Gamers anticipating the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda received a big tease on Monday. Electronic Arts and Bioware released a cinematic reveal trailer for the upcoming PS4, Xbox One, and PC role-playing title to mark N7 Day. Meanwhile, those who have not gotten a taste of Mass Effect 2 or Mass Effect 3 can now do so on the Xbox One thanks to a backward compatibility update.
While the cinematic reveal trailer does not share any gameplay, it does confirm some important plot points for Mass Effect: Andromeda. The game is set hundreds of years in the future, which accounts for the time it takes to travel from our Milky Way galaxy to the Andromeda galaxy.
Prior to the war with the Reapers, humans elected to attempt to colonize a new galaxy via Ark ships. Players will have the choice between a male or female character with the last name of Ryder. They will play the role of an N7 Pathfinder, an operative given the duty of finding new planets for humans to colonize. Unfortunately, this makes humans the alien invaders now, and their arrival is not exactly peaceful.
“The journey to Andromeda begins now. Navigate the uncharted reaches of the Andromeda Galaxy to unravel its mysteries, discover vivid alien worlds, and lead the charge to find a new home among the stars. How far will you go to become humanity’s hero?”
The cinematic trailer reveals just enough to whet the appetite. There’s the human colony ship, the male version of the protagonist, some sort of tragedy, a battle against a giant worm creature, and a mysterious “Big Bad.”
BioWare plans to reveal more of Mass Effect: Andromeda, specifically gameplay footage, during the Game Awards scheduled for December 1, 2016. This is just in time to start the Electronic Arts marketing machine as the game is currently scheduled to be released sometime during spring 2017. Expect a release no later than March as the mega-publisher pegged Andromeda’s launch for the company’s fiscal fourth quarter, which ends March 31, 2017.
Meanwhile, Xbox One owners can enjoy the Xbox 360 releases of Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 right now. Microsoft updated its backward compatibility list Monday to add the two titles. They join the original Mass Effect, which was one of launch titles for backward compatibility.
Unfortunately, the two sequels share the same fate as other multi-disk titles, like Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon, in that they are not available as digital purchases from the Xbox Store. They require the physical disk versions until Microsoft’s engineers can figure out how to support multi-disk Xbox 360 titles as digital releases.
Update: All three Mass Effect titles for the Xbox 360 are now available to download and play for EA Access subscribers. This is interesting as Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 do not show as being available for purchase on the Xbox Store. Stay tuned for any updates.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Xbox One manages backward compatibility by emulating the entire Xbox 360 operating system. This allows Xbox 360 games to run on the Xbox One without any special coding or other workarounds. The major hurdles remaining are the licensing agreements with development studios and publishers to allow the games to be played on the Xbox One and listed for sale on the Xbox Store for the console.
Following that, testing to make sure the game runs correctly on the Xbox One appears to be a time-consuming task. Microsoft has to test each game from beginning to end to ensure the emulator runs the title correctly. This can take hundreds of hours depending on the title.
Additionally, Microsoft uses an Xbox Uservoice group to gauge interest in which titles to add to the Xbox One backward compatibility library. Users can suggest and vote up which games they would like to see supported.
What do you think of the Mass Effect: Andromeda cinematic reveal and the backward compatibility update? Sound off in the comments below.
[Featured Image by BioWare/Electronic Arts]