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How ‘The Expanse,’ ‘Interstellar’ Inspired ‘Mass Effect Andromeda’ Game

One of the biggest video games of the year has major cinematic influences

Mass Effect Andromeda

'Mass Effect Andromeda' stars Natalie Dormer and Kumail Nanjiani

Bioware

Mass Effect Andromeda will be coming to gaming consoles on March 21st complete with an epic space story and a cast that includes Natalie Dormer (Game Of Thrones‘ Margaery Tyrell) and Silicon Valley‘s Kumail Nanjiani as a salamander-style alien. It’s a series loved by gamers for its complex plots, exploration opportunities and the ability to have sex with freaky-looking aliens.

With HBO’s Westworld winning fans, Arrival wowing the world and a new Alien film on the horizon, Glixel spoke to Ian Frazier, the game’s lead designer, about some of the science fiction influences that helped the studio Bioware build something out of this world.

“We pull inspiration from a lot of sources,” he says. “When we talk about the Tempest, the ship in the game, we often reference Serenity from Firefly as we want that intimate close-knit feel versus the kind of military frigate that the various versions of the Normandy were.”

The Normandy was the ship that appeared in the original Mass Effect trilogy. The final scenes of the last game in the series that was released, Mass Effect 3, was controversial, so much so that The Expanse writer Ty Franck said it had a “fucking terrible ending” when Glixel spoke to him last month. 

“It’s funny you brought up The Expanse because, in more recent times, like over the last year, that’s something that I looked to a lot as a reference point for the game,” says Frazier.

“There’s been a lot of stuff in between. We took the dev team to see Interstellar. I don’t think we took a lot of narrative aspects from it, but certainly visually, they did a lot of things with space that were really inspiring to us. Some of our artists, including the guy who did the galaxy map, went, ‘OK, that’s cool. How can I achieve some of that?'”

You can read more about the game and find out how it feels to play it over on Glixel. 

In This Article: glixel, Science Fiction, Video Game

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