Mass Effect: Andromeda Makes Checking Your Emails Fun

Mass Effect: Andromeda Makes Checking Your Emails Fun
Image: Kotaku

No one likes checking their email. I routinely end up with a few hundred unread messages in my various inboxes by the end of every week, creating a Friday afternoon chore I’ve come to loathe. But in Mass Effect: Andromeda, the email terminal has become one of the first things I check.

One of Andromeda’s major strengths is in text: tiny snippets of incidental writing that can be funny, or sad, or just contribute to building this brave new world. I’ve probably spent a huge number of hours hours in game just reading, whether I’m reading a survey account of various outer-system planets or snooping through the little personal messages found on NPC consoles. The emails that Ryder gets on her console, however, combines that feeling with another strength of the game’s: its strong cast of companion characters.

Warning: some spoilers ahead for the first mission on Habitat 7.

Very early on in the journey, Ryder receives an ‘introductory’ email of sorts from each companion. While none of them are actually framed as a formal introduction, what they do send is even better at showing what kind of person they are. Considering how much of our own communication is done digitally these days, the way characters type and share content in game is one of the best ways we can relate them to real people.

Jaal, for example, is every intern ever sending too-formal emails on their first day at work.

Kallo is the tech guy who, unbeknownst to most, has ‘tweaked’ the system for his own benefit.

Image: Kotaku

Vetra is that person who agonises over an email for hours to ‘clarify’ something she regrets saying.

Image: Kotaku

Liam’s the guy with a playlist (and a motivational speech) for everything.

Image: Kotaku

Peebee is that person who hits you up to have a bitch about whatever (or whoever) is on their mind at four in the morning.

Image: Kotaku

Cora is that person who went away on a spiritual retreat and now won’t stop telling you about the inspirational things her Yogini taught her.

Image: Kotaku

And Drack is… well, let’s just say I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten this kind of email from my grandpa at some point in time.

Image: Kotaku


  • Drack failing to cotton on to an Asari trying to dupe him with a “Nigerian Prince” scam is priceless.

  • My great disappointment is that the game did not actually include the 37 photos of assorted rifles and shotguns for my own personal cheering-up purposes.

  • That Drack email actually made me laugh out loud when I read it the first time.

    He’s an adorable Krogan curmudgeon

  • Side note. I notice a lot of people play as Female Shepard and now Female Ryder. I notice a lot of males in particular play as Female versions of the protagonists. Do female players ever play as the male counterpart?

    I’ve always been fascinated by the choice of hero gender in the series, particularly from males. My theory is that you either play as if you are “role playing” and imagining yourself as the protagonist, in which case you select the gender you are in real life, or you detach yourself from the immersion of imagining “yourself” in the lead role and instead play more as a kind of arbiter of a 3rd person hero like you would in any linear non-RPG.

    • Honestly I pretty much only roll male player characters if there’s a male-only romance I want to try out, and I rarely actually finish those playthroughs. For me the reasoning is pretty much: there’s already a dearth of female-led sci-fi/fantasy/games in general, so if I have the choice I’m definitely going to pick a kickass lady. I can’t talk for all men, obviously, but I know a few guys who play female characters for the same reason. ‘White male space marine saves the universe’ has kind of been done to death.

      With Shepard a lot of it was because Jennifer Hale’s voice acting was so strong, of course, and I think the same could be said of Fryda Wolff’s Ryder (though I haven’t played Scott too much so I can’t be certain)

      • I agree the whole “white male space marine saves the universe” is quite a dated take on sci-fi and action in general. I have a young daughter who I’d love to see get into video games at some stage, so having female protagonists more prominent in gaming is great.

        I guess now we’re starting to see this counter-movement to the old paradigm with the pendulum swinging in the opposite direction. There are more sci-fi, and even action games, that feature female leads. Horizon Dawn comes to mind as a recent example.

        I guess that’s another issue, and I bet we’ll see the pendulum swing back once movies, TV shows, and games become too saturated with the “strong female lead” character – which itself is starting to become a well documented and discussed trope.

        Interested to hear from some others on why they chose the Ryder they did? I went male Ryder, if only to play out the RPG fantasy of imagining myself in this far off galaxy. When I make decisions in the game I try to make them as if it were ‘me’ – so being a male in the game helps with that in many ways.

        • I choose a female for the sole reason of having someone nice to look at through the hours, not in all games but generally long rpg style games i will

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