Mass Effect 4 Andromeda producers BioWare treated fans to a new trailer for the latest installment in the ME franchise. The company revealed the trailer at the Electronic Arts (EA) E3 press conference last Sunday. The game is one of the more eagerly anticipated titles coming from the company. The presentation of the trailer left fans slack jawed, not with surprise and excitement, but with disappointment and confusion.
NSEA Voice led with the headline, “Mass Effect 4 Andromeda: Official Trailer Met With Negativity.”
The article goes on to state, “[Fans] are disappointed that the trailers didn’t do a lot when it comes to teasing the plot in Mass Effect 4 Andromeda.”
The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is an event with a long tradition of providing a venue for video game producers to astound their audiences with presentations of upcoming titles. It is a chance for game designers to take the stage and build hype for their hottest titles. It is not uncommon for such presentations to get standing ovations when the performance was particularly good or when an exciting surprise was revealed.
There was no standing ovation after the Mass Effect 4 Andromeda presentation because the developers revealed very little that was not already known and created no hype for the title. BioWare’s trailer gave viewers a very brief glimpse of how the game will look, but not much else. It was presented in a behind-the-scenes fashion rather than showing exciting bits of storyline action. The lackluster exhibition left the audience confused, as it is very rare that developers fail to wow the crowd at an E3 event.
Another rarity at E3 is when the latest news and trailer for a game is less exciting than its announcement trailer. Below is the ME4 trailer that BioWare showed off at the press conference.
Now compare that to the Mass Effect 4 Andromeda announcement trailer that was presented at E3 2015, and you can see why fans were disappointed.
While neither trailer offered much in the way of storyline or gameplay, the announcement trailer is clearly more exciting and hype-producing.
BioWare’s Mass Effect 4 presentation mostly “revealed” what was already known about the game.
It is set in the Andromeda galaxy, a place where humans have never traveled. It will put players into the role of the invader rather than the defender. There will be a grand host of new creatures and humanoid species. The game will involve a lot of exploration, which has always been a feature in Mass Effect games.
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BioWare did show a few things about the latest title that were not previously known.
One surprising fact about Mass Effect 4 Andromeda is that it will take place one million years after the events in the last game. This enormous time gap is because of the time that it takes to travel to the Andromeda galaxy. According to EarthSky, the Andromeda galaxy is approximately 2.3 million light years from Earth. Therefore, even moving at twice the speed of light, it would still take over a million years to get there.
The end of the trailer shows a woman, who can be assumed to be the principal character in the game, waking up onboard a spacecraft and gasping the words, “We made it.”
Presumably, the crew of the vessel spent a million years in suspended animation.
The Mass Effect 4 Andromeda trailer also showed a little more of the environment than the announce trailer did. During the E3 event, BioWare’s studio general manager and vice president, Aaryn Flynn, stated that the game will be more expansive and free-roaming than previous titles. Players can expect to see diverse settings and locales other that the arid desert setting that dominated the video.
It also appears that there will be a bit more emphasis placed on vehicular travel, but this was not stated officially. In previous titles, a large starcruiser served as the primary means of travel, but it acted more like a hub than a vehicle, as it required no active piloting. While the previous games in the series did have a small bit of vehicular traversing, it was limited to the buggy-like rover and seemed a very trivial feature of the gameplay mechanics. The trailer appears to show that not only will the buggy be available, but a smaller airborne craft will be available as well.
The last bit of new information on Mass Effect 4 Andromeda is that Bioware will be using the EA/DICE Frostbite 3 engine. Frostbite 3 is the same game engine that powers the recently released Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst. Graphically speaking, both the announce trailer and the 2016 E3 trailer look beautiful. The detail and visual effects should have no problem surpassing previous titles in the series.
The announcement trailer indicated that ME4 would be released this year during the 2016 holiday season, but according to the Daily Star, the company stated earlier this year that it was pushing the release date to the first part of 2017.
Despite BioWare’s poor presentation at this year’s E3, gamers are still looking forward to the game. The ME franchise is treasured by fans of the action-RPG genre. The lack of hype and delays in the release are not likely to dissuade them from purchasing the game. Developers may have disappointed at E3, but there is still plenty of time to create hype for the game, and BioWare has promised to release more Mass Effect 4 Andromeda information and gameplay footage in the coming months.
[Image via BioWare]