'Mass Effect: Andromeda' March Release Date Officially Set, New Screenshots Released

Mass Effect: Andromeda received an official release date Wednesday following some a leak the day before that led to speculation on the game's launch date. PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC owners can start girding their wallet for March 21 while also checking out some just released screenshots.

As the Inquistr previously reported, a Microsoft Rewards page pointed towards a March 31 release date for Mass Effect: Andromeda. A Friday release is uncommon for Electronic Arts-published games, which led to some doubts over the listed date. BioWare General Manager cleared things up with a post to the game's website with official launch dates of March 21 for North America and March 23 for Europe.

"Mass Effect: Andromeda is our most ambitious Mass Effect game to date. We're telling completely new stories, creating new characters, new planets, new species, and introducing new gameplay systems. And for the first time, we're bringing Mass Effect to the FrostbiteTM game engine, an incredible engine that's delivering a tremendous graphical jump from the trilogy to Mass Effect: Andromeda. To deliver on this, we're taking all the time we can to make sure you're getting the best possible experience."

"Over this holiday break, developers at BioWare took home a version of the game in what we call the "holiday build". This is a longstanding studio tradition that goes back to the early days of the original Mass Effect. Many load up a PC or console and go home to play as much as possible at their leisure. Coming back from holiday, the feedback has been great. Getting the endorsement from members of our studio, many of whom played key roles on the original trilogy, was definitely a key factor in helping us lock in on the date."

Screenshot of Mass Effect: Andromeda from CES 2017.
[Image by BioWare/Game Informer]

New Mass Effect: Andromeda screenshots were then shared via Game Informer featuring a lava-style planet. There's not much context surrounding the screenshots, but they appear to be gameplay images set on of the many open-world planets player will be able to explore. This leads into Nvidia's CES keynote tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT where more gameplay video will be shown.

In Andromeda, humans elected to attempt to colonize a new galaxy via Ark ships prior to the war with the Reapers in the original trilogy. Players will have the choice between a brother or sister character with the last name of Ryder. They 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.

Screenshot of Mass Effect: Andromeda from CES 2017.
[Image by BioWare/Game Informer]

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. A previously released cinematic trailer sets the stage for the conflict and the main villain.

"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?"
On a side note, some Mass Effect fans noticed Sara Ryder's odd facial contortions during the Andromeda trailer shown at The Game Awards. BioWare decided to feature this quirk in a recent video, which drew more questions from the community. Flynn responded to those comments by admitting the scrunch face is a bug via Twitter and it will be fixed before the game's release in March.

Screenshot of Mass Effect: Andromeda from CES 2017.
[Image by BioWare / Game Informer]

What do you think of the Mass Effect: Andromeda release date and screenshots? Sound off in the comments below.

[Featured Image by BioWare/Game Informer]