- Mass Effect Andromeda release date: Q1 2017
- Formats: PS4, Xbox One, PC
- Developer: Bioware
- Price: $59.99/£48.99
Mass Effect Andromeda seems like a pale blue dot in the distant galaxy of March 2017, but the info is out there. That’s why we’ve gathered together every scrap of Mass Effect Andromeda news in one place – a mix of measured speculation and official info – so you can fill that cold void of space with enticing Bioware facts.
Mass Effect Andromeda news will come thick and fast for the next three months
Facts are scarce at the moment, but we know more information will be with us soon – next week, in fact. The official Mass Effect Twitter account shared a link for people to sign up to the ‘Andromeda Initiative’. In reality, it’s little more than a mailing list, but it likely references the central conceit of Mass Effect Andromeda. Namely, that intrepid humans are striking out from our galaxy to find new homes in distant galaxies. As mentioned in the tweet, you can expect a big info drop on November 7 – now established as BioWare’s official N7 Day, referencing a vocational code used by Mass Effect’s Systems Alliance military to designate the highest level of proficiency.
Mass Effect Andromeda’s Shepard is, erm… Ryder
Mass Effect has always been a character-driven story – note how I carefully avoided the term ‘human’ – about managing the fate of a central character. Andromeda will be no different. Instead of Commander Shepard, you’ll be playing as one of the Ryder siblings, human Pathfinders in a distant, unfamiliar galaxy, carrying the burden of finding new planets to colonise. The Ryder characters are a major deviation from previous Mass Effect games. As brother and sister, both characters canonically exist in the universe, irrespective of which character you choose – and I’ll talk more about the Ryder family below. We also know that Ryder’s equivalent of the Normandy will be called the Tempest, and that the Mako will return.
Whereas previous Mass Effect games had you overcoming established prejudices and the ascension of the humans race as an intergalactic power, Andromeda offers a different, more fragile prospect. Of course, the legend of Shepard lives on in Mass Effect: Andromeda. As you’d expect from the woman/man who stepped forward to save the galaxy, Shepard is regarded with almost religious devotion. We don’t know exactly what form this will take, but expect numerous throwbacks fan-serving nods to the previous games.
Mass Effect Andromeda trailer lands on November 7
We’ve already seen Mass Effect Andromeda in action, and the first teaser trailer was shown way back at E3 2015, but as mentioned above, a big reveal is scheduled for N7 Day on November 7. Expect a full, barnstorming cinematic reveal, that should give us plenty to speculate about. Check back then for a full breakdown.
Mass Effect Andromeda release date has been pushed back from 2016 to early 2017
The Mass Effect Andromeda release date was originally going to be ‘holiday 2016’, but sadly it’s been pushed back to 2017. What was the reason? As Aaron Flynn explained, simply to make the best game possible. As reasons for delays go, it’s one of the better ones. Mass Effect Andromeda is now scheduled for release in Q1 of 2017, and we’ll have all the details here right up until release.
Mass Effect Andromeda gameplay looks recognisable but refined
BioWare general manager Aaron Flynn showed off some Mass Effect Andromeda gameplay at Sony’s PlayStation Meeting this September, with the game running at 4K on PS4 Pro. You can check out the footage in the video below, but the short version is that it’s the same solid cover shooting established in earlier games, with some elegant refinements. Ryder uses a short, Mako-style rocket jump used for traversing gaps, which suggests more open levels and verticality – forgive me for using the ‘v’ word – not before seen in Mass Effect. There’s also an in-game scanner, perfect for reliving your finest planet-scanning moments from Mass Effect 2, which hints at an underlying theme of assessing worlds for their habitability. We also see a glimpse of the Remnant, the mysterious new alien race in Mass Effect Andromeda, who may hold the key to humanity’s future.
There’s also sense of physical depth not seen in previous Mass Effect games, which will be even more vivid thanks to HDR lighting on supporting platforms. Overall, it looks like a deeply handsome game.
While the Mako is coming back, vehicular combat is not – this is a good or bad thing, depending how long you spent jumping over Geth rockets in the first Mass Effect. We also know that co-operative multiplayer is coming back, but again, the details are scarce.
Mass Effect Andromeda romance will definitely be a thing
Crucially, all the shooty-running-killy stuff is only part of Mass Effect Andromeda’s gameplay. As before, everything you do is tempered by the relationships you have with your crew – whether it’s platonic brofistery or biologically-ambitious interspecies romance. We’ve seen glimpses of these relationships in the 4K demo – some cheerful, scene-setting radio chatter here, some unspoken longing there – but there’s every suggestion that romance and relationships will be part of the game.
A leak way back in 2015 suggested there will be a total of seven new crew members, and the trailers we’ve seen so far hint at a diverse bunch drawn from established Mass Effect races such as Asari, Krogan and Salarian. It’s a complete guess, but I think the Asari we saw at the PlayStation meeting is likely to be Cora – the name means ‘maiden’, and she seems wild, tomboyish and slightly immature compared to the more refined Asari we’ve seen in previous games. No, we’re not talking about you, Morinth. Another leaked name, Drack, is likely to be Krogan. On a related note: please, please let us romance a Krogan this time.
The Mass Effect Andromeda plot is a family affair
Remember the Mass Effect Andromeda trailer from forever ago? Specifically, the guy in the black N7 helmet? Well you don’t need to remember it – I’ve posted it below.
It’s likely that the man in the video is the father of both Ryder children. Moreover, Bioware creative director Mac Walters has confirmed that the most recent teaser trailer for N7 day was narrated by Daddy Ryder.
Yes it was. https://t.co/3vY1oLygfwNovember 1, 2016
It’s less clear how this relates to the story, but BioWare has an illustrious history weaving family into its grandest narratives – think Liara and Benezia in Mass Effect, Samara and Morinth in Mass Effect 2, Bodahn and Sandal in Dragon Ag… okay, maybe not that one. It wouldn’t register on my surprise meter if the fate of Ryder’s mother became central to the Mass Effect Andromeda plot, and Walters promised we’d find out more on N7 Day. Finally, we now know it takes place 600 years from now – roughly 400 years after the events or Mass Effect 1-3 – so you can expect the fate of humanity to be wildly different to what we’ve seen before…
Related Mass Effect Andromeda news
Two gifs from the Mass Effect: Andromeda Initiative trailer have our minds racing
The Mass Effect Andromeda release date might have been leaked by Amazon
Mass Effect Andromeda gives us another look at the new ship, the Tempest
Mass Effect Andromeda’s male/female heroes are brother and sister (and dad’s around too)