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Mass Effect helped usher in the reign of western RPGs when it launched on Xbox 360 and PC in 2007. In 2015, Polish developer, CD Projekt Red turned the genre on its head with the release of the massive acclaimed The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Inspired by the sheer size of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, TW3 upped the ante with narrative complexity, a morally gray scale of decision making that would intrigue Batman, and a set of compelling characters. The main storyline was awe inspiring and brilliantly written; however, it was the sidequests that had the internet buzzing nonstop about the title’s successes. Thankfully, gamers and critics weren’t the only ones gushing over it.
Because The Witcher 3 has raised the bar, eyes are on other developers creating massive RPGs. Guerrila’s Horizon Zero Dawn is expected to set the world alight, but the ball is mostly in BioWare’s court with the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda looming. And the studio is completely aware of it, too. Andromeda producer, Fabrice Condominas says the developer is approaching sidequests differently than they have in games like Dragon’s Age: Inquisition.
“We are 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 your are doing there.”
Honestly, sidequests never seemed to be an issue in the Mass Effect series. They were typically fun and, especially in the sequel, worked well in serving the overarching narrative. Should we then expect to see what they’ve learned from TW3 reflected in Andromeda? We’ll find out soon enough. Hopefully, they weren’t the only developer paying attention to what CD Projekt has been up to. After Fallout 4, here’s to hoping Bethesda’s been taking notes, as well.
Mass Effect: Andromeda launches on PC, PS4, and Xbox One on March 21.
Image: Electronic Arts