Anyone who has or hasn't played BioWare's latest title (so basically everyone) will have heard this across the Internet or through word of mouth by now. It's been said by reviewers, people who have played the game, and probably by people who haven't. The horse has been thumped, blown up, stretched through a mangle -- you name it. BioWare is (we hope) hard at work in resolving issues like this, but some of us who are finished with the game may already be looking forward to a potential sequel.
Andromeda itself is a self-contained story. It's a brand new chapter for the saga that works on its own, while also linking itself to the trilogy. While BioWare has stated this fact, the possibility of future games in the new setting hasn't necessarily been ruled out. There is a huge amount of potential for a sequel if BioWare decided to definitely make one.
With that in mind, what are the things that players want to see? How can BioWare improve on Mass Effect: Andromeda and provide a sequel that will rekindle the fans' love for the developer? Here are eight things that we want to see in an Andromeda sequel.
If you paid enough attention by listening or talking to people in Andromeda, you may have heard them mention the likes of the Quarians, Hanar, Drell and Elcor. These former Mass Effect races are nowhere to be seen in the new galaxy, and honestly, it's saddening.
Director Tann mentions that a Quarian ark did aim to arrive but there were complications in its departure. What were they? Why didn't they arrive? Maybe a Geth unit smuggled itself aboard an ark and hid itself away for 600 years? One can dream. A sequel could remedy this.
One aspect that made the original trilogy so diverse and interesting was the fact that the galaxy was filled with a myriad of races. They also tie us to Shepard and what came before Andromeda, so if more of them were to make an appearance, it would add much more intrigue, as well as feel more like the Mass Effect we all know and love. Besides, we can only stand to see so many Asari, Turian, Salarian, Human and Krogan faces for so long.
What we got in the Angara was most certainly fascinating. The species' origin, biology and emotional entanglements have helped to create a great new race for the series' lore, but we can't help but wonder what else is out there.
Sure, the Remnant and Kett are there, but they aren't full-fledged races that we can truly engage with on a personal level. Of course, we are only in one cluster in Andromeda so other races may simply be unreachable at this stage, but if the opportunity to explore further in the galaxy arose in a sequel, more races would be a must for BioWare.
The galactic community we have in the trilogy is all thanks to the diverse races of the Milky Way. If a whole host of new species were revealed to the Andromeda Initiative, the possibility for new stories, lore and exploration would be astronomical.
See this face? This is the face that every single Asari has in Andromeda apart from Peebee. Whether BioWare struggled with the game's budget or simply cut corners is anyone's guess, but racial diversity is of huge importance to the Mass Effect universe.
Apart from Humans (and in some part, the Krogan), every other race, as well as the Angara, also suffered this problem. Salarians only differed in skin color, and Turians and Angara had preset male and female faces. While it didn't completely detract from the experience, it would have been better if each race had their own diversity in facial features. It may be easier to create a variety of human appearances seeing as that's what we are, but the point still stands.
From Liara to Aria, and Mordin to Kirrahe, the trilogy gave us plenty of memorable faces. We want Andromeda to give us that, too.
Believe it or not, Mass Effect fans, and the whole BioWare fan base for that matter, care deeply about the romance options available in their games. Andromeda has a ton of available people to smooch, and while BioWare promised more elaborate lovemaking, much of it came down to the same formula.
At pivotal plot moments, say the "flirt" line to someone, and you're one step closer to being the love of their life. Once that tantalizing romance scene has been reached, though, don't expect much more.
The organic nature of love and relationships can be extremely hard to replicate in a video game, but being able to actually go out on a proper date in Mass Effect would be a welcome addition to the way romances work. Having the option to go on a romantic stroll through Harvarl with my love interest isn't too much to ask, is it?
If you're going to add romance into a game, the least a developer could do is add more flirtatious and loving interactions between the two characters, as well as more freedom in what you can actually do with them. Hopefully we'll see this develop further in the future.
Andromeda has a few bars in which you could have a drink, but apart from a quick five second clip of Ryder downing a cup of something, there isn't much else on offer. Real leisure activities are practically non-existent.
Exploration and action are high on the list of priorities, but a real representation of nightlife and/or shore leave for the crew would have been well received. Blowing off steam in a club together, or gambling the night away in a casino is something I'd happily give Ryder the chance to do.
As options are severely limited, it feels as though what we were given was quickly tacked on by BioWare. While it isn't a necessity for the title, it certainly shouldn't feel like a prerogative either. The original trilogy had its moments in clubs, as well as the option for some small-time gambling in Flux in the first game, so BioWare is no stranger to it.
With any luck, we may even get another "Citadel"-style DLC in Andromeda that gives us more scenes akin to the game's movie night. I'd happily watch more of Kallo pretending to die due to not having a gall bladder.
Now we move onto more gameplay related aspects of the series.
While the games never gave you the chance to physically control your squadmates like in the Dragon Age series, the power wheel of the original Mass Effect trilogy still allowed you to tactically use anyone's powers to your advantage. In Andromeda that is completely stripped away, and apart from being able to loosely command your squad to move somewhere or attack a specific enemy, they are left to their own devices.
Although having company in firefights is of great assistance, bringing back the power wheel would create an extra layer to combat. It can be easy to lose track of what your squadmates are actually doing in Andromeda so allowing us to regain control over their actions in a sequel would provide a much better use for them, and not have them randomly running into a group of enemies and deciding to explode themselves.
Side quests can either be done very well or very badly, and while Andromeda had its fair share of memorable quests, there were a multitude of menial "tasks" to complete. Not all of these boiled down to fetch quests, but the ones that did were definitely unneeded.
RPGs regularly go one way or the other. They are either a shorter experience with fewer, but extremely enjoyable and memorable quests, or they offer a huge amount of content but a lot of it is forgettable and pointless. Andromeda arguably sits between these two notions, so to strengthen its appeal for a potential sequel, doing away with tasks would be a good move.
Perhaps going back to the way the original trilogy handled missions would work. It wasn't abundantly dripping in content, but the majority of the missions were interesting and offered something slightly more compelling. Trimming the fat is often the better choice instead of stuffing it so much that it causes a messy explosion.
The multiplayer across the franchise has been widely regarded as a surprisingly enjoyable affair. It's simple but it can still provide hours of entertainment for those who jump in. Andromeda's multiplayer largely remains the same as Mass Effect 3's, but next time, it may need to switch things up a bit if it is to keep up with other multiplayer-based content.
A horde-style mode is the route that multiplayer has always taken in Mass Effect, but if BioWare was to add in more complex co-op missions that had more of a story to them, it would help to reel in more players. Alongside this, adding in competitive modes would allow both the developer and players to experiment with different classes and see how they actually fare against each other.
Multiplayer has, and always will be second to the singleplayer of Mass Effect, but if BioWare took more time in crafting something bigger in the mode, then perhaps it wouldn't be as overlooked by players who play just for the story.
I'm in the smaller bracket of gamers who loved their time with Mass Effect: Andromeda. It had its rough spots, sure, but did it deserve all the hate? I'm not so sure.
What everyone can agree on here, though, is that BioWare was ambitious in what they set out to do. There was a lot to see and do, but nonetheless, we can't help but think what was missing that made the original trilogy so good. Andromeda is a new chapter so we shouldn't dwell too much on Shepard's story, but many fans wounds seemed to reopen from what they experienced in the new galaxy.
If all eight (and more) of these ideas were incorporated into a sequel years down the line, BioWare's reputability would return. Will there actually be a sequel, though? We certainly hope so.
Have you played Mass Effect: Andromeda? What are your thoughts on it? Let us know what you would like in a sequel in the comments below!