When talking about bringing a more open world play style to Mass Effect Andromeda, in favor of not “just moving down a very linear narrative” like in the first three games, Flynn said it hasn’t been the easiest task for the developer. The challenge supposedly lies in maintaining a narrative that keeps up to this open world exploration:
“giving players the chance to move in the direction they want to go much more openly, explore where they want to go too, and then the narrative keeps up… that’s been a real big learning point for us,” said Flynn. “Working through that and learning around that… It’s been a lot of our studio’s work these past five years through Dragon Age Inquisition and now through this – to really learn how to do that better and better. We’ve got lots more learning to do, but I’m really very happy with how the team is doing this with Mass Effect Andromeda.”
What’s important to note here is his reference to “We’ve got lots more learning to do,” this, at least to me, sounds like delay-type words. A delay has long been speculated for the game, but at the moment BioWare has been adamant that Mass Effect: Andromeda will ship in its March 2017 window. Still, saying the studio has lots more learning isn’t exactly encouraging words that this game will be ready come March, or that it will be up to usual BioWare standards.
Flynn went on to add that the studio underestimated the difficulty of intertwining open world play and narrative, saying “It’s a lot of work.”
He further added — again — that integrating the two is still a learning process.
“I think one of the great things for us is that we’re learning how to still provide a really special narrative experience – one that is beautiful, and polished, and full of choice and consequence all at the same time as having this experience that is still more self-directed and lets you feel like you’re really in the environment and in the space and truly in control of things.”
Mass Effect: Andromeda is set to release sometime in March 2017 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Personally, I would rather Andromeda go back to the more linear routes of the first three games, rather than follow the suit of Dragon Age Inquisition. I love the Mass Effect series largely for its storytelling and characters, all other things come second.
Tyler Fischer is a Senior Writer for MONG who plays video games when he’s not busy researching alien conspiracy theories at 2AM. You can find him on Twitter.