On N7 day (November 7th), we were gifted with a lot of new information regarding Bioware’s new flagship game Andromeda, as well as a new cinematic reveal trailer. The trailer itself took me way back to the moment that I discovered Mass Effect 1, something that I will always cherish.
The basis of the story, in regards to ME:1 – 3.
Mass Effect Andromeda is set roughly 600 years in the future, post-reaper invasion. Primarily Humans and a few aliens live aboard large colonization ships called arks searching for a new home in the distant stars, and in your case, the galaxy Andromeda. You have the freedom to choose the gender of your character who will take on the role of ‘The Pathfinder’ an N7 agent who’s job it is to lead the men and women of your Ark to a new home.
*The gender of your character that you didn’t choose, will take the role of a crew member and family member as you play out your story along side them. You also take the role of ‘The Pathfinder’ from your Father, meaning you’ve inherited the role. Seemingly, Family is a strong aspect of the new game.
The recent trailers have ascertained the details of the mission and the role of the Pathfinder. The people who choose to take on the mission are frozen in stasis for 600 years in large colony ships and are sent to distant systems and galaxies on a one way trip away from from the Milky Way. Interestingly enough, stasis would suggest that technology such as the warp drive or something similar hasn’t been invented, or simply isn’t technologically advanced enough to not warrant stasis. It could also suggest the lack of Mass Relays, which doesn’t really set one of the alternate ME3 endings in stone.
As you can derive from the trailer, your presence in the Andromeda galaxy isn’t a welcome one. It’s mentioned a few times that you’re the aliens, and are encroaching in someone or something else’s space meaning you could potentially be in the fight of your life.
Choices and Freedom:
It’s currently unknown as to whether or not you can settle a colony on a planet with natives already inhabiting it. If this is a choice however, it could open interesting story arc’s and dialogues up on emphasizing that you’re the aliens, and you’re being invasive if not welcome. Whether or not you have the choice is still to be determined. Maybe you’re so scattered among the stars and drained of resources, you’ll have no choice but to fight?
Colonization has been teased to be one of the largest aspects of the game but it isn’t known how fledged out and emphasized this will be in regards to the larger story.
The way the story will play out hasn’t been touched on too much either. While a lot has been revealed, key components and information about gameplay are still hidden behind a veil of smoke and mirrors. The biggest concern of mine is the ability to explore freedoms, as opposed to the usual style of RPG that Mass Effect has delivered. Often, Bio-ware games such as Mass Effect are quite linear, albeit with some freedoms but they’re known to always ultimately play out with the same consequences. Meaning Bio-ware giving you the choice to have a choice fruitless, because the overall story ends the same way. Andromeda however, is thought to be completely open world and your decisions will have an impact on the progression of the story.
Another point to emphasize will be the scope of the game. Recently there has been a multitude of games promising pot’s of gold but delivering empty cardboard boxes. I do hope that the developers choose to work on and expand the multitude of features we’ve come to know and love, while creating something new and exciting.
Something to look forward to is the return of interplanetary travel in the form of the Mako. In the previous games the Mako has been known to be clunky, hard to control and completely ineffective in it’s role, which is probably why it was completely removed in Mass Effect 3. The Mako will be vital in staking out new worlds for colonies however, so expect it to be completely refined, useful and fun.
Andromeda’s guts, nuts and bolts:
Andromeda doesn’t share an engine with it’s predecessors as you would come to expect with a next-generation AAA game. This time around, the game will move away from Unreal Engine, and move to the Frostbyte 3 engine developed by EA/DICE. Note that this is the same engine used by Battlefield 1 which is hailed for it’s great performance while being a visually stunning game.
Battlefield 1 online modes become heavily populated, very active, while having a destructible and interactive environment, despite this, the game still boasts smooth gameplay. If this is any indication, Andromeda will be a very optimized, clean game.
Sadly the game doesn’t have an official release date, what we know thus far is scarce. What we have is a second quarterly 2017 release date expectation, which is incredibly vague at the least.
The game will be released on the Xbox One, PS4, and PC.
Watch the newest reveal trailer below: