An Adjunct to Why I’m Giving ‘Mass Effect: Andromeda’ a Hard Pass…
Dia Lacina
21

((Spoilers for Mass Effect: Andromeda)) Given that a reveal later in the narrative explains that the colonization fantasy marketing was just a front and that they are in fact refugees i’m unsure how to feel. Did they use meta marketing by selling the game as a colonization fantasy as to not spoil the twist that in the narrative? I think this is wishful thinking but i’m certainly not ruling out the possibility. The problem with this twist is that we already know about the reaper threat, this is not news to us, so when its revealed that there was a darker ulterior motive to the expedition, and that it was in fact essentially just a mass exodus of sorts to escape the reapers. It lacks the narrative punch it should have, in fact Ryder doesn’t even question her/his role as a pathfinder, even when they learn that there is a possibility that it was all just a fabrication.

It would have been a very interesting narrative point to touch upon, what does a leader do when they learns their role is a lie, when people look up to them to fulfill a false promise of path-finding and exploration. When the pathfinder’s personal narrative agency has changed and has in many ways been stripped away, how do they move forward with this lie on their shoulders. How does Ryders perspective of their job shift when they learn that they are not colonizing and exploring, but searching for safe harbor for tens of thousands of refugees.

the problem comes in that only Ryder and the higher ups find out about this revelation so the majority of the colonizers don’t even know they are refugees, they still reside in blissful ignorance and so they don’t have the same panic that many refugees have, this could have been an interesting moral dilemma, a choice the player has to make, are they going to be transparent with the colonists but risk a panic or do they keep it under wraps and let people stay ignorant.

this could have been a really intelligent thematic shift but unfortunately they squander it by basically brushing it off.

this would have been a deeper way to look at the situation, unfortunately they don’t take this route.

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