While not going into any details about the progress of Anthem’s development and testing dates, BioWare nevertheless attempted to prime the pump for fans’ expectations this week.
BioWare General Manager Casey Hudson wrote the first of apparently several upcoming posts on Monday in which he acknowledged the studio’s failures in delivering more stories for Mass Effect: Andromeda while also putting in a plug for a brighter future with Anthem. Hudson said that Andromeda’s DLC stumble led to BioWare “refocusing” its mission by not losing sight of the world, character, and storytelling in its games.
“It’s in that spirit that we are working through production on Anthem,” Hudson said “a game designed to create a whole new world of story and character that you can experience with friends in an ongoing series of adventures. It will be unlike anything you’ve played, but if we do it right, it will feel very distinctly BioWare.”
It’s the end of the line for Mass Effect: Andromeda, as BioWare announced this past weekend that it had no further plans to develop single-player content for its sci-fi RPG. Fortunately, several projects to expand the game’s multiplayer aspect are still in the works.
“Our last update, 1.10, was the final update for Mass Effect: Andromeda. There are no planned future patches for single-player or in-game story content,” BioWare posted on the game’s site. “In the coming weeks, our multiplayer team will provide details of their ongoing support and upcoming content, including new multiplayer missions, character kits, and what’s in store for N7 Day.”
Andromeda failed to live up to the high studio and fan expectations, netting mixed reviews and a 72% Metacritic score following its March 2017 release. With work being done on other projects, such as Star Wars: The Old Republic and the upcoming multiplayer Anthem, BioWare may be looking to reallocate team members to needed departments.
While the player character is working hard to do the heavy lifting of finding a new home in Mass Effect: Andromeda, players support the single-player game by gathering supplies and rewards in the multiplayer component. The first special multiplayer event is already here, tasking players with taking part in the APEX missions to find missing scouts in the hopes of uncovering valuable Krogan assistance. That means a new limited-time map through Monday.
Players who undertake the “Drack’s Missing Scouts” mission will land at Firebase Paradox, featuring powerful Remnant artifacts being sought by the Kett for players to obtain. There’s also a new character and weapon available in item packs. The Krogan Gladiator is a biotic with a penchant for her hammer, and the Ruzad shotgun is a slow-firing heavy-impact shotgun that may as well be the poster firearm for Krogan military philosophy. Check out the trailer just below, and see if it enhances your first weekend of scouring the Heleus Cluster for a new home.
Worried about getting bored with Mass Effect: Andromeda’s multiplayer component? If it’s anything like the previous game in the series, it should be robust, but eventually the maps and abilities will get a bit stale… but much like its predecessor, you can count on getting free DLC periodically to keep the multiplayer feeling fresh. There will be no multiplayer season pass or anything of the sort, either, so you can just jump in and enjoy each new multiplayer update as it happens.
There’s no firm announcements on how many multiplayer DLC releases will happen, although Mass Effect 3 had a total of five large multiplayer updates. Players will be able to pick up lockboxes through play or by dropping a couple of dollars, but it won’t be mandatory to progress through the game. The game launches on March 21st, with an early trial version available on March 16th including both multiplayer and single-player gameplay.
E3 news about Mass Effect: Andromeda has got me hyped for the series all over again. The single-protagonist (or antagonist, depending) storyline that’s more linear than it appears to be may not apply that well to an MMO space, but the lore of the galaxy really appealed to me and would be epic in a larger, more sandboxy setting.
BioWare will probably never SWTOR-ify the Mass Effect universe, especially after the online component of ME3 was so limited in scope and a similar perk for MEA will have no impact on the game’s actual story, but it’s fun to dream. Would you play a full-fledged Mass Effect MMO?