BioWare and EA have been teasing Mass Effect: Andromeda for just over a year now. After a Sony PS4 Pro event, fans have been given their first look at in-game footage of the next chapter in the space opera's franchise. With the new PS4 Pro and the electronic industry's push toward 4K, Andromeda is expected to raise the bar in video game graphics. The most recent footage shows the game's protagonist (Ryder) along with two companions as they make their way through a game segment titled "Heart of the Vault."
Mass Effect, from the beginning, has allowed players the opportunity to dive into an immersive world full of diverse environments and characters. While Commander Shepard, and both Jennifer Hale and Mark Meer who voiced the character, may have been a staple on consoles since 2007, players will now have the opportunity to take a journey with brand new characters and voices -- including, perhaps, their own.
Though not quite going to infinity and beyond, BioWare is giving fans the opportunity to send their voices to the Andromeda galaxy. Sort of. The contest is open to legal age residents in five countries and fans have until September 28th to submit an email with their video or audio link for consideration. Entries will be judged 40 percent on voice quality, 40 percent on performance quality, and 20 percent on how well the entry fits the Mass Effect franchise style. There are two scripts; one is that of an eager journalist sharing some screen time with Ryder, Mass Effect Andromeda's main character, while the other is a mercenary having a conversation with a fellow merc. The creative team at BioWare's Edmonton, CA office put together a fun video for the contest, check it out above.
For any gamer who has poured hours into the Mass Effect series, they're well aware of the gems that can be found by eavesdropping on random NPC conversations. There are often times where initiating conversation can trigger new missions or assignments. For anyone not keen on reading through the contest rules, BioWare plainly states that they, "cannot guarantee that winner’s recorded voice will actually appear in the commercial release of a game, in which game it may appear, or if in a game, where in the game the recorded voice will be heard." But winners will receive a two night, three day stay in either Edmonton, Los Angeles, or London where they will take part in what's sure to be a memorable experience.
Stuffed in a legal document that reads like a terms of service agreement, could BioWare have let loose their ideas for the next game in a new Mass Effect trilogy? Maybe, but there will be DLCs and very likely some multi-player expansion packs shortly after Andromeda's release that will need background conversations as well.
Mass Effect: Andromeda will be available in Spring 2017 on Xbox One, PS4, and Windows PC.