On Facebook earlier today, I received some news that disappointed me a little.
Mass Effect: Andromeda, the long-awaited sequel to the Mass Effect trilogy of video games, has been announced for Bioware’s fiscal Q4, which is January-March 2017. I had hoped, and been led to believe, that the video game would be released in 2016, which was one of the things I was looking forward to for this year. This pushes it back in time just a bit.
On one hand, I’m okay with this. I’d rather have a game with fewer bugs, and, thus, fewer patches later on. It makes sense that we, as consumers, should be willing to wait for the best game that Bioware could possibly create for us. On the other hand, however, I have to wonder if this implies huge problems with the game. In the movie industry, delays in production almost always equal problems with the product itself. There are exceptions to this dictum. James Cameron’s Titantic springs instantly to mind. There were all kinds of dire predictions on the movie based on cost overruns and delays during the filming of the movie, and Cameron’s brainchild went on to earn vast piles of filthy lucre.
Drew Karpyshyn, the lead writer on the original Mass Effect, rejoined Bioware last year. Reportedly, he has been working on Star Wars: The Old Republic, which he also worked on in the past, but a part of me (that part which also read his Mass Effect novels) hopes he’s been working on the new Mass Effect as well. Both are huge properties for Bioware. It would not surprise me if he was being paid to work on both. The world of Mass Effect, with its already established continuity, is an important part of the game. Almost as important as the gameplay itself. I hope that Drew Karpyshyn and Mac Walters both are involved. Mac Walters has been involved in Dark Horse’s Mass Effect comics, which I enjoyed, while Karpyshyn has proven than he is capable of writing complete novels, both in the ME Universe and the Star Wars Universe (both capable of inducing full-on nerdgasms). I’m not sure who gets the credit for the Cigarette-Smoking Man—excuse me, I mean the Illusive Man—but ME2 was a brilliant continuation of the game series (and the first one I played). If Mac Walters had any part in that, he’s okay in my book as well, despite the nebulous endings of ME3. I’m hoping that tweaking the story is a part of the delay.
I’m on record claiming that the Mass Effect series is my favorite video game franchise of all time. And, that hasn’t changed. I’m still playing it. Earlier today, I launched another Ilos campaign, with a female engineer Shepard, in the original Mass Effect. I know what lies ahead, including the glitch at the end that requires that I defeat Saren multiple times before the system records the victory, but that doesn’t lessen my enjoyment of the game. I still need to earn four trophies, and I am a completist. Chances are, I will continue to play the original games even after ME: Andromeda releases.
But, it’s not coming until 2017. Bummer.