MORE SHOOTING, LESS RPG-ING
Over the years, Mass Effect has been moving away from its RPG foundations. The series started off as an active RPG, but Mass Effect 3 feels more like an action shooter with a few RPG traces. The trend is clear, and Mass Effect Andromeda seems to follow it. Most of the trailers are focused on showing spectacular set pieces and flashy combat scenes, which are great, but they aren’t showcasing the RPG side of the game. What’s more, the little that was shown of character choices made us worry even more.
Andromeda is getting rid of the class system from the original trilogy. Now we can change our abilities and professions at will, all our pathfinders share the same skills and powers. This doesn’t fit at all in a game like Mass Effect, where the protagonist is meant to be our own, personal avatar, with unique traits we commit ourselves to use in our story. With these changes, BioWare risks overcasualizing the personalization of our character.
However, it seems like EA is the responsible for orienting the franchise to a mainstream audience. In a recent presentation by Blake Jorgensen, EA’s Chief Financial Officer, the company stated that they want to invest most of their revenue into their shooter and action games, including BioWare as a whole in the action genre.
Just remember Dead Space. The first game was an unsettling, visceral survival horror, but by the third entry it turned basically into a third person shooter. Nobody wants that to happen to Mass Effect, but the signs may be pointing to just that.