McIntyre can be found at rollwithit.blog.