Mass Effect: Andromeda Interview

Kotaku Australia recently chatted up BioWare producer Mike Gamble, which has resulted in an article-style interview about their plans for Mass Effect: Andromeda. Topics include the methods they’re using to release information about the game, how multiplayer will function, the design approach they’re taking to the game’s environment, the expectations we should have for the PC version, and more:

Gamble also provided a few details about how Andromeda would play on PC. The first major one: the game will ship with an unlocked frame rate and support for ultrawide screen monitors, which should please anyone who’s converted to a 21:9 world. The developer is targeting day 1 drivers out for Andromeda – Gamble didn’t specifically say AMD or NVIDIA, but he said Bioware had been working with “some of the manufacturers” on a couple of things.

Given that there really only two manufacturers in the business – AMD and NVIDIA – it’s interesting that Gamble didn’t just expressly mention them by name. It’s something to keep an eye on in the coming months, however, especially if Andromeda has any launch issues with drivers like several games in 2016 did.

There won’t be any official support for mods with Andromeda either, although Gamble remarked that “as we see the reaction to these things those plans can change very quickly”. Given the good work the modding community did with the original Mass Effect trilogy – the high-res texture packs are just one of many things that come to mind, not to mention all the mods for Bioware games of old – I wouldn’t be surprised if there was movement on this later this year, although it could be a case where Bioware offers their tacit approval without releasing an official toolkit.

Something else worth noting: Andromeda won’t have dedicated servers for multiplayer. That’s not a huge surprise given the type of game Mass Effect is, but it could be a sticking point for those who want to dive deep into the game’s multiplayer – especially if Andromeda ends up having some form of a competitive mode, as opposed to the wave-based, co-operative offering in ME3.

Perhaps the other interesting tidbit from our chat was how Bioware is shelling out Andromeda’s worlds. Mass Effect has always relied on the creation of lively environments, from characters interacting on the deck of the Normandy, the political chatter around the Citadel or the bustling spaceports through the universe. But the environments have always been fixed – there’s plenty to discover, but it’s never been an open-world.

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