Andromeda Chapter 1: Don't Do Anything Stupid (Cover)
As part of taking a break from Mass Effect Lost Scrolls of Maru Shepard, I decided to continue/ complete the comic I started a year ago based on the Mass Effect: Andromeda game.
I really think this game got a disproportionately bad rap. It definitely was not the gravity of the original Mass Effect trilogy but I think it go less love than it should have received. The best way to describe it is that it's like watching the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy and then immediately watching Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. If you're expecting another epic addition to the Lord of the Rings saga then you're going to find the movie to be absolute garbage. If, on the other hand, you watch Jumanji with a fresh slate and are in the mood for an action adventure movie, you'll have a good time. It may not be the greatest movie you've watched but it will be a fun experience.
Not to say there weren't things that urked me - there definitely were. It suffered from the same problem all Open World games suffered from, when they were all the craze, with fetch quests that send you from one side to another; it had unskippable load screens like when the Tempest took off and landed from locations; the crew was rather lacking (except Uncle Drack, Kalo and maybe Cora); and the enemies didn't have a lot of imagination applied to them. The addition of the multiplayer aspect definitely distracted from them polishing those last areas.
With that being said, though, I think it was a good idea by Bioware to put this in a completely different galaxy. It's hard to follow the act of the Original Trilogy - seriously, where do you go after the frikkin Reaper War? What threat could they possibly create that would make us look back at the Reaper War and be like "I wish we could go back to simpler times." The original trilogy escalated things nicely: First it was a rogue Spectre, then it turned out it was the Reapers and they were about to walk in the front door, then it was a race kidnapping human colonies to manufacture a new breed of Reaper...and then they said "Now the Reapers are here". It all built up to that climax and that's a hard climax to follow.
I really wish Bioware would have built onto Andromeda. There is so much more that they could have created but the game's perceived failure (along with Anthem) made them do what all corporates do: Turn to what is safe. What's safe is bringing back the characters we knew and Shepard and that's where I am not excited. Shepard should stay gone. Shepard's story was finished and had a (as far as I am concerned) satisfying end. It was done. Shepard wanted to save the galaxy - Shepard saved the galaxy and sacrificed themself for it. Leave Shepard be and more on to new characters in this gigantic universe doing more incredible things. Everything can't revolve around one person - the universe is bigger than that.
This is why I love the Dragon Age franchise: Every game was a new protagonist dealing with real sh*t in Thedas. The Hero of Ferelden had to deal with the Fifth Blight (and succeeded); during the Blight, the soon-to-be Champion of Kirkwall was escaping Ferelden with their family and reached Kirkwall as a refugee...and then caused a Templar vs. Mage war that spilt over into Dragon Age: Inquisition where the Inquisitor arose by pure dumb luck to fight the guy the Champion of Kirkwall released during a time of the war the Champion kind of started. Each game had different characters all around Thedas dealing with their own micro-problem. Mass Effect: Andromeda was the closest the Mass Effect team came to, in replicating that, but they seem to have retreated to the good ol' Star Wars thing where everything seems to revolve around the Skywalkers as if nothing else in that galaxy far far away exists (except the TV series).
Anyway. Now I'm ranting. Here's to the new comic and the new game. May it bring us joy.