Mass Effect Andromeda feels like it’s been in development for ages. Well, it’s actually been more like 3-4 years but time seems to move very slowly when we’re this excited for an upcoming game. In any case, at least now we know for a fact that the wait will definitely be well worth it thanks to the plethora of new information revealed recently during N7 Day. Since there’s quite a bit of good stuff to cover, we figured it would be best to take the most interesting bits and condense them all into on single article rather than having a whole bunch of them. So, without further ado, let’s start off with the new Mass Effect Andromeda cinematic trailer.
Just a few seconds into the trailer we are introduced to a new massive ship known as the Hyperion. According to Bioware, this is the human ark ship that was designed specifically to make the long journey to Andromeda, along with three other of its kind that contain different species, most likely Turians, Salarians, and Asari. We’re not exactly sure what happened to the other ark ships, but we do know that the Hyperion runs into some trouble when reaching Andromeda as the new galaxy is apparently not as peaceful as the colonists predicted. Luckily, the passengers have plenty of weapons, Biotics, and Tech at their disposal to even the odds, as well as some new advanced vehicles like the Tempest and the Nomad. Also known as Mass Effect Andromeda’s take on the Normandy and the Mako.
Similar to the teaser trailer revealed before N7 Day, this new video is narrated by the same character, which turns out to be the human ark’s Pathfinder, Alec Ryder. Now, Alec may have been the Hyperion’s initial Pathfinder, however, it turns out that the player will actually take on the role of one of his children in Mass Effect Andromeda. We’re not sure why the mantle was passed down to Alec’s children, but we did learn that they are twins and that they go by the names of Scott and Sara Ryder, though the player can choose different first names just like in the original trilogy. Unlike John and Jane Shepard, however, the Ryder twins can be seen together in the trailer and will be able to interact with each other all throughout the game as well. While you won’t actually be able to take your sibling as a companion, it seems like you will be able to interact with him or her between missions.
Protagonists aside, the new N7 Day trailer also shows a few of the allies and enemies we’re going to encounter in Mass Effect Andromeda. Most notably, the mysterious Asari we’ve seen in previous videos makes another appearance and it was later revealed that she is known as Peebee. The Asari along with a human character called Liam will serve as the Pathfinder’s first companions in the game. We also got a glimpse of some Salarians during the trailer so we can only assume that their ark ship made it to Andromeda as well, unless they were already there, which seems a bit unlikely.
In terms of other alien races, the trailer introduces us to a new humanoid species known as the Kett. While we’re not able to get a particularly good look at them, it does seem like they are at least as advanced as humans based on their armor and weaponry. Unfortunately, it also seems like they’re not exactly friendly, though we don’t know if the Kett will serve as the game’s main antagonists. Aside from the Kett, the trailer doesn’t seem to show any other sapient biological alien species, but it does show a number of massive robots and a hostile monstrous quadruped.
In addition to everything we’ve been able to gather from the trailer, the folks over at Bioware have shared even more information on the official Mass Effect Andromeda website. While it originally seemed like the Andromeda Initiative might be just a clever way to invite people to sign up for the newsletter, a quick peak on the website reveals that there’s actually a lot more to it. Naturally, you can still sign up for the newsletter while you’re there, but you can also get some addition details about the Mass Effect Andromeda timeline and watch some briefing videos explaining various aspects of the game. There’s only one briefing video right now but more will be unlocked over time as we approach Andromeda’s release date. It’s also worth mentioning that watching all six videos will ultimately unlock an exclusive special edition Pathfinder helmet on your account, which you’ll be able to equip when the game releases.
Even more interesting information comes courtesy of Game Informer, which were able to secure exclusive coverage of the game for their latest issue. Thanks to the magazine, we’ve learned that ME2 style loyalty missions will return for Mass Effect Andromeda and will likely be even more interesting as companions reportedly have a lot more dialogue this time around. That said, loyalty missions won’t have a huge impact on the outcome of Andromeda and are there mostly for immersion and storyline purposes. In fact, the loyalty missions can apparently be completed even after finishing the game.
Another returning feature, albeit from a different installment, will be multiplayer, which is said to have been greatly improved since Mass Effect 3. Similar to ME3, the multiplayer of Mass Effect Andromeda will have a bit of an impact on the single player experience, however, the outcome will be minimal and it will not affect the ending at all. Bioware already announced a Beta testing phase for the Mass Effect Andromeda multiplayer, though there’s no release date just yet. Signing up for the Beta is pretty straightforward but it does require players to complete a rather lengthy survey, so keep that in mind. Also worth mentioning is that this particular Beta phase will only be available on PS4 and Xbox One and there’s currently no word on whether or not PC gamers will also be able to join in on the action at some point. Speaking of consoles, Microsoft and EA also celebrated N7 Day by making ME2 and ME3 backward compatible for the Xbox One at long last. Go check them out if you haven’t already.
— 🎮 Larry Hryb 🎙️ (@majornelson) November 7, 2016
With all eyes focused on N7 Day, Bioware and EA jumped on the opportunity and announced that Mass Effect Andromeda is now available to pre-order on all platforms. Even more interesting, however, are the two Collector’s Editions, both of which include premium packaging, a Collectible Steelbook Case and a 1:18 scale Nomad vehicle. The two variants are priced at $100 and $200, respectively, with the pricier one featuring a remote controlled version of the Nomad. Strangely enough, neither version includes the actual game, though that’s perhaps understandable as the vehicles do seem to be made from high-quality materials and were bound to be pretty expensive. That said, those interested in the Mass Effect Andromeda Collector’s Edition can always bundle it with a physical copy of the game and have them both shipped together. Admittedly, paying as much as $260 to get everything is nothing to sneeze at, but there’s no denying that a remote controlled Nomad would be a pretty awesome thing to have.
Mass Effect Andromeda is currently set to release sometime in Spring 2017 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. However, EA has recently stated that it is willing to delay the game even further if needed. We’re likely to find out if that will indeed be the case in just a few weeks, as Mass Effect Andromeda is expected to be showcased early next month at The Game Awards 2016, complete with never-before-seen gameplay footage.
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