Creative Director Talks Mass Effect Andromeda Villains – Introduction of “B-Stories”

If there is one thing that is true for Mass Effect fans, it’s that we can’t ever get enough of what BioWare’s universe has to offer. With Mass Effect Andromeda’s release coming soon in March, the team behind the latest action-RPG are being a little more free when it comes to details about the upcoming title. We know about the Kett, and we know about the “big bad”, but how do the Andromeda villains stack up to the previous threat: The Reapers? Creative Director Mac Walters sounds off.

If you are unfamiliar with the original trilogy that followed Commander Shepard through the galaxy in their fight against the Reapers – here’s a little crash course. The Reapers were an ancient race of sentient machines – the first race of true A.I. Thanks to an experiment gone wrong by their creators, the Leviathan, the Reapers set out to do what they were intended to: to keep the balance of the universe, no matter the cost. In a mathematical calculation, the only way to achieve perfect balance was to wipe out entire civilizations once every 50,000 years, leaving only one species behind to survive to bring in the next era of civilization. The cycle of society starts anew, doomed to repeat past mistakes and then the Reapers come in thousands of years later to clean up the mess. Again. Rinse, lather, repeat. Or – rinse, harvest, repeat, I guess.

Needless to say, they were bad. That’s a huge antagonistic storyline to go up against, so how does the Kett fit into BioWare’s epic history of Big Bads? In an interview with OXM, Walters talks a little bit about the stakes in Andromeda and how the newest title will work:

So we want to have high stakes, and there are high stakes in the sense that if you don’t succeed in your role, that’s it for humanity, and potentially every other species that came from the Milky Way in Andromeda. But we also don’t have to go right to raising the stakes to – you know, two hours in “hey, you’ve got this best friend and this best friend, which one do you want to die and which one do you want to survive?”

Looking at you, choice on Virmire! It seems like the story will take on a more natural pace, which is great news for those who felt Mass Effect 3 was a little rushed. He goes on to talk about the success of choosing the right bath and the player’s ability to enjoy the game flow:

We don’t have to go that high, because the overall stakes are a little bit lighter in the sense that we want people to feel like they have the opportunity to explore, we want them to feel like, you know what, there’s this whole planet that’s got its whole separate story which feels less tied to the critical path, but it’s not crucial to my success in the critical path necessarily. I want to be able to enjoy it, I just want to go off and do that, and not feel like I’m turning my back on people or humanity or anything like that.”

andromeda villains

Sounds a bit like how Dragon Age Inquisition was set up, especially with that whopper known as the Hinterlands. With such a massive galaxy to explore, it will be nice for players to really invest time into seeing what each planet, what each area has to offer without missing out on something make it or break it moment in the game. With Mass Effect 2, if you didn’t do everything exactly right, there were dire consequences – especially during the suicide mission. The same could be said in Mass Effect 3 as well with certain conflicts such as the Quarian and Geth confrontation, as well as smaller quest lines like confronting Miranda’s father.  But coming back to Andromeda, more specifically – the enemies in Andromeda, Walters says that unlike the Reapers, you don’t see the Kett as such an obvious threat. The Reapers were absolute in their destruction, whereas the Kett are a more “nuanced” race that has a more complicated purpose than that of the trilogy’s antagonists.

Clearly there’s some bad apple here, and you have to deal with them, but what does that mean for the rest of Andromeda? What does it mean for the other Kett? And we even have a whole separate storyline, we have these things called ‘b-stories’, because they actually traverse multiple planets and follow you throughout the course of the game, wherever you go. And one of them is devoted entirely to the main antagonist in the game, and some of the conflicts he’s even been having with his own people.”

If you weren’t excited about the Kett before, does the more complicated and individualistic nature of the new Andromeda villains appeal them more to you as a player? What are your thoughts so far on all of the revelations we’ve received on the latest Mass Effect game in the previous months? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for live gaming and entertainment news 24/7!

Mass Effect Andromeda is set for release March 21st on PC, Xbox One, and the PlayStation 4.

Liana Ruppert578 Posts

With an arguably unhealthy obsession with Mass Effect, Liana has been an avid collector of gaming and comic memorabilia for well over two decades. With a passion for writing, gaming, and comics - she is currently working as Editor-in-Chief for the revival of Prima Games, with previous managing editor experience with several gaming publications including ComicBook.com, The Hollywood Reporter, TwinGalaxies, and other outlets. She is also the Co-Owner and Managing Editor for DFTG. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, as well as several Facebook communities online.

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