I’m very excited for the upcoming release of Mass Effect: Andromeda. I love the Mass Effect series. I love the story, the characters, and the setting. I love that the March 21 launch date of Andromeda is a clever numerical pun. While I’m looking forward to falling in love all over again with the story, characters, and setting of Mass Effect, I find myself surprisingly looking forward to the game’s multiplayer aspect. Some of my favorite gaming memories come from playing Mass Effect 3’s co-op multiplayer with some long-distance friends who soon became my squad-mates.
We were not very good. We didn’t rule the multiplayer maps or global scoreboards. We got frustrated when the game presented challenges we couldn’t overcome (which naturally meant the game must be broken and not that we were terrible). But we were sci-fi nerds; we made a squad with their own unspoken backstories and relationships, played on the maps not for efficiency but to be in-character, and essentially roleplayed mini-stories with each game without actually doing any roleplaying over our headsets. It was an informal layer we added to the game that turned into the whole reason we played it.
Brian rocked the Turians or the Salarians. Frankie was predominantly Asari. I was an explosion of metal, shrapnel, and fire as Vorcha or Batarians. I doubt my guilty-pleasure races will get to go to Andromeda, but they will live on in my memories.
When STAR POWER was preparing to launch some of my harsher critics assumed it would be a webcomic filled with my ME3 characters. Tempted as I have been to sneak Ox and Cockroach into the cast, their identities are so tied-in to Mass Effect that changing their races wouldn’t make them genuinely “them.” They’re my Batarian and my Vorcha.
I hope Mass Effect: Andromeda is good. I hope I fall in love all over again. I hope I can get the squad back together to make some new characters, a new team, and some new nerdy memories.