From LGBT representation to animation outsourcing, it’s no secret that Mass Effect Andromeda’s release has been full of scrutiny and disappointment. That feeling carries over when talking about the various races found in Mass Effect Andromeda.
Over the course of Mass Effect’s original trilogy, you could interact with over twenty sentient races and even more were offhandedly mentioned. It was clearly a vast galaxy with a plethora of races out and about in the world. Unfortunately, there was a clear bias toward giving exposition to our squadmates’ races and squadmate adjacent races. Many of the non-crewmate races were undervalued with little lore focus other than a sporadic codex. The problem persisted throughout the trilogy. This means, I already know most of Human, Asari, Turian, Krogan, and Salarian history, but none of what non-squadmate race, the Volus did in the year did in the year 2073 or any other year for that matter.
Logically, you’d want to change that as Mass Effect starts a new series right? Mass Effect has a huge library of aliens with only lightly touched lore. A new entry in the serious should explore races that have yet to enjoy the limelight right? That’s where Mass Effect Andromeda would disagree with you. Instead of giving the spotlight to any of Mass Effect’s many underappreciated species, the bias towards original trilogy squadmate races is continued.
In Mass Effect Andromeda, the main cast of characters yet again consists of mostly Turians, Asari, Krogans, and Humans. They’re all decently written characters, but I expect more than this shallow pool of aliens from Mass Effect. There are tons of untapped races to choose from, and each by their very presence would both make the world more interesting and expand lore. Characters in space operas aren’t just there for their own narratives, they’re also vehicles to bring unknown cultures to focus.
For example, why not give a Vorcha some starring role in the Andromeda crew? They’ve only been briefly seen as characters in Mass Effect with a mere 3 of them actually being named. Additionally, those named were only done so to highlight them in a gunfight. Comparatively, the aforementioned squadmate races(Krogans, Humans, Asari, Salarians) all have at least a double digits worth of named characters with the lowest amount being from the Krogans at 15 named characters.
Vorcha lore is ripe to be written by the developers. Maybe even make one a romance option for Ryder? If I can romance a pointy stegosaurus-like Turian, why can’t I romance a member of his demon-like alien contemporary race, the Vorcha? Try making it female to further expand Vorcha lore. Just do something to change up the current formula and please let me romance Lyanne the Vorcha.
To Bioware’s credit, there is one bastion of diversity on your crew, Jaal who belongs to a brand new race of people. He’s member of a race found native to Aya, a planet in the Andromeda system. Disappointingly, he and his race don’t bring anything of interest to Mass Effect. They’re basically humans with purple skin. Almost everything from tech to culture is exactly the same as what you find in human civilization. The only difference between Humans and Angara is their narrative with the Kett, another new race in the Andromeda Galaxy.
While that’s definitely a step forward, it’s hardly useful. I want aliens in the game that aren’t just a skin deep variation of the norm. Meeting a new race shouldn’t feel like you’re just meeting a person who purchased a droid instead of the iPhone. There should be senses of wonder, curiosity, and surprise in a races introduction, something that hooks you in. You don’t even need to change too much to accomplish this. For example, Quarians might act fairly human in personality, but the simple sight of their masks draw you in. This makes it obvious from the start that Quarians experience the world in a fundamentally different way than humans. Every race in a Mass Effect game should be like that.
Having varying races in the spotlight only enhances lore and makes me want to come back for the next installment. Luckily, Bioware still has the chance to include a more diverse cast of races in any further story expansions. The Andromeda Galaxy has many unexplored planets and there are multiple initiative crewmates still in cryosleep that could wake up to be any number of races. Please Bioware, if you make a follow-up to Mass Effect Andromeda, focus on any race other than the normal squad of Humans, Turians, Krogans, and Asari. They’re boring and their lore feels exhausted.
GTA 6’s Record-Breaking Trailer Changes Tom Petty Streams
Love Is a Long Road, the Tom Petty song in the GTA 6 trailer, saw a 36,979% stream increase after Rockstar’s reveal this week. Week-on-week Spotify data suggests that, but we’re sure it’s trending similarly on Apple Music and others.
Rockstar and the streaming service released an official Grand Theft Auto Radio playlist with six hours of hits from ZZ Top, Dr. Dre, Megadeth, and others. You can hear it here. Ever wanted to listen to Tom Petty this week?
Atlus Fans Should Watch The Game Awards for PS5, PS4 Metaphor Update: ReFantazio
This week’s Game Awards—what to expect? Geoff Keighley is keeping most announcements under wraps, but he has teased an update on Atlus’ long-awaited Metaphor: ReFantazio. The Persona team’s latest project may be released in 2024, according to rumors.
The title returned this summer after being revealed eons ago, but details are scarce. A new trailer should show more story, gameplay, and systems, as well as a possible launch date. Want to see more of this? The link will tell you when the Game Awards are.
Skyrim Paid Mods Take Another Hit from Bethesda
If you play video games, you’ve probably played Skyrim, Bethesda’s decade-old open-world RPG. It’s become a meme after endless rereleases. The company wants to sell paid, player-created mods again after not getting the message from players.
Bethesda tested selling Skyrim mods on Steam in 2015, generously giving modders 25% of the proceeds. After Steam’s 30% platform fee, Bethesda would receive 45%, the “current industry standard.”. After fan backlash, Bethesda removed paid mods, and Steam refunded all purchases.
In subsequent years, Bethesda’s Creation Club added user-created content to Fallout 4 and Skyrim Special Edition, requiring that it not violate lore. Bethesda could also release official Creation Club content on PlayStation.
The developer revealed Bethesda Game Studios Creations and a major update for the oldest RPG today. Players can still upload free mods, but creators can now apply for the Verified Creator Program. Certified modders can charge for their work. Since paid moderators no longer have lore-friendly restrictions, expect chaos.
This is already upsetting the community, and the line between official Creation Club content and moderators is blurring. The fact that paid mods disable PlayStation Trophies but not free Creation content is a disaster.
What do you think of Skyrim’s sorry state? Still playing? How’s the PlayStation Creation Club content?
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