Electronic Arts didn’t wait long in its E3 press conference to get gamers to talk about the new Mass Effect. The mega-publisher opened with the next game in BioWare’s storied franchise and confirmed many of the rumors that have been floating around for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC sci-fi role-playing game.
The Mass Effect: Andromeda trailer opened the Electronic Arts press conference without comment or introduction. If you were thrown off by the western music and old western-like image, you aren’t the only one. That is Johnny Cash’s “(Ghost) Riders in the Sky” The images quickly shift to more alien environments before pulling back to show that it is an unknown character flipping through various planets that are being inspected.
The character chooses one and his ship instantly warps to the planet. He turns around and walks toward the camera revealing the “N7” logo on the chest piece of his armor.
The scene then switches to the western desert-like planet where a massive battle unfolds as a giant city emerges from underground. No other details were revealed other than a fall 2016 release.
— Mass Effect (@masseffect) June 15, 2015
“As you saw in the trailer and can tell by the name, this game is very much a new adventure, taking place far away from and long after the events of the original trilogy,” BioWare’s Aaryn Flynn and Yanick Roy wrote in a blog post. “You will play a human, male or female, though that’s actually not the character you saw in the trailer (more on that later). You’ll be exploring an all-new galaxy, Andromeda, and piloting the new and improved Mako you saw. And through it all, you will have a new team of adventurers to work with, learn from, fight alongside of, and fall in love with.”
This appears to confirm the rumors that Inquisitr reported on in April. It has a heavy emphasis on exploration as players explore and colonize an all new galaxy. The Mako vehicle returns, which you can catch a brief glimpse of in the trailer, along with many aspects you’d expect from a Mass Effect title such as squadmates, loyalty missions, customizable gear, and dialogue trees.
Once again though, Commander Shepard will not return for Mass Effect: Andromeda. Instead, a new cast of characters will be introduced.
If you didn’t catch it before, here’s the summary of leaked information about Mass Effect: Andromeda.
- Premise: Set in the Helius Cluster of the Andromeda Galaxy, removed by time and space from the Mass Effect “Commander Shepard” trilogy and its ending. Play as a “Pathfinder” explorer leading expedition with the aim of establishing a new home for humanity. Encounter “savage untamed lands,” “cut-throat outlaws,” and “warring alien races” in an effort to survive and colonies (sic). Andromeda is home to a mysterious alien race, the Remnants, who’ve left their vaults and ancient technology throughout.
- Game Objective: Explore 100s of solar systems (over 4x size of Mass Effect 3) collecting resources, developing your ship, crew, and arsenal, while engaging in diplomacy in order to set up colonies, while discovering the mystery behind the Remnants and racing to secure their technology.
- New Species: Remnants, an ancient race who’ve left ruins and technology throughout the galaxy. And Khet, seemingly antagonistic.
- Squadmates: Same as previous games: make friends, take two with you on missions. Cora is able to generate biotic shields you can fire out of. Drack is a Krogan.
- Loyalty Missions: Same as previous games: complete to unlock increased loyalty and new skill tree for that character. Example: Krogan colony ship has been stolen by outlaws. Track down the ship and return it to increase loyalty with Drack. Dialogue trees and end game impacted by loyalty status.
- Dialogue: “Meaningful choices.” Deeper control over responses, such as interrupting conversation. Action based choices are physical choices to shape the course of conversation, such as pulling out a weapon and forcing them to open a door instead of attempting to do so purely via conversation.
- Tempest Starship: Pilotable ship to discover 100s of solar systems. Customizable with trophies/loot/photos taken through the galaxy. Transition between flying ship, to landing on planet, to driving Mako, to getting out on foot, all seamless with no loading screens.
- Mako Vehicle: Upgradable with turbo boost, shield generator, hostile detector, etc. Customizable paint job.
- Planets: 100s of surfaces to explore, for discovering places to colonize, and alien vaults/outputs to conquer.
- Colonies: Build settlements on habitable planets. Able to decide what type of settlement for bonuses. For example, Recon Settlements will clear fog of war on space map and offer more strike team missions, meanwhile Mining Settlements will periodically supply crafting materials.
- Blueprints: Allow you to craft alien technology using materials for better equipment and weapons, such as a jetpack for jumping, cryo-beam to target enemies, etc.
- Crew: Customizable skill trees, gear, weapons, etc.
Mission Types and Multiplayer
- Remnant Vault Raids: Ancient ruins in two variants. Standard: Accessed by finding and activating Remnant Monoliths, explored to find a “powerful artefact”. Acquiring artefact triggers defense systems: robots, traps, and restructured layout. Rewards with valuable loot, crafting resources, and Star Keys. Orbital Facilities: Unlocked with Star Keys, provide permanent stat bonuses, and optional higher difficulty vault raids that add Khet patrols and outlaws. Rewards with rare loot and narrative acclaim.
- Khet Outposts: Optional wave-based combat challenges that reward with XP, reduced Khet power and additional narrative options in the region if destroyed.
- Strike Team: Spend resources to recruit mercenaries and develop AI controlled strike teams to be deployed on randomly generated, time sensitive missions. Include settlement defence and remnant artefact recovery. Strike Teams return 20 – 30 minutes later with XP, currency, and equipment depending on mission outcome. Spend money/resources to train Strike Team, and buy better equipment, to increase success rate and send on dangerous missions.
- Active Strike Team: See above, however you can choose to complete the Strike Team mission manually via play using your multiplayer roster of characters. Able to play co-op with friends, more friends increasing difficulty and rewards. Bonus rewards for joining another players strike team mission. XP, loot, and customization rewards for Strike Team played characters are cohesive with multiplayer specific horde mode.
- Horde Mode: Similar to Mass Effect 3: four players against waves of enemies with additional objectives such as disabling a bomb or assassinating a target. Similar XP/loot rewards to Mass Effect 3. APEX funds earned to be used in single player.
[Images via Mass Effect]
[Update: Added quote from BioWare about game.]