BioWare should release New DLC for Mass Effect: Andromeda before ME4


Fans of the Mass Effect franchise were incredibly excited when it was revealed during 2020’s N7 Day that another sequel was in development. The next Mass Effect may not have a title, a release date, or a confirmed setting just yet, but this hasn’t stopped players from speculating about where and when the upcoming game will take place, or who it will focus on. After the previous four mainline Mass Effect games, there are plenty of options for all of those categories, but fans will have to wait a little longer to get any answers to their questions.

Mass Effect 4 may be almost as much of a mystery now as it was when it was first announced, but some aspects of it have been confirmed. Gamers know that the developer will try to incorporate both the Milky Way and Andromeda in some way, and that fan-favorite character Liara seems to be making a return if the teaser trailer is anything to go by. Fans may not know how much Mass Effect: Andromeda will feature in the next game, but BioWare should think about releasing some DLC for the older title before the next game launches.

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The Mass Effect: Andromeda DLC That Never Was

The original Mass Effect trilogy may have ended on a slightly sour note thanks to a conclusion to Mass Effect 3 that many players felt was a letdown, but the first three games were still incredibly popular. They featured characters that went on to become some of the most iconic in gaming, like the effortlessly heroic Commander Shepard and everyone’s favorite space boyfriend Garrus. The gameplay was fun, the companions memorable, and the overarching narrative of the sinister Reapers and their quest to wipe out life across the galaxy was instantly compelling. Fans were therefore a little skeptical when it was announced that the fourth game, Mass Effect: Andromeda, would be leaving the Milky Way behind.

BioWare took a big risk with Mass Effect: Andromeda, moving on from not only the characters that players had come to know and love, but also the setting that the three games had spent so long exploring. Mass Effect: Andromeda had a lot of potential, but unfortunately, it didn’t quite meet player expectations. It had its share of bugs and issues, the new protagonist Ryder wasn’t as popular as Shepard, and Andromeda felt a little shallow compared to the complex society BioWare had made for the Milky Way. Now, the reception has changed since its launch, but first impressions do matter.

These were some of the reasons why Mass Effect: Andromeda didn’t take off the way the previous three games did, and why BioWare might have decided to give single-player DLC a miss. Although there were several unresolved plot lines at the end of the game, like the fate of the Quarian Ark, the origins of the Remnant, and the identity of the Andromeda Initiative’s mysterious benefactor, it seemed like these would be destined to go unanswered.

Getting Mass Effect: Andromeda Back In The Mix

Mass Effect: Andromeda’s lukewarm success might have spelled the end of the Mass Effect franchise, and after its release, the developer definitely seemed to be taking a step back to re-assess. Many thought that BioWare would try to move away from the fourth game as much as possible, which is why it came as no surprise that Liara featured prominently in Mass Effect 4’s promotional material and the next game was revealed to be using Unreal Engine instead of Frostbite like Mass Effect: Andromeda.

However, despite the controversies and criticisms surrounding it, Mass Effect: Andromeda is still a good game, and it shouldn’t be overlooked. The combat was arguably the best in the franchise to date, and relying too much on previous characters from a trilogy that has already been wrapped up doesn’t allow for the series to grow. BioWare should therefore take a page out of the Borderlands series’ book, and release DLC for Mass Effect: Andromeda ahead of Mass Effect 4’s launch. Borderlands 2 released the Commander Lilith & The Fight For Sanctuary DLC six years after the previous expansions in order to get players excited for Borderlands 3, and it was a pretty solid strategy.

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Preparations For Mass Effect 4

The Mass Effect games already have a lot of cultural currency, and there will always be a loyal audience for new content from the franchise. That being said, the last mainline entry in the series came out five years ago, and Mass Effect 4 still doesn’t have a release date in sight. Players may have been tided over with the release of Mass Effect Legendary Edition last year, but that won’t scratch the itch the same way new content will. If BioWare is hoping to bring Mass Effect: Andromeda into the next game in some way, then it needs to bridge the gap between entries better, and DLC is the perfect way to do this.

Not only are there lots of loose ends to tie up from the last game, but there might be too much exposition to try and fit in during Mass Effect 4 to explain how elements of Mass Effect: Andromeda can be present in the next game. In order to make Mass Effect 4 streamlined and engaging, a substantive story DLC for Mass Effect: Andromeda could help set up the next narrative and solve a few leftover issues from the previous game at the same time. It would also help keep Mass Effect: Andromeda in the conversation, as many players are in danger of forgetting key aspects of its plot or disregarding the title altogether.

The Mass Effect Legendary Edition may have also brought the world of Mass Effect to a new generation of players who might have missed out on Mass Effect: Andromeda. A DLC for the last game would help to fill in the gaps of their knowledge ahead of Mass Effect 4’s release, and would be a well-timed reminder that it’s just as much a part of the franchise’s canon as the first three games.

The next Mass Effect is in development.


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