N7 Day Mass Effect: Andromeda News [UPDATED]

mass-effect-andromeda-ark

Happy N7 day, everyone! As promised, BioWare has finally started releasing information on the latest in their epic sci-fi RPG series. We’ll be updating this post regularly when new info comes out. New information appears in bold.

Ryder

  • Ryder is the name of our main character, and is actually three characters: their father, Alec (being voiced by Clancy Brown), and the two Ryder twins, Sarah (Fryda Wolff) and Scott (Tom Taylorson).
  • Players will choose which Ryder twin they would like to play as, and the remaining one does still exist in the world even if you don’t choose them. I’m not sure if that means that one of your squadmates will be your sibling, but that could certainly be an interesting dynamic.
  • Ryder’s role in the game is as the Pathfinder, but more on that in story details.
  • You can customize the looks of all three Ryder family members, including their  ethnicity.

The Plot

  • The main plot is pretty simple, Ryder is part of the Andromeda Initiative – a massive, privately funded project meant to send colonists to the “golden planets” of the Andromeda systems.
  • Each ship, known as an Ark, contains the slumbering colonists (who are considered to be the best of the best of all the Milky Way races), and Ryder’s role as Pathfinder is to make sure their Ark gets to one of these planets safely. The Pathfinder’s role is described as “elite soldier, scientist, and guide” in the Andromeda Initiative briefing.
    • It looks like the non-human Arks contain the other main council races: asari, turian, and salarian.
  • The project was launched in 2185, which is when the original trilogy takes place (between ME2 and 3), but it takes the Arks 600 years to reach their destination.
  • Humanity’s Ark, the Hyperion, actually does not wind up where it’s supposed to, leaving Ryder and their team stranded in hostile, uncharted territory.
  • Ryder’s father is also an important part of the story – we know that there is some kind of family mystery, in that Alec Ryder journeyed to Andromeda before everyone else, and something bad happened once they got there. It’s Alec who is narrating the beginning of the above trailer, and it gives us some hint of what might have gone down. Alec is also the N7 we’ve seen in past teasers.
  • According to Mac Walter, the game’s creative director, this is not the beginning of a new trilogy.

The Squad

  • The asari with the cool jacket, the only squadmate we’ve really seen all that much of, is named Peebee. She has a bubbly personality and is considered “less concerned with social niceties” than other characters.
  • A krogan squadmate has been confirmed, as well as turians.
    • Your krogan squadmate, as confirmed in the latest gameplay trailer, is named Drack.
    • A female turian has also been confirmed, and her name is Vetra.
    • All of the alien squadmates were not originally part of the Pathfinder team, and all of them have been in Andromeda longer than Ryder.
  • There are also two human squadmates.
    • One of these has been given a name, Liam. He is a former police officer and is said to have a jokey personality.
    • A crewmate named Reyes has also been mentioned. Based on the name, I’m assuming they’re human.
    • The human female squadmate is named Cora Harper, and she is a biotic and second-in-command on the Tempest.
  • More new alien crewmates confirmed!
    • KaLlo Jath, is the pilot of the Tempest and it sounds like he’s salarian.
    • Nakmor Kesh is the female krogan engineer of the Nexus.
  • The Kett – mentioned several times by BioWare staffers, and are confirmed as the game’s antagonists.
  • Another new alien race has also been mentioned: the Angarans.
    • You will have an Angaran squadmate, as seen in the latest cinematic trailer, and his name is Jaal. (This has been confirmed through the Funko Pop collection.)
  • Your sibling will not be able to join you in combat, but they are on The Tempest with you and you can build a relationship with them.
  • Loyalty missions are back! However, they won’t be required like they are in Mass Effect 2. They will be strictly optional, and a means of getting to know your squadmates better if that’s what you want to do.
  • The Tempest will also have its own AI, and this is where things get really interesting. This one is called SAM, and was designed by the Ryder twins father. But even more interestingly, SAM is based on his neural patterns, and has a connection to his physical body, wherever it is. Not entirely sure what the significance of this is, but it’s definitely VERY interesting.

 

Gameplay

  • It has previously been confirmed that the galaxy map will still be your main way of getting around, and that the Mako will be back (The new Mako is called the Nomad).
  • Scanning will remain a major part of the game, but since you’re in an all new region, you won’t just be scanning planets, but also plant life and creatures.
  • The Codex is back.
  • Instead of the mass relays, fast travel will be facilitated in the Andromeda galaxy by the mysterious Vaults, which look kind of similar to Stargates, as seen in the 4K tech demo.
  • The tech demo also showed that Ryder will have a much greater range of movement, and can climb things, jump gaps, and even use a jet pack to get around an area.
  • Players will still be able to use biotics.
  • There will be pets, and a pet Pyjak is included as a preorder bonus! SPACE LIZARD DOGS MAYBE.
  • There are seven total “classes”, but apparently classes will not be as rigid and immutable as in past Mass Effect games. There is supposedly much more customization players can do with their abilities.
  • The Paragon/Renegade system is gone, but is being replaced with something similar, according to Mass Effect: Andromeda creative director Mac Walter. The interrupt system is also back, albeit also in a new way.
  • You will not have to refuel the Tempest.
  • The Tempest’s HQ in Andromeda is known as the Nexus, a replica of the Citadel that is sent out with the Arks. This is the Andromeda Initiative’s base in Andromeda, and you will be able to visit it and interact with other members of the project there.
  • Upgrades for your ship and the Nomad and weapons are gained through exploration and research done on missions, as well as finding and mining new resources.


Romance

  • When Game Informer asked if you can get married in Andromeda, Mac Walter replied, “no, not traditionally.”
  • Andromeda will have more relationship building and character interaction than any other BioWare game.
  • Romances will not culminate in a sex scene like in past games. The team wanted to give you more “shooting bottles with Garrus” moments in this game.
  • Some characters will be super receptive to starting a romance with Ryder, others more hesitant, and some will not be interested at all. It sounds like the goal was to make the romance system much more organic than in past games.
  • Romances have been described as three different “types”: squad, crew, and light romances. Light romances appear to be encounters that occur with people who are not part of The Tempest at all.
  • It will be possible to romance more than one character at a time, though this is only an acceptable arrangement for certain characters.

The official release date has been announced! You will be able to explore Mass Effect: Andromeda on March 21st in North America, and March 23rd in Europe.

Sources include:

MassEffect.com/news

The Andromeda Initiative Briefings

Twitter (dev team accounts, @MassEffect and @MassEffectNews)

Game Informer

 

Writer, editor, and founding member of Paper Droids. RPG-lover, baby game maker, owned by corgi. Spends way too much time on Twitter @mk_patter. To reach by email: sciandtech@paperdroids.com