BioWare revealed the first two crew members in Mass Effect: Andromeda over the weekend, the first of many hopefully interesting personalities. Game Informer recently sat down with Creative Director Mac Walters for the grand introduction to the crew of the Hyperion: Liam and Peebee
First up is Liam, former police officer and head of security on the Hyperion’s journey
Liam is a former police officer who arrives in Andromeda aboard the Hyperion. He’s part of the Pathfinder team and helps with security. “Liam is the youthful, enthusiastic, and in some cases, the idealistic follower that you get,” Walter says. While he takes his duties seriously, he tends to have a lighter tone. He may try to add levity to situations by being upbeat, he also wears his heart on his sleeve and gets fired up easily. For instance, in an introduction scene we saw during our visit, he’s quick to show his anger and react when things go south while the team is out exploring. That doesn’t mean he’s not there for Ryder though and doesn’t support the decisions that must be made by Ryder in these dire moments. “He’s got Ryder’s back,” Walters says. Liam is also very hopeful for the new future of humanity. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens if other characters challenge him on that.
Peebee, an asari, is a lone wolf and adventurer at heart. She came to Andromeda aboard the Nexus, but true to her character, quickly went off adventuring on her own. She doesn’t come as part of the Pathfinder team like Liam. “You find her in the course of your adventures,” Walters says. Peebee is particularly interested in all of the alien technology and things that can be found in Andromeda, constantly looking for clues and things she can study.
While she’s super smart, she isn’t so keen on formalities or social niceties, which can make her come off as very blunt and forward. “Her mind goes quickly as does her mouth,” Walters says laughing. “It’s hard keeping up with her.” In fact when she meets you, she just goes up and tackles Ryder. Just because she’s an asari don’t expect her to be anything like Liara. “She’s very bubbly; Liara was very serious,” Walters says. “Peebee will buck the norm at any given time. She’s not about rules or culture or anything like that. She’s not even about teams or teamwork.” We’re guessing that’s going to lead to some conflicts among the party. So what drives her to join Ryder? She sees you as someone who can lead her to finding out more about the galaxy’s mysteries. “Her role in this is helping you find out more about this alien technology,” Walters says.
Mass Effect wants interesting and new characters
Walters also pointed out that BioWare wants this crew to be just as memorable as the previous games’, but it also wants them to be unique. Many characters were left on the cutting floor because they closely mirrored previous characters.
Sometimes writers focus on the quirks or specific nuances of the character [thinking] that’s what’s going to make this character interesting. Honestly, it’s a combination of a whole bunch of things, and what I say is rather than trying to make a really unique or memorable character through your writing, take a character who’s relatable and put them in a really unique situation and see how they react. That’s actually how I think you get the most interesting character development happening.
I’ll always be of the belief that the true strength of Mass Effect lies in its supporting cast. Shepard was a fabulous avatar to put players in the heart of the action, but it was the likes of Garrus, Tali’Zorah, Mordin, and Wrex that made the adventure worthwhile. Needless to say, the Ryder twins and the new crew in Mass Effect: Andromeda have expectations that are going to be through the roof and beyond the borders of the galaxy.
I hope BioWare can pull it off. Mass Effect: Andromeda will be released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in March 2017.