"Then you would have really seen that polish just like we did from [ME1] to [ME2] on the original [trilogy]."
Mass Effect: Andromeda was the last main title in the franchise and it was not met very warmly. But maybe it would have been different if the developers had the opportunity to improve it. In a recent interview with Eurogamer, Andromeda's creative director Mac Walters confessed he wishes the team had been able to create a sequel that would have delivered the same level of polish as in the previous games of the series.
Walters said BioWare intended for Andromeda to be a series, even if not a trilogy, and early on, the developers seem to have thought about carrying plots, story, characters, choices, and consequences through the series. But there was another ambitious idea for the game – the procedurally generated universe – "something where you could really feel like you're actually exploring a universe." Sadly, this didn't work as well:
"Ultimately, that was too much at odds with a lot of the way that we tell stories, and the way that we create our content, which tends to be very bespoke – a lot of big set-pieces and things like that. It's hard to translate into a procedural world. But that was, at the start at least, that innovation that we were looking at, or what the teams were looking at."
Difficulties with development and a new team working on the installment resulted in Andromeda receiving disappointing reviews and never becoming another series.
"So you go back to what I was saying before, when I said if you tried to put all the content of Mass Effect 3 on the Mass Effect 1 team, it would have taken us ten years," Walters said. "Similarly, there were just a lot of things that we had to relearn, re-figure out, and ultimately when you do that, it's very, very challenging to come out and be as polished as your third iteration was, and we didn't hit that. And we probably should have - in hindsight - just reduced scope more and executed on what we could to [ensure] quality.
He also mentioned it was the time in the industry when people were saying quantity was quality, "so we were deluding ourselves internally a little bit that if it's maybe not as polished as [Mass Effect 3], it's fine – it's bigger and there's more here, and there's more to do." It didn't work, evidently, but it's a lesson in itself.
"I only wish we had been able to then do a second one, because then you would have really seen that polish just like we did from [ME1] to [ME2] on the original [trilogy]."
Walters is sure Andromeda 2 would have improved everything it was criticized for and "lean into the innovative things" as well. And maybe the studio now has a chance to do just that in its upcoming Mass Effect game, only time will tell.
Do you think Andromeda 2 would be a better version of its predecessor? Find out more here and don't forget to join our 80 Level Talent platform and our Telegram channel, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.
You may find these articles interesting