Editorial Game Preview

Mass Effect Andromeda: What We Know

We explore the newest Mass Effect instalment from launch details to gameplay; here is what we know. 

Mass-Effect-AndromedaDeep space. We have always had a fascination with the unknown and unexplored, but this would be taking the cake. Mass Effect Andromeda takes us to a new star system, a fictional representation of our real world galactic neighbor, Andromeda, and starting an (expected) trilogy of hard sci-fi action love simulation series. But before we get to that, let's talk about where we’ve been

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR THE ORIGINAL MASS EFFECT SERIES INCOMING!!!!!

In the original Mass Effect trilogy, you begin your journey in the original games as the equivalent of Space Special Ops operative in the N7 program as Commander Shepard from Earth. Your job is to hunt down another Spec Ops agent named Siren, from the SPECTRE program out of the intergalactic space station The Citadel, the galactic U.N of all of the big boys and girls of the Milky Way. After kicking some alien butt, having conversations with your crew that would make any HR rep cry, and whimsically making life choices that will ultimately affect the colors of the sky, you find out the ANOTHER older, more evil alien race is mind controlling everybody and it's your job travel to their home world, kick their butt, ride away into the solar flare (don’t do that, it's a terrible idea), and cuddle up to your latest booty call. In a twist, you actually screwed the pooch in the effort and Earth gets invaded. They make it their home base as you try and patch up and/or coerce at gunpoint the other leaders of their respective races and make an intergalactic push to take back earth. You actually fail at that and have to talk your way through the end of the game, but eh, it all worked out, right?

Launch

Mass Effect: Andromeda will be on sale March 21st, 2017 in North America, 23rd in Europe. It will be available for PS, PS4, and Xbox One. PS4 Pro owners and PC players that have the hardware for it will be able to enjoy Andromeda in 4K. 

Setting

Set 600 years after the original games, the Nexsus’ mission to find a new homeworld for humans will start sometime after 7/27/2184. You and 20,000 other humans will have traveled 2.5 billion light years in cryosleep on the ship the Ark Hyperion to the Andromeda Galaxy. Following the franchise structure, Andromeda will be a science fiction RPG which relies heavily on player choices to drive the action. The current mission is that of peaceful, exploration but of course, something will go wrong, and you will have to use your wit, diplomacy, or just your guns to settle your differences with whatever local native you have obviously offended.

The Nexus will be fully built once on task, and then you will find a new homeworld. The worlds in Andromeda will be massive places to explore and you will have to because that is the only way to collect needed resources to further your mission. Every world has it's own story and personality. Some will be peaceful while others will be dangerous or even uninhabitable. What's more, there will be other races Notable the Krogan, Asari, Turians, and Salarians. Andromeda has been developed using EAs Frostbite engine. Previously used for the Battlefield series, Frostbite is known for its destructive physics and incredible visuals. 

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Story

You will be playing as the Pathfinder, the child of Alec Ryder. Players will get to choose which of a set of twins they will play, Scott or Sara. Your father Alec is said to play a big part in the story although your mother and your twin sibling will be absent from the outset, but we don’t know how the family will affect your progression and story as of yet. As a Pathfinder it will be your mission to explore and find a new home for the people on your ship. The main enemy will be the Kett, a militaristic race that has its own objective (probably evil) that we need to thwart. There are a few factions here in the Andromeda galaxy however and you can choose to make them your allies or not depending on how you want to play it.

And speaking of evil, fighting bad guys is sure a lonely business, lucky for us, there will be many mean squad mates who are willing to help you get the job done. They will help you explore, provide intellectual stimulation, and of course, romantic interests. The romance rules have been reworked, so you’ll have to stumble around like its high school all over again!

Gameplay

There are a lot of returning features including choosing squadmates and the dialog system but Bioware has made a few changes as well. Andromeda will feature an array of new weapons and abilities that make combat look more dynamic. Some of your tools will be available from the start including your Nomad but others will have to be collected by exploring worlds and completing objectives. The developers say there will be many dangers to overcome including local wildlife, environmental hazards, and enemies and that obstacles can be dealt with in a variety of ways. 

Bioware has also changed the character building system. Unlike in previous Mass Effect titles, you will no longer choose a class with predefined characteristics. All skills and abilities will be available to unlock for any player which means you can customize your character to precisely your own specifications. Mix and match abilities to fit your own play style.

Something of note: There will be nothing from the previous games’ ending that will affect this story. And since it has been so long, the majority of the crew from the Normandy will have long died. So long time fans will find nods to the original series, but mostly this will be a fresh start. But what about you guys? Express your thoughts on what you would like to see make into the Mass Effect: Andromeda. Join in the conversation in the comments below or talk to us on Facebook, Twitter, or on our forums!

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