In celebration of N7 Day, Bioware released some new gameplay and story details for the upcoming Mass Effect Andromeda via Game Informer.
The Galaxy of Mass Effect Andromeda
First and foremost is the namesake of the game. Game Informer reports that Mass Effect Andromeda is named after the Andromeda Initiative, which was established around the time of Mass Effect 2. The Andromeda Initiative set out to establish new life in the Andromeda galaxy, specifically the Heleus cluster and something known as the “golden worlds.” To do this, the Initiative created four “arks” each carrying a different alien race. These arks are the ones going to explore the Andromeda galaxy for a habitable planet.
Players enter Andromeda as either the son or daughter of the Alec Ryder, otherwise known as the Pathfinder — the leader of the human ark. As either Scott or Sara Ryder, players will inherit the title of Pathfinder from Alec and lead the human ark.
Things, however, take a turn for the worse when the human ark — known as the Hyperion — gets lost after a 600-year journey. In addition to that, they also lose contact with the other three arks as well as the Nexus, a command center that was sent ahead of the arks to the Andromeda galaxy.
Game Informer’s story also revealed the first non-Milky Way alien species players will encounter — the Kett. In the version of the game that Game Informer played, the Kett served as enemies for the player. However, they noted that not all of the Kett may be enemies to the player.
Changing the Mass Effect Formula
Game Informer doesn’t reveal much else with regards to the story. But they do reveal some changes towards the gameplay and systems to the Mass Effect formula in the upcoming title.
Loyalty Missions will be making a return for Ryder’s party members. They will have no effect to the ending of the game, but the missions, along with romance options, will be making a return to the fourth installment of the game. Game Informer revealed two of the new party members fighting alongside Ryder — an asari named PeeBee and a member of the Pathfinder team named Liam.
Mass Effect Andromeda also brings back planet exploration through the use of the Nomad. Bioware designed the Nomad with response to criticisms towards the Mako from the original Mass Effect in mind. This includes camera controls, general movement, as well as the overall feel of the vehicle. Players will use the Nomad to explore the open terrain of planets, including the new desert planet Elaaden. Planets will have both story-missions and side-quests for the player to experience.
Game Informer also reports that the combat in the game will be more “dynamic and action-oriented” compared to its predecessors.
Finally, players will be able to customize Ryder however they want. Instead of being restricted to classes like the previous games, players will mix and match different skills with no restrictions. Players that choose to specialize in certain skills however will receive additional bonuses.
Players will also have more freedom in dialogue. Mass Effect Andromeda no longer has the Paragon and Renegade path that the previous games had. Instead players will have the freedom to say what they want without the binary restriction, though some choices will still be associated with a certain tone.
Ending N7 Day
To round up the entire event, Bioware released a new trailer for Mass Effect Andromeda.
In addition to that, Bioware made Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 backwards compatible for the Xbox One.