Even though Mass Effect: Andromeda was announced a couple of years ago, fans just got their first substantial look at the project at The Game Awards. While many likely appreciated the opportunity to get a glimpse at how the science fiction franchise is evolving with Mass Effect: Andromeda, others took issue with the footage shown. Specifically, there were those that felt the facial animations in the Mass Effect: Andromeda gameplay presentation were lacking, but concerned fans can rest assured knowing that what they saw was far from the final product.
Some Mass Effect: Andromeda developers took to Twitter to explain to fans that issues like the poor facial animations and lip syncing seen in its Game Awards trailer should be fixed come launch. Mass Effect series head writer Mac Walters promised that the studio would polish the game until “they take it from our cold, dead hands.” BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn echoed those sentiments, and also pointed out that the faces in Mass Effect: Andromeda can be heavily customized by players, whereas other games use facial scans of actors.
This means that compared to games like Uncharted 4, for example, Mass Effect: Andromeda may not have the most impressive facial animations, even after a few more months of polish. However, fans should still expect an improvement from what they saw at The Game Awards.
@invisicow we will continue to polish until someone comes and rips it from us. Because we <3 you.— Michael Gamble (@GambleMike) December 2, 2016
Of course, there are those out there that would gladly trade top of the line animations for the chance to fully customize their character. Character customization has been a hallmark of the Mass Effect franchise since its inception, and it’s arguably more important than the game’s facial animations.
After all, BioWare has previously stated that one of its goals is for players to grow attached to Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s Commander Ryder like they did with Commander Shepard. While BioWare’s writing will play an important role in getting players invested in Ryder’s adventure, so too will the chance for players to make Ryder their own by choosing everything from the character’s gender to their facial features and even their backstory.
Making sure Ryder’s facial animations seem natural will also help players identify with the character, so even though character customization is more important to many, BioWare should still strive for the best facial animations it can possibly produce. Commander Ryder has big shoes to fill, and BioWare will need every advantage it can get to ensure that Ryder becomes just as beloved as Commander Shepard from the original Mass Effect trilogy.
Mass Effect: Andromeda will launch in the first quarter of 2017 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.