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Everything We Know About Mass Effect Andromeda

Mass Effect Andromeda is an indirect sequel to the Mass Effect trilogy by Bioware. It is of the same name but has no relation to the current story we are familiar with.

Now, this is going to be EVERY detail we know since Andromeda’s first announcement. Admittedly we haven’t covered this game very well so there’s a lot to fit in. So get a drink and get comfy. This is gonna be a long one.

In the Beginning… of Andromeda

Since it’s first announcement, details on Andromeda have been in very short supply. It’s only in the past couple of months that we’ve been fed any info. First we had the official announcement at E3 to kick off EA’s conference. This was just a short trailer showing a galaxy map with very different looking locations. Then from the shadows we get a glimpse at a carnifex wielding, N7 armoured guy  sporting a fancy mini computer omni-tool. The trailer then proceeds to quickly show what we now know to be the Mako 2.0 AKA Nomad. Moving on to a jet pack infused ledge climb and rounding off with a jet pack omni-tool face stab.

Being a huge Mass Effect fan I must admit I was both stupidly excited and then immediately struck with fear and worry when I first saw the Mass Effect Andromeda announcement. When game series come to a close I like them to stay that way. Especially recently. There’s been way too much of reviving finished trilogies just for the money of it. Actions like these are never made to please the fans. They’re made to rake in as much money as humanly possible. Which more often than not results in a busted game that’s not even that good. That’s what I’m worried about most. I would hate to see my most beloved series reduced to an annual cash cow.

But enough of that.

The Story

We know that this is nothing to do with and has no connection to Shepard. Which is certainly the best way to go about this. You play as one of two siblings, Scott or Sara Ryder. Image result for mass effect andromedaChildren of Alec Ryder. Turns out before knowing there was any relation between each character they were individually revealed in separate trailers. It was later announced that each trailer starred each character. For the first time The male and female counterparts of the playable characters will not be completely separate. You will be able to interact with your sibling throughout the game. Whether they’re just in existence or as a squad mate I do not know. Either way it will be very interesting to see the other person you could have played as in the world alongside you.

Alec Ryder is the Leader, or Pathfinder, of the Human Ark. Whomever you choose to play as will not be a Commander Shepard and start out a hero. In Andromeda you work your way to that title. The Pathfinders are set with the mission of travelling to the Andromeda galaxy to find a new home. Maybe Earth took Shepards cry Reaper a little more seriously than the council did and decided to jump ship. Or planet. The exact destination of this trip is the Heleus cluster and it’s inhabitable worlds. Ark inhabitants are in classic cryo-sleep during the travel to Andromeda. 600 years and Mass Effect 3 later they arrive at their destination. Or do they?

Familiar Races

The humans will be accompanied by the council races (as to be expected) to discover this new galaxy. Each race has their own Ark in which they will be travelling. However the human Ark, the Hyperion, winds up at the wrong location. Leave it to the humans to screw up auto-pilot. As a result they lose contact with the other Arks and the Citadel-esque ship the Nexus. I can only imagine this leaves them in a heap of trouble.

Where the story goes from here is still a mystery. All we know is that the first contact will be with the Kett. Which sounds as if it goes about as well as the First Contact War. All we know about the Kett is that the main antagonist is one. Although it has been said that not all Kett are big meanies. Perhaps there’s a dictator and rebellion situation going on but I’m just speculating.

Squad mates

Not a lot has been revealed about the Ryder’s fellow companions. We know that when we start off we will have a human guy and gal buddy. The guy is Liam, who’s an ex-cop. And the female has remained a secret. However we do know that early on in the game you will recruit Asari Peebee. If leaks are to be trusted we also know that we will have Drack the Krogan and Cora the biotic. Although there will only be one new specie joining the crew which is a bit of a disappointment. In a whole new galaxy I personally would’ve hoped they’d mix it up a bit. No details have been given about this mystery crew member.Image result for mass effect andromeda

Loyalty missions will be making a return but will only be one of many side quests available. This time around they will have no effect on the ending of the game. So if someone is a bit peeved at you you need not worry about that meaning their death is set in stone.

As always romantic relationships will be an option in Andromeda and will work as it always has. It has also been stated that same-sex relationships will be staying. I just hope they’ve altered the way these work. Too many times was I just being nice to people and then all of a sudden I would have an awkward moment where I’ve got to friend zone everyone.

Exploration

Image result for mass effect andromeda gameplayNow of course we couldn’t have a successful Mass Effect game without a little exploring. Players will be exploring in style in the Nomad which has been modified from the Mako. Taking criticism about the Mako they’ve aimed to make the Nomad everything the Mako wasn’t. So in short, good. However the Nomad shall not be used for any combat scenario. You’ll be using the Nomad to explore the galaxies planets which hold a lot of story and optional missions. There also seems to be some vaults which are too, a mystery. And super-bosses. Again. All secret. At least there’ll still be a lot of surprises when it comes to playing Andromeda.

The planets that you’ll be wrecking havoc on have a little more to offer than before. Well, about the same as before but this time you’ll be landing on them. So we’ll have our side missions and collecting resources. But to spice things up a bit more this time we have wildlife. The closest we got to that before was Pyjaks. This time around we’ll have all sorts of dangerous wildlife doing their best to tear us limb from limb, possibly some that just want a cuddle. I just hope the friendly Varren returns.

Meet The Tempest

Now our new and upgraded, and far more sleek looking ship we’ll be road tripping the galaxy in will be the Tempest. This ship is designed specifically for scouting rather than full on war. So it’s not quite the Normandy but perhaps it will have a different and fresh approach to situations rather than blasting everything. Aboard the Tempest we have the Pathfinders Quarters, which of course is where we get our beauty sleep. But that’s not all, we will also have some control over customisation here. This could be anything from changing the wallpaper to mounting the heads of your enemies. Maybe. That’s all we know for know but hopefully there will be more to it and a lot less dead fish.

Inside the Tempest

A new room aboard our new ship is the Gallery. It’s here where we’ll get our look at the star. And of more use there is a holographic display which is where you will spend skill points on Ryder and Co. as well as changing your class abilities.

Now, much like in Mass Effect 3 there will be a garage which is home to the Nomad. I’m not sure if it’s here that you do it, although it would make sense, but you will be able to alter the appearance of the Nomad. Any adjustments you do make to it will be visible in the garage. So this will help it feel a little more like your own.Related image

The final room that we know about is the Bridge. It’s here that you’ll be choosing your destination. Rather than walking up to the galaxy map and choosing where you’ll be headed out to next, you’ll be pointing to the stars through a nice big window. Let’s just hope the pilots vision is as good as yours. More importantly you will still be having conversations with your pilot. Of course no one can replace Joker.

No Loading

The best part about the new ship: there will be no loading screens whatsoever OR painfully long, silent lift journeys. They’ve also tried to make the Tempest feel more alive than the Normandy. The Tempest isn’t as crewed up as the Normandy was. There’s a crew sure, but not many. So everybody needs to be doing something. We don’t know what they’ll be doing but it should feel more like a living breathing thing rather than people standing in a singular spot waiting for you to grace them with your presence.

Gameplay and Stuff

Now for the interesting parts. Of course their are gameplay trailers around which showoff how the looks and what you’ll be able to do but I’ll try to go into a little more detail and things you may have even possibly missed.

Let’s start with classes. You no longer have a class you pick during character creation and stick with that throughout the rest of the game. You know have the ability to choose a class and mix and match the skills from each. So if there’s a skill in soldier that you want but also one in biotic then fear not. For you shall have both. From the looks of it, it still works very much like Mass Effect 3 where you level up a skill to a certain point and then you can choose between two skills within the skill. Skillception.

In the latest gameplay trailer we see three options for skills. There’s combat biotic and tech. So it seems that you’ll be creating you’re own class with the 3 base classes rather than having them already mixed in set classes. Although we also have profiles which is where all the previous classes are which have ranks and offer combat bonuses. These are selectable at what seems to be any point. Going by the gameplay.

Jet Pack Goodness

There is now no longer a cover button. With Andromeda we shall be time travelling back to Mass Effect 1 where you simply walk in and out of cover. Apparently it should work better than it did then, although I had no issues with it. The cover button will from this point on be known as the jet pack button. The jet pack can be used in a few different ways . It will also replace combat roll. Now we can have more of a dash movement using the jet pack to slide around. Of course it will also be usable to hover in the air and reach higher points which should add an interesting dynamic on the combat.Image result for mass effect andromeda gameplay

Dialogue

Another big change is the dialogue wheel. It will still be there. But now the it’s not as straight forward as paragon and renegade. There will no longer be a gauge to tell you if you’re a goody two shoes or a complete and utter *#$!. I guess you’ll now be more of a person. Just remember not to take out your bad moods on everyone. The during dialogue paragon and renegade interruption has be tweaked as well. It’s far more descriptive now. As we see in one trailer it says “disarm” rather than a paragon or renegade symbol. So now you should know what you’re going to do rather than intending to intimidate someone and end up shooting them in the face and burning down their family home.

Side Quests

As far as I know there are six types of side quests we’ll be battling across Andromeda’s planets. There will be loyalty missions which we’ve already gone over. Then there’s scanning which we don’t have too many details on. Whether this is done on foot or from the Tempest, I don’t know. However going from gameplay videos I would say on Foot. Then we have the Drop Zones. These will be places you find across the map which’ll serve as a sort of safe house. You’ll be able to fast travel between them and customise your loadout so you’ll not have to travel all the way back to the Tempest.

Lastly we have the Bases, these are outposts on planets which you need to destroy. Apparently they can be quite long so you want to be well equipped before taking them on. By the sounds of it this will be where the super bosses come in. A boss for every outpost perhaps. Some of these bosses are supposedly visible from quite a distance away.

Multiplayer

Yes, multiplayer will be making a return. Not sure how I feel about that one. Nevertheless not much has been said about this either. All we know is that it will be similar to the previous multiplayer and playing as different races is still a thing. Apparently there will also be new horde mode where four players can fight waves of enemies and earn rewards that will be usable in the campaign. What these rewards are and how they’ll be used is another mystery.

Something completely new is missions that take real time to complete. This is where you send out resources and such to keep area defended so you don’t have to keep going back to keep them safe. Which sounds a little similar to Assassins Creed 3’s convoy mission things.

Pre-loading, Release Date and Bonuses

Just a few days ago, or maybe a week now, Bioware finally announced when we would be getting Mass Effect Andromeda. An that date is March 21st. Which is really quite soon. Anyone on PC will be able to pre-load Andromeda through Origin on March 17th at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT), according to the Origin page. It is worth noting however that this hasn’t been confirmed by Bioware.

Now this can go either way but there will be no Season pass for Andromeda. Sounds great at first as you won’t have to pay twice for the game but being a cynical person I immediately look at what could go wrong. Now, there’s of course going to be DLC. It is EA after all. All this means is that there’s not a big juicy lump of cash you’ve gotta throw at them to get it before you can actually get it. There’s no telling how much DLC there’s going to be and how much it’s going to be. Nevertheless the sound of no season pass is a nice sound.

Now onto the juicy stuff. Pre-orders and super special editions.

Standard Edition

  • Deep Space Explorer Armour
  • A unique Skin for the Nomad
  • Multiplayer booster pack which includes 5 50% XP boosters.

Deluxe Edition

  • Pathfinder Elite Weapon Set which includes 4 new weapons for use in single-player
  • Pathfinder Casual Outfit to wear while aboard the Tempest and in friendly locations
  • Scavenger Armour
  • Pet Pyjak for the Tempest (take that space hamster)
  • Digital Soundtrack
  • Multiplayer Deluxe Launch Pack which will boost your multiplayer experience

Super Deluxe

  • Deep Space Explorer Armor
  • Nomad Skin
  • Multiplayer Booster Pack
  • Pathfinder Elite Weapon Set again
  • Pathfinder Casual Outfit
  • Scavenger Armor
  • Pet Pyjak
  • Digital Soundtrack
  • Multiplayer Deluxe Launch Pack
  • Multiplayer Super Deluxe Booster Packs which gives you a multiplayer pack every week for 20 weeks.Image result for mass effect andromeda nomad collectors edition

To be perfectly honest none of these are very appealing to be spending the extra cash on. But then I am a single-player person. Then of course there is the Nomad collectors edition which comes with an RC Nomad and steelbook case. But does that weird thing where the game is not included. This is the priciest of the lot as expected but does look awesome.

Last Bits

Bioware has confirmed that Andromeda will gain support for the PS4 Pro and will reach a near 4K resolution and HDR support. We do not have any news yet on a possible frame rate upgrade.

There will of course be a good amount of merchandise as well to throw more money at while waiting for the game. or to simply show your allegiance to the franchise.

About Aaron Chester

Massive game and movie enthusiast. In any free time I'm always playing something or watching something. I didn't choose the hermit life.

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