Did you see the video introducing Mass Effect Andromeda‘s [official site] Tempest? It’s the upcoming game’s version of the Normandy spaceship, plus you get a look at the Nomad which is the rover for pootling round on planets. I’ve been watching it and I wanted to a) share the basic video because I thought you might be interested and b) share an irritation about the marketing conceit they went with for said video.
So the thing I can’t quite shake off when watching is that they’ve tried to style this whole campaign like they’re teaching things and showing things to new Andromeda Initiative recruits who are joining the task force. The Twitter account refers to its followers as “recruit”, and the game’s official site is styled as a job advert where the game info teasers are styled as briefings.
I mean, fine. But then you watch this briefing and it’s so weirdly aware of the fact it’s a commercial game. You get an account of the quarters aboard the Tempest and it says “The pathfinder’s cabin is also located nearby but is off limits to the general crew… unless invited… of course.” I mean, I’ve never had a work video briefing where they tell me about the staff quarters and they add “Yes, this is the place where you can bang your crew if you want to bother with romance options.” It’s an HR disaster lawsuit waiting to happen, actively encouraging staff relationships in a training video. You want to stick with some good, old-fashioned ladder safety advice and COSHH training, mate. Safe AND useful. OR at least put the space HR department’s phone number in there, you know?
And then it goes on to reference paint jobs which… I mean I guess you could say they’re talking about camouflage or whatnot and that maybe army people get off on paint jobs as much as players but, again, it feels like they’re just not that invested in their own fiction.
I mean, this probably won’t matter to most people, but do you have any idea how many marketing campaigns I’ve watched over the years because of entertainment writing? You start to really notice stuff like this.
OTHER THINGS WHICH CAUGHT MY EYE:
1. The biolab has some plantlife I’m interested in looking at a bit closer. I assume it’s not interactable – it seems more about set decoration – but I still like seeing what people include in the way of greenery aboard space stations. There are also some decorative plants elsewhere in the ship which I will be screenshotting and discussing with Alice.
2. The Pathfinder’s cabin has enough room that you could not only do yoga and zumba unimpeded but you could probably host a big line-dancing party in there.
3. Also why does the Pathfinder need so many seating options? It’s like one of those fancy hotel rooms which is like “I know you’re only here for five minutes and I know it’s only you staying but here’s a queen-sized bed, a three-seater sofa and a reclining chair”. Maybe it’s so that the Pathfinder can practice pathfinding by going over and around all the furniture and walking for a hundred meters just to get from the bed to the desk.
4. I want to drive the shit out of the Nomad if the real actual gameplay is anything like that (there is no real actual gameplay in this trailer because of the aforementioned Andromeda Initiative recruitment idea).
5. IS THERE A NEW VERSION OF THE MINING MINIGAME?
6. For factual info, the Tempest is (currently) built for speed and stealth, so designed to outrun stuff and hide rather than blast it in the face until it dies. It’s also piloted by a Salarian.