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Mass Effect: Andromeda Looks Suspiciously Like Dragon Age: Inquisition

Is it possible that the two latest games from BioWare strongly copy each other? Find out now in this short analysis.

Earlier this month BioWare has celebrated the N7 Day -- an event that has been solely dedicated to the Mass Effect universe. It also has been a great opportunity for the developers to show off the upcoming Mass Effect: Andromeda -- which left many fans worried. What they saw could be proof of a theory circulating the web since the announcement of the game.

The theory states that Andromeda will play just like Dragon Age: Inquisition, and now there are many indications suggesting exactly that. Although, BioWare has debunked all such theories, the fans aren’t buying it and keep speculating about how similar the two games are.

So, if you want to know how these two games could be copying each other, here are a few reasonings from the Mass Effect analysts and fans.

Open, vast, but ultimately boring locations

Every other Mass Effect game had beautiful well-designed locations that didn’t strike you with the size, but with the sheer attention to detail. Every corner of each location was filled with cool little things that made everything feel authentic.

But at the same time the world of Mass Effect seemed huge without actually showing its size. The opposite happened in Dragon Age: Inquisition -- when BioWare decided to actually show a giant open world, which at the end turned out to be rather empty and lifeless. The original goal was to make an MMO, but as you already know that didn’t happen.

This is what the fans of Mass Effect are afraid of -- they don’t want to see these vast open spaces in Andromeda, as that would be contradictory to the feel of the franchise. Many people have already said that this one change could ruin the series for them, and if BioWare doesn’t come up with the solution to try and make the open world interesting, then that would mean a complete disaster for both fans and developers.

Hundreds of pointless side quests

Throughout the entirety of the Mass Effect series players could take on many interesting side missions called “Assignments,” if they needed a break from the main campaign. However, the open world of Andromeda suggests that it’ll have those boring endless side quests that were a huge part of Dragon Age: Inquisition.

The developers have stated after receiving the complaints from the fans that they have been working on the solution to the quests in Mass Effect: Andromeda. Aaryn Flynn, the vice president of BioWare, has stated the following in the interview for PC Gamer (#296):

“We learned that there were some quests in Dragon Age that didn’t resonate and were kind of flat – fetch quests and stuff. The nice thing is, you take those lessons, you package them all up, and you talk to the Mass Effect team and say, ‘These are the things you should do, these are the things you shouldn’t do.’ And the Mass Effect team get the pencils out and they build all that into it.”

Let’s assume that this is happening and that Andromeda will have lots of cool side quests in an open world environment. People really don’t want to experience hours of pointless exploration again, as it was the case with Inquisition. So, let’s just keep our fingers crossed for this.

Multiplayer and microtransactions

There will be a multiplayer mode in Mass Effect: Andromeda that includes the Horde mode, Active Strike Team, Deployed Strike Team and some others that haven’t been revealed yet. The Horde mode is very similar to the multiplayer mode in Dragon Age: Inquisition. It will be a classic co-op shooter mode that will earn you in-game currency.

Now, this mode will also have microtransactions available for those who want to buy in-game stuff with real money and without the usual grind. The developers said that the co-op in Andromeda will have a significantly lesser effect on the main campaign than it had in Mass Effect 3, which is probably a good thing. However, this doesn’t mean that the experience itself will be as rewarding.

Multiplayer in Andromeda is a gray area for many fans. The closed beta should start sometime before the official release, meaning it should happen during this winter. Then, we will know if the co-op is worth the investment or is it just another way of distracting the players from the underwhelming single campaign. It’s a tough question, which will get cleared closer to the release of the game.

Relationships and the lack of cutscenes

We all remember boring and unimaginative conversations between characters in Dragon Age: Inquisition that have been using free camera instead of the more exciting cinematic cutscenes -- which would probably double the production budget of the game. It seems that we should expect the same lack of quality cutscenes in Andromeda, too.

BioWare loves the romantic relationships in their games, and Andromeda is no exception. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to flirt and develop feelings between the characters in a slightly more simplified version than that of Dragon Age: Inquisition.

The new set of response types includes Heart, Head, Professional and Casual. So there will be none of the Paragon/Renegade dilemma anymore. The question is: Will this all result in more interesting conversations? Otherwise, we’re going to be stuck with the same ol’ “camera-switching-between-two-characters” dialogues from the Inquisition. Nobody really wants to see that anymore.

Customizable skill trees

There won't be a typical choice of classes in Mass Effect: Andromeda. The developers have sacrificed it in favor of the customizable skill trees that you could all see before in Dragon Age: Inquisition. This means that you will be able to pick-up specialties in the beginning and interchange them any way you want throughout the game.

For example, you can pick up one specialty and play with it by gaining experience points. Later in the game you may find an item that will allow you to re-spec all of your skill trees. This means that you will be able to change your specialty at that point in the game to something completely different.

Another theory suggests that BioWare will go as far as implement a hybrid class system from the Inquisition, as well. With this in mind you can work on one specialty, and then add up another one on the top of your main one. If all these changes will be present in Mass Effect: Andromeda, then this would probably be a step in the right direction.

Graphics engine and animations

The last and the most significant point that unites the two games is the graphics engine -- Frostbite 3. All three Mass Effect games that have been released up to this point have been based on Unreal Engine 3. They all had the same look.

Now, Mass Effect: Andromeda will look different, and actually it will look a lot like Dragon Age: Inquisition. Is this good or bad? It’s definitely a matter of taste. The early gameplay videos do look very good, but all of them are recorded on the consoles.

High-end PCs will most definitely show the maximum capabilities of the Frostbite engine. However, if your main interest is multiplayer, then it is better to have the game on a console. There is a bigger chance that the number of players on consoles will be much higher than that on the PC platform -- just like it is with such games as Battlefield and Call of Duty.

On the other hand, if your goal is the single campaign, then playing it on a PC would be more preferable due to better graphics and number of settings. Also, the PC platform will guarantee you the possibility of installing mods, including the ones for VR.

Conclusion

With all that said Mass Effect: Andromeda will be a huge game and a huge success, as was the case with Dragon Age: Inquisition a couple of years ago. It had its problems and it was criticized justly so. There has never been an AAA game in the history of gaming without any problems, so expect those at the launch of Andromeda, too.

Remember to tune in on December 1, 2016 for a live Andromeda gameplay showcase at The Game Awards 2016. It will be an actual gameplay from the finished game that will answer many questions that are currently hoarding in the minds of the fans.

What do you think about the similarities between Mass Effect: Andromeda and Dragon Age: Inquisition? Check back soon after the gameplay reveal at The Game Awards 2016 and leave your feedback in the comments section.

Published Nov. 25th 2016

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