Ever since Mass Effect: Andromeda was announced, we’ve had a number of unanswered questions pertaining to how it would tie into the original trilogy. With today’s N7 day celebration, we finally got some answers regarding its timeline and other information. Most of it makes sense, but of course some things still need answers. Some right from EA, while others came from a hands on by Game Informer.
According to EA and Bioware, Andromeda begins in the year 2185. Now, this is the year before Mass Effect 3 in 2186 and the same year as Mass Effect 2. According to EA, “Initiative’s mandate is to make a 600-year journey to the Andromeda galaxy in hopes of establishing a new home world. This impending galactic journey represents the most ambitious undertaking of any Milky Way race to date…” Based on this timeline, the official one by EA, this means that they had to have known about the reapers as it’s been going on for two years now since 2183 (Mass Effect one year) and are doing this in some last ditch, backup plan effort in case they lose to the reapers in order to save the human race.
In the trailer released today, there will be four ships called arcs. One is Hyperion, the other is Nexus and the two remaining are currently unnamed. Each ship will carry a different species that is on Earth in the year 2185 (All those present in Mass Effect 2) on a 600 year journey to the outskirts of Andromeda. They will be in cryosleep during this time and awake near arrival. Each arc ship will land on a separate planet in the system in attempt to find a suitable home for the human race to rebuild/continue life from Earth. This also answers the question as to how Andromeda just happens to have the same races of people that are on Earth when the relays were destroyed in Mass Effect 3. Also, since Andromeda is 288 years away at light speed from the Milky Way galaxy, and humans do not yet possess the ability to travel at light speed in the original trilogy, this explains why it takes so much longer at 600 years to reach the Andromeda galaxy. The part of Andromeda that they will be reaching to is the Heleus Cluster. The Nexus ship is basically the Andromeda version of Normandy and the first ship to arrive in order to function as a trailblazer. The human arc, the Hyperion, is headed up by Alec Ryder, who is the father of Scott/Sara Ryder (our playable character). This ship will go missing on an incorrect location, losing contact with the other arcs, forcing a story setup to reinitiate contact.
Humans are obviously a race, and Turians are shown in the trailer as well, so this leaves two other races that need to be confirmed. As far as the battle system goes, we’ve seen the jetpack already in previous trailers. You are able to hover in the air to scout your immediate area as well as order your companions to commit certain attacks/maneuvers. The combat wheel will not be used with instead attacks fast mapped to certain face buttons. The new enemy, obvious not the reapers, is called the Kett. They will be depicted, as noted in the trailer, as mainly protecting their homeland as the four races are technically “the aliens”. You’ll have to fight across multiple planets for missions or discover them on your own at your own discretion and travels. Planets will have enemy bases, huge bosses that may force you to come back when more powerful. Your accompanying companions, as shown in trailer, are called Liam and Peebee. Liam is a human, former cop and Peebee is the Asari (3rd race)
Your ship is called the Tempest (Remember the Normandy is still in use at time of departure by Shepard). You’ll be able walk all through the ship and establish relationships with companions. Rather than simply bang your companion, can start a relationship, get nowhere or just bang if that’s what the person wants. There won’t be anymore Paragon or Renegade choices but instead we’ll have four choices in; Heart, Head, Professional, Casual. There won’t be any unintended circumstances like in previous games from our actions and it will allow us to try different categories. This means that there most likely won’t be multiple endings, which stinks because it’s the main, unique thing about Mass Effect.
There will be multiplayer that will let you upgrade weapons, see benefits in single player and more. Bioware will also put our custom weapons and missions for certain special events. The ending will most definitely set up Mass Effect 5 or whatever they want to call it at that time as well.
Hopefully we get to see more gameplay and The Game Awards is our first shot on December 1st. Not much else is known yet, but for now it seems that Bioware quelled some anxiety on how it would tie into the trilogy but created some new anxiety on not letting our choices count. Other things like raids and the MMO factors were not confirmed or denied.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is set to release in the Spring of 2017, most likely March 21st, 2017