Mass Effect Andromeda: Why I Don’t Want To Play It

Note: Much as I have done with the YouTube channel, I’ve decided to write a few posts on here as myself. I’ll be sure to label all ‘Miller’ content in the title so you know which is which!

I am not excited about Mass Effect: Andromeda. That’s not a slight on the franchise. That’s not a slight on EA. That’s not a slight on BioWare. That’s not a slight on you, because you are excited about the fourth in the series. I’ve got no problem with that. You do you, man. You’re a hero and an inspiration to us all…

But despite playing the original trilogy and thinking it was pretty damn good – maybe even deserving a 9/10 review rating, which is just an exciting day all around – I feel nothing for this. It’s basically a plant at this stage. I’ve never looked at a plant and had any emotional response, and it’s the same here. So remember, from now on, Mass Effect: Andromeda is the equivalent of a plant. Plant/10.

The main reason for my nonchalance is that it just doesn’t seem that exciting, despite all the marketing that’s being released for it. I know there’s trailers, screenshot bundles and constant press releases, but all of these have escaped me. I see them. But I’m not drawn in. In the same way as when I’m in a garden centre, I ain’t getting pumped for no Hedera helix Glymii!

Admittedly this could be because Mass Effect wrapped up its narrative more or less perfectly. Yes, I know a lot of people didn’t like ‘Ghost Kid™’ and the convoluted choices at the end muddied the story a lot, but sometimes it’s about the journey and not the destination. To only focus on this adolescent peon is doing the series a disservice.

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Despite being dressed in battle armour, this guy spends time looking at trees. Great work…

The third Mass Effect alone had Mordin sacrificing himself for the good of the universe, a budding bromance with Garrus, and a growing sense of urgency that builds from start to almost finish. I say ‘almost’ because as soon as BioWare tried to turn it into Call Of Duty it was like I had been punched in the face by a fish. I just wasn’t happy. Or able to comprehend why.

Even so, however, I don’t think having a child talk nonsense about tubes – or whatever he was going on about – changes how impactful these moments were. They only served to remind everyone why BioWare is very good when it comes to story-telling.

There was also a big ask in the form of getting to know the cast of characters here, and then understand their individual quirks. This certainly wasn’t a hardship by any means – on occasion these relationships were the best part of the game – but I’ve already done this and I don’t want to do it again. It feels a bit like cheating on my partner. Or having a cheat meal mid-week. Some things you just don’t do.

Which brings me to Commander Shepard. This point can be argued very easily given that the protagonist of Mass Effect was essentially there to be crafted in your own image – meaning you can do the same in Andromeda – but he has a huge upside because of the history we have together.

We went on adventures. We killed a bunch of weird-looking aliens. We shared the fact we were bald. When the original entry busted onto the scene it felt like it was taking advantage of a new console when it needed new ideas the most. Rehashing that today doesn’t have the same appeal. This is very much a sequel through and through.

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Shepard’s bald head made me feel better about my own war with Mother Nature.

And that’s no bad thing. Gears Of War 4 was one of my favourite releases in 2016 and there’s no way anyone can pretend that’s not the quintessential follow-up except with new faces where older ones used to be. The Coalition even shoe-horned in Marcus Fenix – which was absolutely the right move – and it wouldn’t surprise me if BioWare did the same (even if that is difficult given that Andromeda is set 456,890 years in the future. Or something…).

Ultimately, for me, the Mass Effect trilogy came out when the time was right, and the growing plot and ever-changing crew just kept me hooked. Not Freddie Prinze Jr, though. What was that about?

Be it chasing Saren, heading out on a suicide mission at the end of Mass Effect 2, or saying goodbye to your comrades in 3, everything wrapped up in a nice, neat, little package. I was done. I was happy. I was satisfied. It’s the same as informing me there’s more to the WWF Royal Rumble 1992 match than I realised. That’s great, sure, but I don’t want to see it. Because what’s there is enough. And what’s there is Ric Flair winning the WWF Championship. What else are you really going to do?

At some point in the future curiosity will get the better of me and I’ll at least see what Andromeda offers, but it’s a rare occurrence for a new BioWare title to be this close to launch and leave me with nothing but apathy.

Although saying that, there’s a chance this could be due to what they did with Dragon Age, those mothers!

What were you thinking? Don’t make Dragon Age like some bizarre MMO that forgets everything that made Origins so special. I swear, no other franchise in history is as weird as this one. Every iteration someone, somewhere is trying something new. Stick to the formula you poindexters! It’s not hard. Copy. Paste. Repeat!

Anyway. Mass Effect Andromeda. It’s probably great. But I don’t want to play it…

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