What if Ashley didn’t die on Virmire? I know, it’s an unconscionable catastrophe, but it’s apparently also the terrifying reality of Mass Effect Andromeda. Bioware has revealed that the ending of Mass Effect 3 – which obviously took account of your actions in both preceding games – is mostly irrelevant in the next game. Like none of it ever even happened. Like Ashley might be alive. Out there. Somewhere. Being Ashley.
Basically, Mass Effect Andromeda won’t look at your Mass Effect 3 save when it starts, in part because the new game is set in a totally different galaxy – where the consequences of the previous trilogy don’t matter.
“We acknowledged [the player’s decisions] in the endings of Mass Effect 3 and I think that’s where we want to leave it for now,” BioWare studio boss Aaryon Flynn told Eurogamer. “We want this to be a new story and it would be very hard to say it’s a new story but also that you need to understand how [the past trilogy] ended. We’ve done it in such a way that allows all of those decisions you made to remain intact in the canon of the universe, but also allows a new story to begin.”
So, uh. My own big decision in Mass Effect 3 was not exactly the most considered – I chose the thing closest to me, because I, um, didn’t understand the instructions – so… maybe that’s better left in the past anyway.
Mass Effect Andromeda is out next year. In the meantime, we know that the game’s new protagonist also has a new name, but not much else.