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Mass Effect: Andromeda Director Discusses Game's High Stakes, 'Nuanced' Villains

The upcoming BioWare-developed action RPG Mass Effect: Andromeda has had around it an almost ceaseless buzz, one that has become louder and louder as its March 21, 2017 release date grows nearer. Following a "Pathfinder Team Briefing" video in which fans got acquainted with Andromeda's characters and news that the title would be receiving a 10-hour pre-launch trial period, it's little surprise that fans have been craving more information. Mass Effect: Andromeda's creative director Mac Walters satisfied that need, discussing details on the game's stakes and antagonists.

Walters spilled some exciting Andromeda tidbits in an interview with Official Xbox Magazine (via GamesRadar), starting with what's at risk in the game's story — one that has been noted as leaving room for player growth.

"We want to have high stakes, and there are high stakes in the sense that if you don't succeed in your role, that's it for humanity, and potentially every other species that came from the Milky Way in Andromeda," Walters stated. He continued on, explaining the flip side of the narrative approach that prevents huge obstacles that would hinder players' gameplay experience. Though an emphasis on what could be won or lost in a game (especially presented in an intense way) is generally a good thing, the Andromeda team didn't want to go overboard.

Walters explained, "We also don't have to go right to raising the stakes to, you know, two hours in [say] 'Hey, you've got this best friend and this best friend, which one do you want to die and which one do you want to survive?'" He dove deeper when he mentioned the exploration aspect of Mass Effect: Andromeda in relation to the high stakes. In the game, "the overall stakes are a little bit lighter in the sense that we want people to feel like... there's this whole planet that's got its whole separate story which feels tied to the critical path, but it's not crucial to [players'] success in the critical path necessarily."

Later in the interview, Walters talked about some baddies players may encounter during said world-wandering. Two main villains exist in Mass Effect: Andromeda: the destruction-seeking Reapers and the Kett, who are a "nuanced" kind of evil in the fact that they aren't totally consumed by the desire to make the world a horrible place.

"Clearly, there's some bad apples here, and you have to deal with them," Walters said of the Reapers and the Kett before discussing one particular "b-story" players can embark upon to learn more about the game's Big Bad. It's "devoted entirely to the main antagonist in the game, and some of the conflicts he's even been having with his own people."

With Walters divulging all this interesting information on the upped ante and the unique villains in the forthcoming BioWare title, it's making more and more sense why Mass Effect: Andromeda made our list of things that will change your life in 2017.