The newest installment of the Mass Effect franchise will hit shelves on March 21st in North America and March 23rd in Europe. It’s been four years since the last entry in the series, and fan expectations are riding high. The previous trilogy ended on a… divisive note, but Mass Effect: Andromeda is a fresh start. This is a whole new story and a clean for the franchise. Here’s everything we know so far on Mass Effect: Andromeda.
To be fair, details on the game are surprisingly scarce. I know that sometimes less is more, but we really know very little about ME Andromeda. Some of the stuff here is based on guesswork as well as fact, so be nice to me if I flub something.
New story, characters and setting in ME: Andromeda
The conception of the Andromeda Initiative happens shortly before the first Mass Effect, and it starts somewhere between Mass Effect 2 and 3. However, the story we play happens 600 years after the events of ME 3. So, don’t worry, your choices from the previous trilogy probably won’t matter at all.
We play as one of two siblings, Scott and Sarah Ryder. We are Pathfinders, scouts on a mission to find inhabitable planets to settle on in the Andromeda galaxy. Their father, Alec, is the man in the black N7 helmet narrating one of the trailers. We don’t know what his role in the game is, but we know he used to be a Pathfinder himself.
Our (currently) confirmed squad members are Cora and an asari named Peebee. Loyalty missions make a comeback. These missions are special side quests tied personally to your crew members. Completing them makes your squad mate loyal to you, unlocks bonus skills, items and dialogue trees, and sometimes even affects the plot.
As far as races go, humans, turians, salarians, krogan, and asari are all coming back from the previous trilogy. The new race, called the Kett, are the antagonists of the game. One more unnamed race makes an appearance in the trailers, and developers have said that there will be even more races then we know now. Reapers most likely won’t be making an appearance, thank god.
A novel trilogy will come out in 2017, and it will explain the events in the game more closely, I expect. The first novel Nexus Uprising, written by Jason M. Hough and K.C. Alexander, will hit the shelves on March 28th, 2017.
Mass Effect Andromeda Multiplayer
We don’t have much info on the multiplayer, but it seems that it will tie in to the main campaign in some fashion. However, their impact won’t be as strong as in ME 3, according to producer Fernando Melo.
A leak on Reddit provides us with three possible multiplayer modes: Deployed Strike Team, Active Strike Team and multiplayer Horde mode. Horde mode is a classic wave-based co-op shootout that reportedly earns you in-game currency to use in the single player. We’ll have to wait to confirm any speculations on this.
You can sign up for the multiplayer Beta already.
Romance and Dialogue Options in Mass Effect Andromeda
What would a ME game, or any BioWare game, be without romance? We’ve written about this before in our Mass Effect Andromeda Planet Sizes and Romance article, but to recap: romance will probably be more nuanced than ever before. It seems that some characters will want no-strings-attached flings, while others will want more lasting relationships. Same-sex relationships can happen, just not with all “romanceable” characters. And, no, you won’t be able to romance your twin. Don’t be weird.
It might just happen that the old Paragon/Renegade system will receive a complete overhaul, instead using a new set of responses: Heart, Head, Professional and Casual to determine your tone. This would be both more nuanced and more simple than before, allowing for richer interpersonal relationships.
ME: Andromeda Gameplay Changes
While the core of Andromeda looks pretty much the same as the previous titles, the changes are there, subtle but meaningful. The biggest change is the new dialogue (no more simple “good” or “bad” choices), as mentioned above, but there’s more to it.
It seems that cooldowns are replaced with timers and that we’ll be able to assign abilities to hotkeys, making for much more dynamic gameplay. Also, it appears our character will automatically duck behind cover, which is destructible.
The game will feature crafting, as well. According to producer Fabrice Condominas, players will find blueprints for alien technology. Then, it’s all a matter of finding the resources for crafting. However, creative director Mac Walters revealed that players who don’t want to craft won’t have to. They’ll be able to get the weapons some other way.
Vehicular exploration is back in the shape of the Nomad. It’s a customizable space rover, basically.
Finally, it seems that class leveling won’t be as strict as before. We might be able to level up with more freedom, using skill trees to combine abilities and really make some creative characters. For more info on that, check out our Mass Effect Andromeda Classes & Pathfinder Profiles and Mass Effect Andromeda Skills, Powers & Levelling System articles.
This is pretty much everything we know about Mass Effect Andromeda for now. Some of it is just educated guesswork based on the material we have available. We’ll see if and how that pans out. If there’s anything I’ve missed, please put it in the comments below!