Mass Effect Andromeda Isn’t Bound By The End Of ME 3

There is a lot of questions floating around the big black hole of Mass Effect: Andromeda [official site]. Who is the lead character, Ryder? How did they get to a whole other galaxy? Can I romance the Mako? But perhaps an equally important question is what kind of impact the final decision of Mass Effect 3 might have on the story. According to an interview with Eurogamer, the answer is not a whole lot.

“We acknowledged it in the endings of Mass Effect 3 and I think that’s where we want to leave it for now,” says Bioware’s Edmonton studio general manager Aaryn Flynn. “We want this to be a new story and it would be very hard to say it’s a new story but also that you need to understand how [the past trilogy] ended.”

If you haven’t played Mass Effect 3, the final moments culminate in a galaxy-wide choice whether or not to control the big bad Reapers, wipe out all synthetic life, or assimilate with it and make your skin look all weird. But no matter which choice you make, all of them have massive repercussions on life in the Milky Way.

By escaping to the Andromeda galaxy, Mass Effect: Andromeda can effectively put the final choices of Mass Effect 3 behind it—maybe even waaay behind it if you consider “how long it takes to travel between galaxies,” as suggested by creative director Mac Walters in the interview.

That said, Andromeda won’t do away with the lore of Mass Effect entirely. “We’ve done it in such a way that allows all of those decisions you made to remain intact in the canon of the universe, but also allows a new story to begin,” Flynn says. Still, whether that also means having to choose one of the three endings to officially become canon is also something up for debate. But one thing is definitely for sure, you won’t be running into any synthetic hybrids: “There are no green-skinned people,” says Flynn. “To be clear.”

Mass Effect: Andromeda has been in development since 2012, but aside from a smattering of teaser trailers, we haven’t had much to chew on. That will hopefully change later this year, as Bioware has confirmed to Eurogamer that we won’t see more of Andromeda until this November. You should read the full interview, but I for one am excited to embrace a whole new story without feeling needlessly chained down by the previous games. More than that, I’m excited by the prospect of one character making a return in Andromeda. Oh, Mako, don’t ever leave me again…


  1. JakeOfRavenclaw says:

    Good. I loved ME3, but it ended the trilogy on a very definitive note, and starting with a blank slate again is the best thing they could do at this point. (For all that people give Mass Effect shit for not really respecting your choices, I’ve never played another series that did a better job of carrying over even minor details between games, making the world feel like you’d really put your personal stamp on things. Within individual games, sure, but never over the course of an entire trilogy). I’m so excited to see them starting from the beginning again–it’s a chance to really build up another story arc that can stand up to the originals. Can’t wait :-)

    • Bluestormzion says:

      That’s actually WHY I give Mass Effect so much shit. It’s like they let me build a meticulous model of an entire galaxy the way I wanted to, over the course of literally hundreds of hours (Beat ME 1 5 times, ME 2 3 times, and ME 3 exactly ONCE,) and right when I finished everything, someone came in and went “Ha ha, fuck you, I’m-a smash it all with a hammer!”

      People gave me, and people who agreed with me, a lot of shit about the problems we had with what ME 3 did. But to this day, I am genuinely sad about the way they ended that trilogy. They gave me the greatest world and story I’d ever seen, and then they stole it away and put depression in its place. Not even my WW2 Comedy Parody “Krogan’s Heroes” can make me smile anymore. Well, okay, it can. But even still.


      • BobbyDylan says:

        Agreed. Also played through ME1 and ME2 multiple times, and never ever went back to Mess Affect 3.

    • shde2e says:

      I really hope they build something great like ME1 and avoid the writing mistakes of the latter ones…
      I’m highly sceptical they will, but we can hope.

      • Buggery says:

        The first game was some very heavy, very “high-concept” sci fi… And it was pretty damn good for it. Lots of interesting world building and the sense of an actual living galaxy of which you were only the tiniest little part.

        The second and third games were much more character focused and felt smaller and less interesting while actually retconning a lot of the cooler things that were in the first game – but also vastly increased the number of sales.

        Unfortunately, I expect the game will be a lot closer to 2 and 3, at least story wise, because that’s what sells (plus I’m pretty sure the chief writers involved in the first game no longer work at Bioware)

        • gunny1993 says:

          Really? I never played ME1 cos I came to the series at #2 and have never got round to it, but from playing 2 (Which I loved) it must be a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very different game to be considered “high concept”.

          • Buggery says:

            Yeah, I mean, ME2 was a fun little shooter with RPG elements in an established setting that focused on about a dozen characters in an entire universe. ME1 was a clunky RPG with shooter elements that really let you look into all the technology, culture and history of the setting, and where the story was less about the characters and more about the entire universe.

            If you want to look into the somewhat disappointing route that the story then developed into, someone else further down the page mentioned it, but Shamus Young has written a stupid amount of words exploring the development of the series starting from here: link to

        • Nucas says:

          “major retcons”? such as?

      • DDark says:

        Precisely. The writing in 2 was a drastic drop in quality. I really liked one, was extremely disappointed with 2.

    • Hurf Derfman says:

      Have you never played the Witcher series? Witcher 3 has outdone anything Bioware has ever done period. All of your choices add up in all 3 games, and your choices drastically change the story and ending. Where as Mass Effect was a series of illusions of choices that are either red or blue, and if you’re min/maxing you really have no chioce to be either red or blue… and the ending? Please, it’s the same cut scene, just red or blue, and sometimes green.

      • FreshHands says:

        As a big hater of Witcher3 I have to say this:

        Yes, decisions were there. However at least in Bioware games you have a reasonable chance to know what your choices will lead to (also they at least give you a feeling of character control).

        Sorry, Geralt, but I did not kill *****son Junior because of your lame Ciri. I killed him because of the dead hookers in the background.

        • Wormerine says:

          I suppose it depend what you prefer. I on the other hand HATE how Bioware telegraphs every decision. Especailly that it is all tied to renegade/peragon system, which means you pretty much take one path or the other instead considering each decision on its own. I found Witcher to be much more engaging (even earlier more flawed installments) as my decisions were driven by what would Geralt do rather than what will give me points I am need. THAT is roleplaying.

    • Wormerine says:

      I would say that was true about ME2 (I loved how cleverly they acknowledged your choices in 1st game. Nothing game changing but still felt personal.) ME3 on the other hand. Even ignoring its pretty weird and out of the blue ending, my main problems with in appeared earlier. From stupid unexplained ninja guy (I know he is from books but that is not an excuse), through ruining Elusive Man to taking a dump on game’s mythos (I thought that curing Genophage and retaking quarian homeworld really weakend the world. I mean really all it took to solve those centuries long issues was a Shepard having a stake in it. Wasn’t all that hard, was it?) Uhhh. Replayed ME1 while ago. Talking to Tali was much more interesting than seeing homeworld itself.

  2. Machinegun_Funk says:

    As a huge Bioware fan I’m still at a loss of how poor the writing was for all of ME3, not just the ending. DA:I wasn’t a bad game but felt lackluster.

    At E3 this year they had a weak montage of developers with the toolset and tiny cuts of what looked like in-engine proof of concept rather than a game. Based on the lack of real gameplay footage for a game that was initially slated to be released this year, I’m not getting my hopes up for Andromeda.

    • ZippyLemon says:

      I thought the writing in ME3 was pretty good on the whole. The beginning is atrociious, and the ending was, well, the ME3 ending. It made a bad first impression and left a weird taste in your mouth.

      I was having an absolute blast the whole rest of the game though.

      • shde2e says:

        Shamus Young actually wrote an excellent series about the mass effect 3 writing.
        To summarize: The parts it inherited from ME1 were generally swell, outside those parts it usually failed to build an emotional connection and relied too heavily on deus ex machina, contrivances or simply not explaining things.

        Oh, and cerberus was a giant mary sue cancer that had waaayyy more screentime than it ever should have.

        Many of these problems could have been avoided if they didn’t waste the second installment on a side-quest, and didn’t change writing direction from technical space opera to emotion-based action series (which then failed to be emotional).


        If you want to read it, its on his site

        • Geebs says:

          I’m Commander Ernest “George Peppard” Shepard, and that Shamus Young piece is my favourite thing about how much Mass Effect 3 sucks on the Citadel.

          I think admitting that they screwed the pooch on the ending of ME3 so damn hard that they had to leave the Galaxy is a sign that BioEAWare might be in recovery. This new one actually looks pretty neat.

          Imagine if we got an actual sequel to ME1! That would be ace.

        • Fontan says:

          Do you have a more direct link to it? There’s a lot of stuff under “mass effect” on his site.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      Bioware clearly put very little thought into the ending of ME:3, why should Andromeda rock the boat and give the end any thought as well? I’d rather not be reminded frankly.

      Drew Karpyshyn left after 2, taking his dark energy ending with him (remember what Tali was studying?) and now Chris Schlerf has left while ME:A is still being assembled.

      Looking forward to seeing how the sequel to Andromeda jumps off the rails with yet another new writer – any studio who pushed ME:3’s broken ass out the door without any regard for their much vaunted system of choice and narrative consequence seems likely to step in that same giant turd, even their rabbid fans might begin to notice the smell if they have to fix it again in more dlc.

  3. Nauallis says:

    Oh damn, no Orks.

    • Xerophyte says:

      There will however be Sporks, the Cutlery of the Future. Rejoice!

      • Don Reba says:

        Once organic life invents sporks, it is only a matter of time before the cutlery rebels and destroys all meat.

  4. saberopus says:

    I’ve got my fingers crossed that they get back to the tone of ME1, to some extent. ME1 is still my favorite for that unique vibe of exploration, discovery, of humanity’s early steps onto a grander galactic stage. Despite the combat improvements and general slickness of 2 and 3, and equally good side stories and detail, that sense of the unknown wasn’t really revisited after the first game.

    • Jay Load says:

      Hear, hear. ME1 was the game that made me love the idea of more games.

      ME2 and ME3 did everything they could to make me miss ME1.

      MOAR Vehicle-led exploration of planetary surfaces, please!!!

      • April March says:

        I think you mean, “more melancholy exploration of giant desolated lands that will sometimes yield two pages’ worth of written text about your character inhabiting the psyche of an alien caveman, except this time without having you drive a car made of papier-mâché”.

    • Deviija says:

      Tis true. ME1’s sense of cosmic mystery, wonderment of the unknown, and exploration of new frontiers, and the earnest excitement of discovery was something sorely missed in the rest of the trilogy. Combat may have been improved, but it definitely felt like at the detriment of what pillars made ME1 enjoyable to play while poking around in the galaxy.

      • Antongranis says:

        The actual exploration gameplay was shiet, though. All color-swapped planets and repeated buildings that felt really out of place. Combine that with The generally bad shoting.

        The love for me1 puzzles me.

        • Arkayjiya says:

          It doesn’t matter if the exploration was shit, the feeling the person above you describe is the only thing that actually matters. If the actual exploration doesn’t actually break that feeling for someone, then it’s irrelevant if the mechanic is not actually good.

          • Antongranis says:

            Fair enough. Personally, i priorotize gameplay over everything else.

        • Zenicetus says:

          I think a big part of the love for ME1 is that it came along at a time when we didn’t have any halfway decent, big-budget action-RPG’s with a space theme like that. It filled a gaping hole in the market, and people remember it nostalgically.

          I had fun with it, but I’ve read way too much really good sci-fi over the years to think of it the entire series as anything more than a pastiche of borrowed themes from other sources, and recent ones at that.

          And there is STILL nothing very exciting with a remotely Star Trek-y theme like this available now, so I imagine ME Andromeda will find a market even if it’s not terribly good. I’ll still hold out some hope though, that they have some better writing this time around.

    • Arkayjiya says:

      Well it certainly seem to be what they’re going for (which is nice as ME1 is also my favourite in the series by far). Now will they do it properly… I don’t know. The arrival on the Citadel is one of my favourite (if not the single greatest) moments in gaming.

  5. pfooti says:

    Sadly, and I’m sorta bummed because I keep harping on this, but: I’m not interested in buying games that require Origin. I haven’t yet. Haven’t bought ME3, haven’t bought Dragon Age: Inquisition. Not going to buy ME:A. Either give it its own launcher through a regular storefront (without origin), sell it through Steam, or sell it through GoG. I’ve already got two storefront apps (steam and gog galaxy) plus other little launchers (blizzard, wildstar, etc). Origin is my line in the sand.

    • Auldman says:

      I’ve got Steam, Origin, and GOG and of the three Steam is the bigger pain in the ass. It crashes or it often searches for an update when there isn’t any. Origin has crashed once on me and GOG twice. Both of the latter two update far easier and more smoothly. Of all of them I hope more games end up on GOG. But Origin gets a lot of flak when it really isn’t the headache people think it is or going to be.

      • Rich says:

        My problem with Origin is that it always forgets my user credentials after any update. Also it tends to mess with my Steam version of Dragon Age.

    • banana says:

      Dude, I was like you! I really didn’t want to get into Origin at all. But, as a HUGE fan of the first two Mass Effects (got 100% in both) I just couldn’t hold it after a year or so, and finally gave in after I read about a dirty cheap sale of ME3 somewhere.
      I installed Origin, downloaded the game, the shadow broker DLC (“Where is my Liara?!”), 100%ed it as well, and saw all the endings. After that, I had some fun time in the Multiplayer and then uninstalled ME3 AND Origin…

      That was maybe 3 years ago, and it was amazing! I don’t regret a thing, because I finally got my closure… maybe you also want to give it a shot.

      On a sidenote: I (still) haven’t installed Origin even once after that. :)

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      Unless you like to have all the launchers running at the same time, what’s the downside of having more than one installed?
      Sure, it uses a bit more harddrive space, but not much.
      Personally I prefer Steam, but when all I want to do is launch a game, Origin does the job about as well as Steam or uPlay (in a “click game, game runs” kinda way).

      Mind you, I didn’t have much of a problem with the ending of ME3 so as far as the internet is concerned I’m a crazy person.

  6. Auldman says:

    I was kind of hoping for a similar situation for what they did with Dragon Age: Inquistion i.e. give us a “keep” where we can import the story choices we made in the original trilogy into this new game. Looks like that isn’t going to happen which is a bummer! However I am not wedded to the idea of having Shepard hovering over everything so yeah let’s move on!

  7. rgbarton says:

    But he hasn’t answered the most important question yet? Can I romance the Mako or not ?!!! This could mean the difference between Andromeda being game of the year or worst game ever material.

  8. Hydrogen says:

    Insofar as, in two of the three endings (if I’m recalling right), the entire mass relay network gets blown up, which would wipe out most of the PLANETS in the explored systems of the galaxy, not ignoring ME3 would be less “action RPG” and more “post-apocalyptic survival horror”.

    • Asurmen says:

      That was changed in the new ending, precisely because people pointed out that the relays looked like they blew up.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      From what I’ve seen, ME4 follows an expedition that left our galaxy before the end of ME3.
      So whatever happened in the Milky Way won’t effect Andromeda for thousands of years.

  9. Asurmen says:

    I can’t say I buy that excuse. Just seems lazy to me.

  10. sicanshu says:

    That’s probably just as well. I got clear through the series being pure paragon (kept all possible characters and crew alive; negotiated peace between the geth and quarians; cured the genophage, etc.) and then realized at the end that really, when push comes to shove, I’m still a selfish prick. After about 30 seconds of serious consideration, I wiped out all the synthetic life forms in the universe just to keep Shepard alive so he could hook back up with Tali. I like to think that when they found him, my Shep was just like, “Uh, it did that on its own.” But then developed a serious drug dependence to cope with the guilt, ironically destroying his relationship with Tali. Because, even in my fantasy life, things don’t usually work out. So, yeah. Fresh starts all around.

    • Bluestormzion says:

      Canonically, my Shep trusted in his friends. Then everyone died. Refusal Ending all around. So no clue who this prick is in Andromeda, because MY Mass Effect ended with the genocide of every sentient race we knew. Fuck BioWare, Fuck EA, Fuck the King.

      • sicanshu says:

        Whoa… Well, on the bright side, at least there were no loose ends.

  11. xenothaulus says:

    The easiest way to do it is to say the ship(s) sent to the Andromeda galaxy before the end of the trilogy. It was the Council’s backup plan, if they failed to defeat the Reapers, at least something of the Milky Way would survive. Or make it something Cerberus did, and so the ship would be only humans.

    • shde2e says:

      For the love of Femshep, please let there be no more Cerberus in this series. Or any other mary sue TIM expies. they were so poorly written and justified, and took up so much screentime, that the Doggiemen were by themselves enough to cripple the whole two games they were in.

    • shde2e says:

      But yeah, thats probably how they’re going to play it. They have to, really.

    • NephilimNexus says:

      Or they could say it was a colony ship that was sent out decades before ME1 even began. They might have never even heard of the Reapers.

      • Booker says:

        That’s probably best, this way they even won’t have to mention this once.

      • Lagran says:

        ‘Decades’ before is, eh…

        Humanity found the prothean beacon on Mars in 2148, First Contact War in ’57, ME1 took place in ’83. So decades is a bit of a stretch, but there is a roughly 26-year period where it could have occured.

        (But personally I think that [i]Tempest[/i] was either sent off between ME2 [destruction of Bahak system] and ME3, or around the time the asari homeworld fell [as the asari councillor makes mention of ‘something I need to do’ when Shepard gives her the news].)

  12. Turkey says:

    Here’s hoping they don’t go too epic this time. Getting kinda sick of the world devouring threat that Bioware seems to love so much.

    • Booker says:

      Too epic? :D To paraphrase Tropic Thunder “you never go full epic”? :D I’m full of awesome taglines for Mass Effect today! :D

    • Zenicetus says:

      From the trailer:

      “To Andromeda, to build a new home for humanity.”

      Nah, nothing very epic there. ;)

  13. satan says:

    I just hope the next ME game doesn’t have me hunting down and beating up all of my companions’ fathers for 2 and a half games.

    Can’t a character have a backstory without having a bad father in it?

    Been a while, but off the top of my head:

    Ashley – hates father
    Liara – hates/kills father
    Garrus – father stopped him becoming a spectre
    Wrex – hates/kills father
    Jacob – hates/kills father
    Miranda – hates/kills father
    Thane – something about him also being a terrible father.

    • satan says:

      Ah wait Liara hated/killed her mother, so did Samara/Morinth.. but anyway.

    • shde2e says:

      Well, at least Shep seems to have good relations with his/her parent(s). y’know, if he has them. And if they’re not dead.

    • Booker says:

      Well they could always give you the British version of that, where they all hate/kill their mothers. :D :P

  14. Booker says:

    Mass Effect, destroying the universe one galaxy at a time! :P

  15. newguy2012 says:

    I loved ME 1 and 2, but then something bad happened on Youtube and I had a 48 hour headache.

    It is very hard to get excited for this. It was so good but then…

  16. JarinArenos says:

    The Mako looks so much better in the trailers, too.

  17. naam says:

    “Hey!” me thinks “A trailer? How come I can’t remember having seen this trailer?” Then I play it and I instantly remember why I forgot about it.

    Anyone else grew tired of “trailers” (I guess they don’t really call these that) that focus on the creation process, on the “we build this thing for you for these noble reasons” tone, the office-shots layering on more quality control, post-production and flares than the game might ever recieve? The masturbatory feel they have?

    Of course these movies have their place, but they’re an instant turn-off for me. Not for the game, mind, but for the company making it, deciding it’s bon ton to tell everyone how good they feel about theirselves.

  18. Katsabas says:

    That’s good really. The storyline didn’t leave anything to be explained as far as I am concerned. What DOES concern me is that they are planning to bank on the same races since Asari and Krogan were in the trailer. I wanna see new ones, to be honest.

  19. The Petulant Platypus says:

    To be fair it seems like every ME game (except the first) isn’t “bound” by the prior :P

  20. Voqar says:

    I’ve never been able to get into this series since I either don’t care for and/or suck at the combat.

    I like the idea of a fresh start and a break from the previous entries – that worked great for a while but it’s a bit much to expect the same hero to save the universe repeatedly.