‘Mass Effect: Andromeda’ Features A Human-Only Protagonist For A Very Specific Reason, Explains BioWare

Being able to choose between a wide assortment of different fantasy races to play has been a long-standing tradition among many role-playing games. BioWare, one of the more popular creators of modern story-driven RPGs, still frequently stands by this tradition by recently giving players the chance to play non-human characters in the first and third installments of the Dragon Age series. The developer even provided users with a choice to control a selection of alien races from the Star Wars franchise in their MMO title, The Old Republic.

While giving players the freedom to play as a variety of fantasy races seems to be a gameplay choice that BioWare wants to present to their fans, not all of the developer’s games have included the option. Most notably, no entry of the Mass Effect franchise to date has featured the ability to play as anything other than a human character. The first three entries of the widely popular sci-fi saga gave players the chance to choose between a male or female protagonist, but Commander Shepard was strictly locked into being human for story purposes.

Not allowing users to create non-human characters have even briefly spilled into other BioWare titles that generally offer a choice in playable race. For example, after giving fans the ability to play as dwarves and elves in Dragon Age: Origins, the series later featured a human-only protagonist in the series’ second installment. Like with the original Mass Effect games, this limitation was a result of the narrative of Dragon Age 2 which told the very specific story of the human Hawke family. Even Dragon Age: Inquisition was originally going to have a human-only lead, but the release of the game was delayed so that BioWare could add several additional playable races.

Mass Effect: Andromeda E3 screen
Players will once again be playing only as a human in Mass Effect: Andromeda [Image via the BioWare Blog]
With Mass Effect: Andromeda currently being developed exclusively for current-gen platforms, many gamers originally wondered if the upcoming title might finally allow players to play as something other than a human since the series’ next installment will follow an all-new protagonist now that the Commander Shepard trilogy has concluded. However, despite the fact that there are dozens of different alien races living in the Mass Effect universe, Bioware has already confirmed that the fourth Mass Effect game will once again allow fans to only play as a human character.

Many might imagine that the decision to limit Mass Effect: Andromeda to a human protagonist might be to reduce development time or get around other technical issues, but BioWare has now revealed that the next Mass Effect game will once continue to focus on a human character solely for story reasons.

The general manager of BioWare’s Edmonton and Montreal studios, Aaryn Flynn, briefly discussed the topic recently with fans on Twitter. According to Flynn, the decision to go win a human-only main character in Mass Effect: Andromeda is to help players more easily connect with the title’s narrative theme that was described as a “human” story.

Bioware is also currently preparing for this year’s annual N7 Day celebration in honor of the Mass Effect franchise. Taking place on November 7, the developer is urging fans to share their best Mass Effect stories and memories across the internet this Saturday. The developer also revealed that they will be giving out plenty of Mass Effect-themed prizes for N7 day.

Mass Effect N7 Day
Celebrate N7 Day this Saturday, November 7 [Image via the BioWare Blog]
However, BioWare also stated that fans shouldn’t expect any big Mass Effect: Andromeda news to be announced during the celebration since the developer has repeatedly stated that they are presently focused on quietly working on the upcoming Mass Effect game and will begin further discussing it once they are further along in the developer process. In the meantime, as the Inquisitr reported earlier this year, the developer is happy to hear from fans about what they’d like to see in Andromeda.

Are you okay with playing a human once again in Mass Effect: Andromeda, or would you like the opportunity to play as one of the series’ many alien races?

[Image via Mass Effect]

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