BioWare and Electronic Arts finally released an official trailer for the highly anticipated Mass Effect: Andromeda.
As a part of the annual N7 Day celebration of all things Mass Effect, fans were expecting a plethora of information regarding the game that’s due out in six or so months. Instead, we got a cinematic trailer and a teaser regarding the game’s story. At least that’s what we got officially; between various leaks and tidbits from Game Informer’s upcoming issue, we learned a little bit about various characters, races in the game, and the driving force for the story. Gameplay wise, leaks indicated that Mass Effect: Andromeda will play like — and stay with me on this — a Mass Effect game.
So yeah, nothing in terms of news big enough to bust the door down. Just “hey, this game is coming next Spring, enjoy this cinematic trailer!” As you could imagine, people weren’t exactly too happy, but consider this:
In June of 2015, Bethesda unveiled one of their worst kept secrets: Fallout 4 was real, takes place in Boston, and was due out that fall. Rockstar Games is notorious for telling you as little as possible about their upcoming games leading into release day; Red Dead Redemption 2 is due out next year and all we essentially know is that the game exists thanks to a cinematic trailer. They employed a similar option with Grand Theft Auto V, going “hey, here’s some trailers to give you the basics, but that’s all you’re going to get.” Now to be fair, Rockstar has earned our trust by delivering constantly quality with their releases, but consider this as well: doesn’t the “less is more” approach work really well to create anticipation leading towards release?
Consider modern movie trailers and how often people go, “well, glad I just spent those two minutes seeing the whole movie.” The concept of a trailer that actually teases people has become the exception, not the norm. It’s refreshing that movie studios give viewers glimpses as to what their movie is about. Of course, we’ve seen this backfire. Just look at 2008’s Hancock as an example of this. But I digress; we’re not talking about movies, we’re talking about video games, and in the modern age of gaming, there’s one chief complaint: too much pre-release coverage. People are sick and tired of being force fed so much information down their throat only to be let down again and again, just look at The Division and No Man’s Sky as perfect examples of this from 2016 alone.
So then why are we upset that we weren’t given “enough” information regarding Mass Effect: Andromeda? Remember how exploration is a key part of the franchise? Isn’t it better for us to discover what the game’s really about? I mean, the franchise has already seen a trilogy come and go, so it’s not like this is some foreign new IP that’s about to release within the coming months. It’s a known and beloved series which is now about exploring an all new frontier: the Andromeda galaxy. We don’t know what lies beyond the stars and, quite frankly, it should stay that way.