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The New Mass Effect Game Is Off To A Good Start

For fans still feeling the lingering disappointment of Mass Effect: Andromeda, here's some good news: at last night's The Game Awards, BioWare shared a teaser trailer for a new game in the series. Even better, several members from the original trilogy's development team have returned to work on the next title.


The new Mass Effect trailer begins with sweeping shots of both the Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxies, the settings of the original Mass Effect trilogy and Andromeda, respectively. Next, the camera moves through a field of floating space debris that's implied to be a wrecked Reaper. Then it transports viewers to an icy planet, where an older Liara T'Soni recovers a fragment from Commander Shepard's iconic N-7 armor.

Rather than continuing the story of Andromeda, it would seem the next game will return to the series' roots. Mass Effect 3's controversial ending saw Commander Shepard dealing the Reapers a decisive defeat, leaving much of the galaxy in ruins in the process. The next game appears to take place in a galaxy rebuilding after the Reaper cataclysm. Depending on the player's choices, Shepard survives in one of Mass Effect 3's endings. It's unclear whether Shepard will be back, but at the very least, original party member Liara will be making some kind of appearance. 


"We dreamed of taking this first step with you, and we know you care about this universe as much as we do," project director Michael Gamble wrote on Twitter. Gamble also announced that many of the veteran designers who made the first trilogy a success have come back to BioWare. Narrative designer Dusty Everman and cinematic director Parrish Ley had both left the company and decided to return for the new project. Longtime BioWare employees including art director Derek Watts and technical design director Brenon Holmes returned as well. 

Continuing the original trilogy with much of the same talent would seem to be a good decision for BioWare. Although fans were disappointed by the way Mass Effect 3 ended, it still earned a solid Metacritic score of 89 on PC. Unfortunately, Andromeda was a much bigger disappointment. Rather than develop Andromeda with the same talent, BioWare passed it off to its Montreal studio while executive producer Casey Hudson and a new team worked on a fresh IP at BioWare Edmonton. The Montreal team was reportedly under-staffed, and much of the game came together in its final year of development. 

Andromeda released full of bugs, and the facial animation was on the wrong side of the uncanny valley. Fans found Andromeda's writing and characters subpar compared with the previous three games. On Metacritic, the PC version of Andromeda has a mediocre score of 72. Andromeda's reception was so bad that it looked like the Mass Effect franchise was dead.


BioWare hasn't announced when the new game will release. In the meantime, fans can look forward to Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, a remastered version of the original trilogy and its DLC that will be available on PC, Xbox One, Series X|S, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 sometime in 2021.