The next Mass Effect game may move away from open-world exploration.
That's according to Windows Central's Jez Corden, who said in the latest edition of his podcast, The Xbox Two Podcast, that BioWare was looking to move away from Mass Effect Andromeda's open-world blueprint and pivot back to the franchise's signature "classic format".
In a discussion about Starfield and how Bethesda is both revered and jeered for sticking to what it knows best and following a particular blueprint, Corden reflected that in some cases – such as BioWare's Mass Effect series – long-time fans would like nothing more than to have the team go back to its roots… and it is, according to "industry rumor".
"I've heard that Mass Effect is ditching open world," Corden said, "and going back to its classic format. I don't know if that's accurate, 100 per cent, but it's an industry rumor."
As for what that "classic format" is? Well, whilst players could follow the story and side missions at their own pace, the trilogy's hub worlds gave the player a sense of freedom and agency but essentially kept them on a linear path. Andromeda deviated away from this somewhat and, depending upon who you speak to, it was just one of the many reasons Andromeda didn't live up to the acclaim of its predecessors.
Mass Effect Andromeda got a middling "Play It" from TechRadar when we reviewed it back in the day, but we praised its world, saying it was "huge, bigger than anything we’ve seen from Mass Effect before, and it’s beautiful too".
"The original Mass Effect had cinematic ambitions, right down to the film grain option in the graphics menu," Cat wrote in their feature, Mass Effect's queer love interests walked so today's LGBTQ+ characters could run.
"Perhaps the jewel in the cinematic crown, however, was Mass Effect’s attempt at a more sophisticated exploration of relationships and sexualities. Some of Mass Effect’s relationships seem strained, almost forced by the standards of 2023.
"However, for its time, BioWare’s exploration of this space offered something truly novel – especially when it came to queer, feminist experiences."
If you’re looking for a new game to get stuck into, look no further than our list of the best open-world games.