Mass Effect: Andromeda is a game that carries a lot of problems and has disappointed many fans of the series, at least from what I’ve seen thus far. But I can say that the way the game let me portray my character, is something that very few games have done right. It’s not perfect by any means but the dialogue choices and actions my Ryder made are the ones I essentially role-played her into right from the start.
When I played the Mass Effect trilogy last year I wasn’t upset that Shepard was essentially a space cop, I was upset that his dialogue options made him feel less connected to me as a player. I still played the trilogy (mostly) and enjoyed them (again, mostly) but if I’m playing as a space cop, I want to be a cocky one at that. I always play a morally good guy and his responses were never anything stellar. It seemed all of his best lines were saved for those doing a Renegade run.
But Mass Effect: Andromeda let me be me, well not me but a character of my choosing with characteristics that I wanted. I toyed with the character creator for what seemed like hours. I started and restarted the opening because I wasn’t satisfied with my character model. Then, after a bit of tweaking and some reddit browsing, I made my Ryder. I gave her a name as well, Kitty, yes I named her after the X-Man. I was going to name her Scarlet after my Bloodborne and Dark Souls 3 protagonists but I wasn’t a fan of the off-putting red hair option. And so, Kitty Ryder was born er…taken out of cryostasis and turned into a Pathfinder.
When the game introduced the dialogue options it was clear how much they differed from the ones Shepard received, I could give logical, aggressive, and caring responses. I started off with the idea of making Ryder this character who cared for everyone and everything. It worked, she seemed to win over the hearts of crew members, and myself, with elegance and ease. Then I wanted to give her a love of thrills and a sense of adventure. The game let me do it, I was loving this and her even more. The final thing I wanted for my Ryder was to have a penchant for science. I decided to make her something of a witty character too instead of someone who only wanted the job done. In a way, she did resemble me but only slightly.
All of those carried out just fine until I met the enemy. No, not the Kett but Peebee. She just shows up while me and the crew are exploring Remnant ruins on Eos and do you know what she has the gall to do? She acts with this sense of adventure and thrill seeking fun just like Ryder. Oh no, girl, no. Go find another Pathfinder to do that to, that is my schtick. Bye Felicia.
As I mentioned, I wanted Ryder to have this love of science so it was even more in my favor when I met Suvi Anwar on the Tempest. Ryder flirted with her and I knew that right then and there, it was my mission to not only find these golden worlds but to romance Suvi.
For awhile, the conversations between the two were small, with Ryder occasionally flirting and Suvi either being oblivious or shy about relaying the feeling. It was adorable. Suvi revealed that while she was a scientist she also had her belief in faith and how the two periodically intertwined with each other. Ryder expressed her acknowledgement and acceptance of the two, along with some more flirting. Long story short, by the time I finished the game Ryder and Suvi were in a relationship. I really, really enjoyed the one-on-one conversations the couple had towards the end, as well as the e-mails Suvi would send.
Early on, Liam proposes to have a movie night for the crew to relax and unwind so during the course of the game I’m picking up movies, snacks, and alcohol for the team. Then before the final mission they finally watch the movie. The best part about “side quest” was seeing Ryder sandwiched between Drack and Lexi while Suvi glares at Drack from a lonely chair. Okay that doesn’t sound happy but, Ryder passes out and once she wakes up you see Suvi next to hear with her arm around her, smiling. My heart. I love them.
So while the future of Mass Effect is up in the air. I at least hope for a sequel that continues the adventures of Kitty Ryder as she looks for new golden worlds with the help of the Tempest crew and best gal Suvi.