The Atlantic

Mass Effect: Andromeda Is More About Choice Than Story

The latest entry in the beloved video-game series is part of a larger industry trend—offering a vast playground for users without the narrative investment to justify it.
Source: EA Games / BioWare

Arguably the biggest contribution in recent years to the space-opera genre—that heady mix of sci-fi, fantasy adventure, and careful plotting that defines works like Star Wars and Doctor Who—has come from a video-game series: Mass Effect. With three titles released in 2007, 2010, and 2012, Mass Effect stood out for its close attention to world-building, complex storytelling, and customizability, allowing players’ choices to shape every narrative arc. The (multiple) endings of Mass Effect 3 were so controversial that the studio BioWare created an “extended cut” to try and mollify a vocally outraged subset of fans.

For better or worse, Mass Effect

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic7 min readPolitics
Uighurs Can’t Escape Chinese Repression, Even in Europe
BRUSSELS—In the comfortable living room of a family home near Antwerp, photographs from not so long ago recall the faces of the missing. A business man sits proudly behind the desk of the company he owns. A party of women smile and laugh as they shar
The Atlantic8 min readPolitics
The Hopefulness and Hopelessness of 1619
Her name was Angela, one of the first known Africans in British North America. His name was John, the first known antiblack racist in colonial America. In 1619, this black woman and white man—what they embody—arrived months apart in 12-year-old Virgi
The Atlantic6 min readPsychology
Putting Kids on Diets Won’t Solve Anything
Weight Watchers has a new app for children as young as 8. It might be better for the company than it is for pediatric health.