Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: Mass Effect: Andromeda was recently pushed back from a 2016 release to sometime in early 2017. But with the info from this year’s E3 and a few tidbits released shortly after, we’re starting to get an idea of the galaxy we’ll be spending 100 hours in next year.
Here’s what we know so far about Andromeda, the first Mass Effect to be designed and released for this generation of consoles.
Mass Effect: Andromeda takes place hundreds of years after Shepard made a mark on the galaxy.
The details haven’t been fully released, but BioWare has indicated that a long period of time has passed since the first three Mass Effect games. “We’re not getting into specifics right now, but you can imagine how long it would take to–even with the best technology, travel to a new galaxy–so you can imagine this is taking place quite a distance in the future,” says BioWare Creative Director Mac Walters in a Polygon interview.
You’ll be part of a team that’s exploring a new galaxy to find a new home for humanity, where humans are the strange aliens. You won’t have the resources Shepard could call upon; it’s up to you and your team to navigate these new worlds with just yourselves to rely on.
Your ending choice in Mass Effect 3 won’t affect your game in Andromeda.
Commander Shepard certainly made a lasting impression on the galaxy. Just what her legacy will be, however, is still undetermined. But rest assured that whatever ending you lamented over in Mass Effect 3 won’t have a mass effect on Andromeda. (See what I did there.)
The Mako makes a return, but BioWare promises to “do it right.”
You can spot the Mako, a vehicle from the first Mass Effect with quite the reputation for being unwieldy and frustrating, speeding through an alien world in the E3 trailer. If the word “Mako” immediately puts a damper on your excitement for the new game, rest assured that BioWare is focused on improving the experience.
The protagonist’s name is Ryder.
For Mass Effect: Andromeda, you’ll be taking the reins of Ryder. Unlike Commander Shepard, Ryder isn’t a battle-tested hero already; you’ll have to help them become one from the get-go.
Ryder may be female in the game’s first trailer, but players have the option to make the lead character any gender they want. When asked about choosing a female character for Ryder’s debut, studio head Aaryn Flynn said, “You don’t need to see a character to identify with, in the same way you might on a movie poster. People want to create their own characters, customize them, and we’re embracing that.”
Four novels will tie the first trilogy and Mass Effect: Andromeda together.
Titan Books announced a four book series to bridge the gap between the two timelines, beginning with Mass Effect: Andromeda Initiative by N. K. Jemisin this August. The following novels, described as both “prequels and sequels,” will be released in March 2017, September 2017, and March 2018, with the final tie-in penned by Mac Walters.
What do you hope to see in Mass Effect: Andromeda? Let us know in the comments!
All images: EA BioWare