Mass Effect: Andromeda hopefully won't have a stack of annoying collection quests involving platforming in a game not designed for that kind of gameplay.
Mass Effect: Andromeda takes the series open world for the first time, something BioWare has already tentatively explored in Dragon Age: Inquisition.
The transition wasn't totally successful, and some fans have concerns Mass Effect: Andromeda will be Dragon Age: Inquisition in space. BioWare has made some noises to the contrary, which is comforting, but we've just seen so little of Mass Effect: Andromeda that it's hard to be confident.
Now a new feature article in the March issue of PC Gamer UK builds on some earlier comments about Mass Effect: Andromeda's side content featuring substantial material rather than the plain old busy work of so many open world games.
As quoted by Redditor skynomads, a regretabbly uncredited BioWare staffer said the developer is "approaching the completionist aspect very differently, because we’ve done and learned a lot from Inquisition".
"But we’ve also observed what other games have been doing, like The Witcher. And it was very important for us that the quantity of scope doesn’t downgrade the quality of whatever you are doing there," they said.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt had stacks of side content, and a lot of it is great, with linking plot threads, interesting stories and proper cutscenes. Witcher Contracts might have less story but offered greater challenges and detective sequences; collection quests were tied to dungeons; and the smaller filler things like Monster Nests could be ticked off really quickly. Certainly Mass Effect: Andromeda could do worse than emulate CD Projekt RED's graceful and dextrous transition to open world gameplay.
Sounds like there'll be plenty of opportunity for it, too, as the article mentions that Mass Effect: Andromeda has "over a dozen" hub areas besides planets, including the Citadel-like Nexus and a frontier settlement called Kadara.
BioWare also reiterated that Mass Effect: Andromeda's numerous planets all have their own little stories to make them worth the visit, and that side quests are "meaningful". Loyalty missions, in particular, give BioWare a chance to tell a bunch of really different stories related to the exploration and colonisation of the quadrant, thanks to the complicated political setting.
Sounds pretty good. Mass Effect: Andromeda releases in March on PC, PS4 and Xbox One and somehow has to live up to a series of games so beloved a disappointing ending caused mass outrage.
No pressure there, BioWare Montreal.