This game also makes me wonder if Bioware will ever learn how to write a second plot. Did they really need to make your character the "Pathfinder?"
1. a universal name for the player character (not-Shepard)
2. the not-Mako
3. the not-Normandy
4. the not-Citadel
5. the old grumpy Krogan
6. the lighthearted and naive Asari
7. the 2 human sidekicks
8. the Turian with a visor
9. the not-Space Jesus
and so forth. Even though we are in entirely new galaxy, it's still tired replications of the old game.
So I guess your question should instead be "did they really need to make a game that's replicating the old games?", to which the answer is that Bioware or their writers or their executives are too insecure about experimentation and pushing the envelope, that they simply follow the same formula we've seen over and over again since KOTOR.