I have no words...
No. Wait. I'm wrong. I have some words to say. First off, let me start off with some good news. That's what this blog is all about, in light of the US election: the good news. A whole slew of information about Mass Effect Andromeda over the past few days.
N7 Day happened on Monday, November 7, 2016. With it came the cinematic trailer everybody has been waiting for. Here's my breakdown:
- An arc ship mysteriously breaking down as her crew tumbled around. Some were sucked into space. The male Ryder screamed and fell as the ship crashed into an unknown planet. As this happens, Alec Ryder says, "We slept for hundreds of years... dreaming of a new home. But when we finally awoke, our dreams of peace, were shattered." in juxtaposition to the ship called Hyperion (no relation to the company in the Borderlands series) flying to their destination.
- The male Ryder later woke up amid the ruins, his visor cracked open. Next, he was sitting on a stool, staring at the desert far beyond his horizon as an unidentified male voice saying, "Welcome back."
- The Tempest ship flying off to some ruins.
- A trio of white-and-blue armored soldiers, each with varying attire, standing next to the Nomad as the next shot showed a giant, gorilla-like creature roaring.
- Male!Ryder sitting up, then the next shot showed him limping in a snowstorm. The focus shifted onward to the Nomad. Then the shot focused on Ryder sitting down in the previous scene as an unseen female voice told him he was the new Pathfinder.
- Next, we see him walking on the bridge of the ship from a previous trailer, with a good look of outer space.
- "This is incredible," a strange alien mused as he flew up to a floating object, his arms crossed. He looked somewhat similar to the Collectors, only wearing green armor on his torso and arms and had a brighter hue in his sin.
- Peebee the asari said the hole was "acting like a gravity well". Ryder then kicked a rock and it fell, only to be suspended mid-air.
- "I... have a bad feeling," a growly man said, channeling everyone from Star Wars, as Ryder approached a device covered in blue bright lines. As he touched it, the lines spurt out as he and his allies turned to focus on a bright, orange hologram.
- "We're the aliens," said Ryder as he carried his female ally while another shot showed another member of the alien species like the one floating to the object, brandishing a strange, organic rifle. It and another in heavy armor walked, probably looking for something.
- "My god," the female character gasped, resting in Ryder's arms as they looked on as rocks floated around and lightning focused on a triangular pillar.
- Alec Ryder, their father (we got a good look at his face), had his eyes set on his omni-tool. Then a mine went off next to the alien soldier as he tapped on his omni-tool, creating an explosion.
- Ryder clinging onto the tail of a ship for dear life.
- Some dark planet was shown, growing distant as each brief scene was shown below:
- Raised his hand as blue lines gathered.
- Another alien species, this one with heads shaped like hoods (were they hoods?) entering narrow doorways in some cavern.
- A giant machine emerged from the sands as a man warned everyone to take cover, the camera focusing on Alec before the machine whipped out one of its tentacles.
- Ryder taking on a giant work-like machine.
- Ryder and the others fleeing in the location from the 4k trailer.
- Ryder tossing aside a drone.
- Peebee leaping over cover, turning around and firing a shot with her Carnifex.
- A whole bunch of people, including a salarian or two, fleeing as a soldier turned and fired. The Tempest flew as the camera went up close.
- "Now I know what makes you... special," said the alien from before, the top of his head shaped like a ring, as he approached Ryder and the others, who had their hands constrained by yellow bands of light. The final shot has him reaching out to choke Ryder before the title shows up.
Game Informer has also revealed a lot of new details, with more being updated each day.
- The default names for male and female Ryders are Scott and Sarah respectively.Their names and appearances can be changed. Also, they are siblings. Whoever you didn't pick will still have a role to play. Alec Ryder, the N7 soldier, is their dad.
- Scott is voiced by Tom Taylorson, Sarah is voiced by Fryda Wolff, and Alec is voiced by Clancy Brown. Yes, Clancy Brown.
- Loyalty missions return, though they are optional and can be taken anytime.
- You can't get married. Not in the traditional sense, anyway.
- New Game+ is available.
- There are loyalty missions, but unlike the ones in Mass Effect 2, they're optional and can be taken anytime.
- Your companions cannot die in this game.
- Not 4k native. 30 fps, though it varies more on PC. PS4 Pro benefits to be decided.
- There will be sad moments in Andromeda.
- Different background music for the galaxy map. Also, Saren's theme won't be played whenever there's a game over.
- There'll be a grab-bag card mode in MP.
- You won't buy any fish in Andromeda, so logically they can't die in your presence. Right?
- Your saves being imported from Andromeda would be determined. They haven't decided yet.
- It won't be the entry in a new trilogy.
- To an extent, Paragon and Renegade scores exists, but we don't know how.. However, the Interrupts will be there.
- Scanning from Mass Effect 2 will be back, but in a different form. That means not only you can scan planets, you can scan organics and technologies. The information you get fills out your codex and gives you new recipes for your armor and weapons. Personally, it gives off vibes of No Man's Sky in terms of tone and certain mechanics, ala discovering a whole new galaxy.
- Speaking of armor and weapons, there is a crafting system.
- No, you can't use your jetpack in the Tempest. Unless it's a bug.
- You can play single-player offline.
- The Arks have left the galaxy around the time of ME2, arriving there 600 years later. Sadly, there's no way to communicate with the Milky Way galaxy.
- It has open-world elements.
- No bars on the Tempest. Sorry!
- You can stab people with holograms. Really.
- There are (technically) seven classes available but you're not restricted to learn any power. This is unique to Ryder themselves but your companions will be stuck with traditional classes.
- The Nomad is much like the Mako but with better controls and no weaponry. It's reported at one point that the Nomad's customizable.
- The cover system will be more dynamic.
- Multiplayer will be more like the one in ME3 with more mobility in part due to new types of enemies, individual power cooldowns, and the use of a jetpack for vertical movement.
- You acquire prestige XP alongside your standard XP. It meant that it was shared across certain playstyles, like the tank-style characters. When you hit that threshold, all of your characters earn a health boost, ala Dragon Age: Inquisition's multiplayer mode.
- Multiplayer was not required to get the best outcome for the single-player campaign's ending, but unlike Dragon Age: Inquisition with its War Table missions, you can complete certain side missions in multiplayer.
- Romance will remain. BioWare said romance will be more mature and organic, and less formulaic, with some characters wanting to jump the sack immediately while others want to take it slow and get to know each other. According to Mac Walters, he said there will be more romances than ever before. Knowing them, same-sex romances will still be an option.
- The Tempest's pilot is a salarian. As for the scout ship, the Tempest is smaller than the Normandy, having a garage at the back of the ship, the atrium-like gallery with holographic interfaces that allow Ryder to spend their skill points.
- You can wander around various planets, taking out enemy bases, tracking down drop zones, and fighting optional bosses.
Quoted from the 22 Random Tibits About Mass Effect Andromeda:
- Ryder is intentionally more of a blank slate than Shepard at the beginning of Andromeda. “Shepard came on the scene, and it felt like they’d already accomplished a lot and they’d done a lot and they’d seen a lot – but I hadn’t,” says creative director Mac Walters. “That whole universe was new to me, and so there was a bit of a disconnect between me and my player character right from the start. And so, with this, I’d really like us to close that gap as much as we can without going full amnesia.”
- Your companion Liam has a British accent.
- You find clues about what happened to the other arks. For instance, as you locate asari escape pods, you learn more about what happened to them and their ark, and that thread is eventually resolved in a mission.
- Some quests take place on the planet where you discover them, and others point you toward new locations. “It’s about a 90-10 split,” says Walters. “Once you’re on a world, you should feel like you can spend your time there and complete the level. The rest are either resolved from somewhere else or send you somewhere else.”
- Despite the series’ long history, the move to new hardware and adopting the Frostbite engine means BioWare built all systems, tools, and assets from scratch for Andromeda.
- All of the systems (though not necessarily all of the content) are currently implemented in the game. Now it’s just a matter of “balance and tweaking,” according to Walters.
- Enemies of the same class have different abilities based on their race.
- Not all of the races from the original trilogy appear in Andromeda, but they may show up in future installments. “We’ve designed the IP in such a way that they can all show up,” Walters says. “For hopefully obvious reasons, they’re not all going to show up in the first game.”
- The points you earn by gaining experience are applied to more than just your powers. It’s the same currency you use for other kinds of progression, like improving the hover time on your jetpack and increasing the Nomad’s speed.
- The blistering heat of Elaaden is only one kind of environmental hazard. “Another planet you might have ice, or radiation, or another kind of hazard,” says producer Mike Gamble. “We’re trying to mix it up, and how you survive them will be different depending on the planet. Some might require a different Nomad upgrade, others will take shelter, and so forth.”
- For players worried the scope expansion will dilute the experience: “The key for us has been ensuring that the content is rich and up to BioWare quality standards,” Walters says. “Believe it or not, as massive as this is, we’ve actually continued to restrain the scope as much as possible so we can bring quality to each of these areas and make each one memorable. That’s a term I use a lot – I want these places to be memorable. I don’t want it to be like, the white planet, the blue planet – I want to remember the names of the locations and the characters I meet.”
- Think the default Scott Ryder looks a bit like original Mass Effect project director Casey Hudson? It’s not intentional, but the team thinks it’s a funny “ghost in the machine” moment.
- Don’t expect the events or characters of the original trilogy to shape the state of the world in Andromeda. “We didn’t want to invalidate anything that people had done in the past, and we wanted to make sure everyone feels like they can be onboard, whether or not they have played before,” Walters says.
- Before assuming the role of Pathfinder, Ryder’s title is “recon specialist.”
- As you leave the Ark for the first time, your dad wants you to rub a good-luck rock on the way out.
- About 20,000 humans are still asleep on the Hyperion when Ryder wakes up at the beginning of the game.
- During sequences that might have just been non-interactive cinematics before, players now have a degree of control – like steering a character falling through the sky, or examining objects in a shuttle as a conversation is going on.
- “Armor is split into sub-categories, and you can mix and match pieces,” Gamble says. “Helmet, shoulders, chest, legs. You can have different pieces from different sets.”
- On the graphical front, the CG trailers for the original trilogy are what the team uses as a reference for what it is trying to accomplish now in real-time.
- You pick up additional Tempest crew members on your journey.
- While the game isn’t zany, the tone is lighter compared to Mass Effect 3. “I think there’s a bit more humor,” says producer Fabrice Condominas. “I think everybody takes it a bit less seriously in the tone of the dialogue. The characters are different – they’re younger, and you feel that in the tone.”
- You don’t have to start New Game+ after finishing the game. You can just keep exploring once the final mission is complete.
Game Informer also has revealed two of your squadmates: Liam and Peebee.
- Peebee: An asari who has an adventurous streak and is extremely interested in alien technology, much like Liara. She came aboard the Hyperion out of her own will and is not part of the Pathfinder team. Unlike Liara, Peebee is very energetic and peppy, but also blunt and forward. While she is intelligent, she's not exactly keen on social niceties and formalities. As a lone wolf, she doesn't stick around for very long. Peebee's a nickname, by the way.
- Liam: He is a police officer who is part of the Pathfinder team. “Liam is the youthful, enthusiastic, and in some cases, the idealistic follower that you get,” Walter says. While he takes his duties seriously, he has a sense of levity around him. Having an upbeat attitude helps. However, he is also easily angered. In spite of all this, he is very hopeful for the future of humanity.
Here's what we know about the new race that appeared in the trailer.
- The Kett: The Kett are the new race in Mass Effect Andromeda. Although we know little about them so far, they are the main antagonists. These creatures have rock-like bodies that meld into a similarly rock-like armor.
That's not all. The website has updated and comes with lore and a few trailers. You'll find more here.
Best of all? Mass Effect 2 & 3, along with its DLCs, are now compatible with the Xbox One. If you have the games on the Xbox 360, you can insert the first disk for each game and it'll download. Alternatively, if you have EA Access, you can down them for free.
Eurogamerhas revealed two more squadmates: Cora, a female human who was seen in the N7 2016 trailer, and Drack, a young krogan.