Mass Effect: Andromeda for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC was teased Saturday as part of BioWare's annual N7 Day celebration. The accompanying trailer includes a surprise vocal appearance by Jennifer Hale, the voice of the female version of Shepard, in a form of passing the torch from the original Mass Effect trilogy to the start of a new saga.
The Mass Effect N7 Day 2015 trailer starts with man's early efforts at space travel, along with a brief appearance of the first female astronaut, Sally Ride (more on why that is potentially important in a moment). The video then leaves Earth's orbit, then the solar system, and the entire Milky Way galaxy. The camera pans from our galaxy to the new ship for Mass Effect: Andromeda, and then the Andromeda galaxy that it is traveling toward. Commander Shepard gives the crew of the new ship a farewell by stating "we will be with you" before signing off at the end.
Why is the inclusion of Sally Ride noteworthy? The trailer has a brief scene of a spaceship cockpit overlooking the Earth before escaping the solar system. On the left side of the cockpit lays a set of dog tags and a photograph is taped on the right side. The name on the dog tags appears to say either "Rider" or "Ryder."
If true, this wouldn't be the first time BioWare used a former astronaut's name as inspiration for a Mass Effect character. Commander Shepard was, of course, named after the first American astronaut to reach space, Captain Alan Shepard.
Meanwhile, theories about the story of Mass Effect: Andromeda have opened up across gaming community sites such as Reddit and NeoGAF. The prevailing theory is that the ship shown in the Andromeda trailer is like an ark carrying humanity, possibly out of the galaxy, to escape the devastation from the genocidal Reaper War that concluded in Mass Effect 3.
If the ship left prior to the end of Mass Effect 3, that would give Commander Shepard the opportunity to monologue a farewell statement to the crew without breaking the ending of the original trilogy. It also helps set up the timeline of Andromeda taking place long after the ending of the trilogy. Any travel between galaxies would take an immense amount of time without the help of some very advanced and likely alien technology in the game universe.
This ark ship also helps explain BioWare's logic behind having a human protagonist for Mass Effect: Andromeda. General Manager Aaryn Flynn previously explained that the game's story is "very much a human one" to ensure that it is relatable.
"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," Aaryn Flynn co-wrote with Yanick Roy. "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."
Mass Effect: Andromeda is currently targeting a fourth quarter 2016 release for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. What did you think of the N7 Day teaser trailer? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image via Mass Effect]