Mass Effect: Andromeda director explains how it breaks away from traditions dating back to KOTOR

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Mass Effect: Andromeda is a fresh start for BioWare's space saga - both literally and figuratively. The new setting of the Andromeda galaxy is the most obvious way in which the game will depart from series traditions, but creative director Mac Walters recently told Official Xbox Magazine there's more going on behind the scenes.

"I think for me, one of the things I really enjoyed about working on Mass Effect 1 was the sense that anything was possible. The further we went into the trilogy, the more we had to stay aligned with the choices and decisions that we’d made earlier on," Walters said.

It's kind of funny how Walters describes the feeling of the first Mass Effect being akin to anything is possible when even the original was beholden to earlier BioWare designs. "The core team that worked on the original Mass Effect was basically the Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic team, where Light Side and Dark Side decisions were a thing, right? And people really enjoyed that in KOTOR and that’s why we picked it up in Mass Effect [as the Paragon / Renegade system]."

For Andromeda, Walters said he wanted the game to feel new again. "We really wanted to create an opportunity for the developers of this game to get back to that sort of blue-sky place where obviously we’re going to build on things that our fans love, and we’re going to make sure those carry forward, but also being able to re-envision them in a way."

Personally, I like this mention of the "blue-sky place." It rings true to me - in the original Mass Effect, you were constantly finding new places and learning how this future society operated. By Mass Effect 3, the sense of discovery and exploration was largely replaced by explosive action. If Andromeda can recapture that sense of wonder and marvel at the unknown, I'm onboard.

Read more about Mass Effect: Andromeda and the future of BioWare in the latest issue of Official Xbox Magazine, on sale now. Buy future issues here.

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