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Casual has Bad Opinions
February 22, 2017 at 2:09 pm
This article is part of POMEmag Space Week 2017.
When Bioware dropped that cinematic story trailer for Mass Effect Andromeda last month, fans buzzed with excitement and speculation about its rapidly approaching release. And amid the heated discussions about gameplay mechanics, plot elements, and planetary exploration, one key question emerged:
“Will we finally be able to bang that Krogan?”
The game’s promotional materials indicate that there’s a lot to look forward to in Andromeda — for example, Bioware validating the Shep/Garrus romance so much that they put it in a goddamned museum about the history of civilization in the Milky Way.
As a tacky, ignorant casual who only likes games with smooching and punishingly laborious crafting missions, I know I’m not the best person to parse fan hype over gameplay and graphics. But as a true and diehard Mass Effect enthusiast, I’ve spent the past five years daydreaming about where I’d like the franchise to go, and Andromeda’s trailers and promotional materials have only kindled the bonfire of Fan Hype in my heart. Here’s what I’d most like to see as we leave the Milky Way — and the original trilogy — behind.
1) Fashion & Style
What I really want: Gaudy Ass Space Fashion
What I’ll settle for: Rending those shit-ass Space Farmer causal outfits into a million tiny pieces, setting the pieces on fire, and jettisoning the ashes into a dying sun
Look: I played Dragon Age: Inquisition, so now I know that Bioware can do Pointlessly Decadent Ambiance Fashion (ahem, Val Royeaux) and my expectations for the Mass Effect franchise are just that much higher. Final Fantasy XV sported designs by Louis Vuitton and Vivienne Westwood; Mass Effect is ripe for at least a little flavorful style #aesthetic.
I mean, in the original trilogy, galactic civilization is supposedly at its apex and this is the best we can do????
Don’t even get me started on FemShep’s formalwear.
I don’t want to be the one to say it but the Reapers were doing the galaxy a favor.
But — as much as my heart is yearning for some Jupiter Ascending-level decadent Space Clothes, I know that colonizing the far reaches of the universe might not be the best time for sci fi haute couture. If nothing else, I just hope that humanity left those skintight poop-brown overalls behind with the Reapers, never to be seen again.
2) Character Physique
What I really want: A body slider to craft a Ryder so muscular and handsome that she puts even Zarya to shame
What I’ll settle for: A FemRyder with more upper-arm musculature than your average car dealership inflatable dancing balloon man
No words, only this extremely (accidentally) silly sparring match:
Never again. (Please).
What I really want: An insane level of Fallout 4-style settlement building where you singlehandedly develop the infrastructure for every human colony in Andromeda through hundreds of hours of resource-gathering and crafting (because, and I can’t stress this enough: I am extremely boring).
What I’ll settle for: Any amount of crafting
In all honesty, as much as I love crafting, I
kind of sincerely hope that no game ever fully satiates my love of pointlessly complex crafting missions. Stardew Valley is bad enough for my ability to operate as a functional human in the world. If Mass Effect incorporates Deep Crafting, I’ll deteriorate into a skeleton and die of old age before beating this game. On the upside, what a way to go.
What I really want: No multiplayer!!!!!!
What I’ll settle for: Non-compulsory multiplayer as forgettable and skippable as whatever was going on with Dragon Age: Inquisition
Why did Inquisition even have multiplayer???????? It’s been three years and I still don’t understand its purpose.
This might be my least popular Mass Effect opinion yet, because I know how much most folks loved ME3’s multiplayer. But I play Bioware games to develop complex yet disappointingly limited relationships with fictional people — not to develop superficial yet blessedly limited relationships with real people!!! I hate people! Long live the machines!
What I really want: GO BIG OR GO HOME; KROGAN ROMANCE OR BUST 2K17
What I’ll settle for: Romancing Turians is a time-honored tradition for me, and one I plan to continue
Bioware fans — and especially Mass Effect fans — are a thirsty bunch, and the only thing we love more than adventure and discovery is boning aliens in every quadrant of known space.
I mean — look at our lives. Look at our choices.
But if I’m being realistic, I know I’m not ambitious enough to bone my way through the stars. And as great as having the option of a Krogan romance would be, I’m setting my sights on Turian Babe and Hot Undercut Scientist, which is already going to really cut into my Stardew Valley time, you know?
What I really want: To literally — literally — sink into this game, finding True Video Game Love, becoming a Hero To All, and befriending a group of weird and/or hot aliens, even if that means Imminent Doom at the hands of an ancient evil presence
What I’ll settle for: To figuratively sink into this game, finding True Video Game Love, becoming a Hero To All, and befriending a group of weird and/or hot aliens as much-needed downtime from worrying about Imminent Doom at the hands of a modern evil presence
I am clinging to Andromeda’s March 21st release date as a drowning person clings to a rapidly submerging piece of driftwood. In this metaphor, the submerging piece of driftwood is 2017, and I am counting on this goddamned game to pull me through this shrieking hellscape we all now share.
To be fair, even under perfect circumstances, Bioware could sell me an empty box labelled “Definitely Mass Effect Andromeda, Don’t Worry About It” and I’d pay them $65 for that privilege, hating myself the whole time. We all have our weaknesses, and this franchise is my favorite furnace for incinerating my hard-earned cash.
Maybe none of my Andromeda Hopes and Dreams will come true — but I’m still expecting this game to be a beautiful escape from the very real worries keeping many folks (myself included) awake at night. And while activism and vigilance are more important than ever, everybody needs to take a break every once and a while — even Big Damn Space Heroes.
So here’s to you, Mass Effect Andromeda, you beautiful shining star in a turbulent night sky. May we all find some peace at the farthest reaches of space, even if we can’t find it here on Earth right now.
© 2014 - 2017 Carolynn Calabrese and POMEgranate Magazine