If the characters in Mass Effect: Andromeda don’t do anything for you, perhaps you might be thinking that a little bit of tweaking to their armor, a little bit of modifying their weapons, and maybe slapping some helmets on those mugs might make the experience more palatable. Well, you thought wrong.
According to lead designer on Mass Effect: Andromeda, Ian S. Frazier, he was asked recently during the showcase of the game at this year’s PAX East in Boston, Massachusetts by a fan why they didn’t allow for customizing squad mates in the game. Frazier responded on Twitter with the following…
@Rivercurse choice, trying to give the squadmates more defined sense of personality on the battlefield, and allowing us to better tailor AI.
— Ian S. Frazier @ PAX (@tibermoon) March 11, 2017
So even if you wanted to alter the characters when it comes to their outfits and gear, you won’t be able to.
And what about their weapons? Well, that’s also a no-go.
In a way, the explanation that Frazier gives is technically correct. It’s easier to code AI when there are fewer variables to modify and compensate their behavior for. Fewer weapons means you don’t have to code how they fire or behave with those weapons – such as when they have to reload, or the intervals in which they fire the gun, or the different animation and rigging adjustments necessary to ensure that clipping and glitching doesn’t occur. You also have to compensate for pathfinding when using certain weapons. For instance you can’t have them fire rocket or explosive weapons in close proximity or they’ll kill themselves or the player, or you can’t have them fire short-range pistols as sniping weapons otherwise they won’t hit anything.
Nevertheless, this decisions more-so speaks volumes to the fact that they either didn’t have a competent enough designer on staff to make those adjustments to the AI or they didn’t have the budget to do so. Either way, it’s a bit unfortunate for gamers who wanted to customize their teammates
Combining this with the fact that a lot of people find the squad mates (and main characters) unattractive, they aren’t fond of the romance options, and there’s a growing presence of gamers who seem repulsed at buying a game where one of the Mass Effect: Andromeda designers have been actively racist against certain members of the gaming community, it seems like the game will have a tough time on the marketplace.
So does the lack of customizing your teammates work as a dealbreaker for you or are you still going to pick up a copy of Mass Effect: Andromeda on day one?
(Thanks for the news tip Lyle)