When a game such as Mass Effect Andromeda is released it is something special. The franchise brings so many expectations from a rabid fanbase that we feel a traditional review wouldn’t do the game justice. So we have decided to give you all some personal stories of our time with the latest Mass Effect, stories that highlight our loves and our dislikes from our time with the game. Welcome to Player 2’s Adventures in Andromeda
Adventures in Andromeda – No Room For Arseholes
Across the Mass Effect trilogy, and indeed across any RPGs that allow it, one of my favourite things to do is play as a complete arsehole. A total prick. The kind of arrogant bastard that everyone must agree with because I’m the protagonist and therefore the only one capable of fixing all the shit that has gone down in the universe.
Playing this way, it wasn’t long before my Shepard had developed red eyes and demonic scars to represent his demeanour, yet he got the job done. A chaotic force, he would swoop into a situation, brusquely assess it and then make a decision that served the greater good, no matter the consequences. He got stuff done and it was a heck of a ride.
Cut to Andromeda and something is missing. Ryder is far more tender-footed. A bit of a wuss. Gone are the conversation options that denote evil or at the least rude responses. Instead, we’re left with feathered choices between obvious moral issues. Yes, we’re the aliens now, but that shouldn’t mean that the player can’t be an arsehole. First contact could play out as a power struggle rather than Ryder simply offering to help with all the domestic crap the aliens seem incapable of solving on their own. “Oh, thanks, Ryder, I couldn’t have gotten my lunch from my desk without you. Shit, you’re awesome!”
Okay, perhaps this is more a reflection on the mundane fetch quests the game seems so intent on throwing at you, but the point remains. I get the feeling that writing entirely divergent scripts for how characters react to you, depending on your good-evil leanings, took up a lot of time for the original trilogy, so the easy decision was made to tighten the elastic band when it came to conversation tone.
I still crave that interrupt though, the option to just whack out a shirt grab and show an NPC who’s boss. Stop yabbering and just do what I say! I’m the Pathfinder and I say we skin every indigenous species if it gives us an edge against the Kett. Your sister is missing? Who gives a biotically-pushed-Kett about that? We’ve got thousands of Milky Way refugees ready to crawl all over your planet. Make way! Heck, perhaps we should align with the Kett and just reap whatever planets we can for ourselves.
Instead, I’m forced to be too nice, too accommodating, too respectful. Too . . . prescribed. My actions are funnelled down a certain corridor simply because it’s clear there was no possible scope for the broader options the series has offered in the past. In the end, perhaps the only way I can be an arsehole is to sleep around. All my companions seem randy as rodents, up for it. Maybe I can break some hearts. Please tell me at least that is possible!
It still hurts a little though, that no arseholes are allowed. We’re people too. We get things done. We push through the red tape and deal in results. Stop holding us back and let us do our thing.
It is said that Dylan Burns has no shadow, or if he does that it portents a shifting of the elder signs that govern the floating curses of the universe, gathering their power and directing ill intent and misfortune to all game developers that enact post-release patches. Consequently, Dylan’s shadow curse finds itself working overtime, permanently engaged, thus the propagation of legend. When not guiding the swirling forces of evil, Dylan enjoys writing (evil) fiction, taking menacing walks, and lurking behind bus stops with a general demeanour that suggests malevolence.