Space. The final frontier.
Except it’s not the final frontier, apparently, because when you think you’ve de-frontiered quite a lot of it, it turns out there’s loads more.
Mass Effect Andromeda was announced to be in production way back in 2012, shortly after the internet imploded thanks to the furore surrounding the less-than well received ending to Mass Effect 3, but it wasn’t given a name beyond ‘definitely not Mass Effect 4, you heathens’ until E3 2015.
What do we know about Mass Effect Andromeda?
All the stuff we know about ME:A would fit in a thermal clip casing. Bioware has played this one pretty close to their chest, only allowing information irydn dribs and drabs. The first real look we got at any gameplay was last month at the Sony conference.
Even then, we didn’t see anything too interesting, just a jetpacked male Ryder (more on that later) exploring a huge cavern with helmeted squadmates. However, we do know that ME:A will run on the Frostbite 3 engine, just like Dragon Age: Inquisition.
What we also know is that Bioware is gearing up to release a whole load of juicy, warm information next month on (presumably) November 7th, also known as N7 Day to fans.
The game will place huge emphasis on exploration, with the game taking us to the Andromeda galaxy as part of the ‘Arkcon’ or ‘Pathfinder’ project. We will have the chance to play as either a male character or a female character called Ryder, much like Femshep and Manshep.
The male and female Ryder are siblings following in the footsteps of their father, Mr Ryder Sr, who is a designated ‘Pathfinder’, tasked (by the Alliance?) with exploring Andromeda and all the weird stuff in it (and probably some sexy stuff too, knowing Bioware.)
Male Ryder and female Ryder will exist simultaneously in the game though it’s not known how much they’ll interact.
Are there new aliens and can I bang them?
A marketing survey in 2015 revealed there will be two new alien races in Andromeda, one bad, known as the ‘Khet’, and one good, known as the ‘Remnant’. Whether or not you’ll be able to have naughty inter-galactic intercourse with these new aliens has not been revealed.
Asarisexual players fear not, however, as up to four of the Milky Way races will follow your Ryder to Andromeda. One leak named a Krogan squadmate as ‘Drack’ and a biotic squadmate – possibly the asari we’ve seen in multiple trailers – as Cora. The trademark romance subplots of the Mass Effect series will remain in place, and there will also be something for gay Ryders.
Overall, this will feel like a Mass Effect game, with the patented dialogue wheel and space magic combat staying in place.
Using an overhauled Mako from Mass Effect (sans any awkward vehicular combat) we will explore all the worlds in the Helius system of the Andromeda galaxy, and jump between worlds in our brand-spanking new ship the ‘Tempest’.
Red, blue or green. Does the Mass Effect 3 ending I got matter?
Probably not. There was a lot of negativity around the ending to Mass Effect 3, even after the release of the Extended Cut, and Bioware has distanced themselves from making any of the three endings canon.
Andromeda is (presumably) set a long time after Mass Effect 3, which allows Bioware to create an entirely new story without dealing with the previous trilogy’s ramifications. They’ve repeatedly said this isn’t Mass Effect 4.
However, with this being Bioware, there will probably be some callbacks to the original trilogy, with plenty of fan service to go around for those who want it (read: I want it).
The Andromeda galaxy, or at least the part we’ll be able to explore without Mass Relays (presumably), will be at least three times the size of the Milky Way galaxy, according to last year’s leak.
According to that same marketing leak, you’ll be able to collect resources and build colonies, all to further your reach in Andromeda.
Multiplayer modes such as ‘Active Strike Team’, horde mode and ‘Deployed Strike Team’ missions have also cropped up, making the multiplayer sound like the offspring of Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer mode (which was hugely well received) and Dragon Age Inquisition’s War Table activities.
When can I put this goodness in my face?
ME:A’s initial release date was originally somewhere in the final quarter of 2016, but was pushed back so final tweaks could be made to perfect it. We’ll likely get a release date on N7 Day, but a listing of the game’s art book on Amazon may have already revealed it to be March 21st.
With N7 Day fast approaching, hopefully it won’t be long until we find out something with a little more substance, to make the wait a little easier on our fragile little hearts.
What aspect of Mass Effect Andromeda are you looking forward to most? Comment down below, or tweet the author at @copymutt.