Leading up to the much anticipated release of Mass Effect: Andromeda from developer BioWare and publisher Electronic Arts, a lot of fevered interest has been paid to the game's first official teaser trailer, which has subsequently resulted in further leaks surrounding the title's central protagonist (who is currently known only as the Pathfinder), in addition to certain gameplay elements and an official updated release date. The new entry in the franchise will be the first Mass Effect title that won't feature Commander Shepard and the crew of the SSV Normandy SR-2, and will instead feature narrative content set to take place well after the events depicted in BioWare's original trilogy.
As for any hard and fast elements relating to the game's official story, little has been officially revealed, but the latest survey leak from EA might just shed some light on those eager to return to the well-liked RPG.
According to an official EA marketing survey that recently leaked online, and as reported by EuroGamer.net, the game will feature the Pathfinder on a mission to the Andromeda galaxy, located far beyond the Milky Way and the human civilizations of the first three Mass Effect entries. The new game will feature at least two new alien species, one good and one bad, in addition to formerly featured races like the Krogans, Salarians, Turians, and Asari, but the focus of the new title will place the role of foreign invader squarely on the shoulders of the human lead character for the first time ever. The beginning of the full synopsis reads as follows:
"Mass Effect: Andromeda takes players to the Andromeda galaxy, far beyond the Milky Way, where players will lead the fight for a new home in hostile territory, where WE are the aliens, opposed by a deadly indigenous race bent on stopping us. Experience the freedom to traverse and explore a planet-dense but seamless open-world galaxy, rich with discovery. Play as the leader of a squad of military-trained experts in an intense third-person shooter, with deep progression and customization systems. This is the story of humanity's next chapter, and player choices throughout the game will ultimately determine our survival in the Andromeda galaxy."
Based on this description alone, it would appear as though the exploration system of past titles will be significantly expanded in Mass Effect: Andromeda, and should allow for gamers to land on any planet across the entire galaxy with greater ease and fewer in-game obstacles. Lending the impetus of invasion into human hands should provide novel territory for BioWare to explore from a narrative standpoint, and could result in an alien threat far greater than that previously posed by the Reapers, as can be seen in the following final paragraph from the leaked EA marketing survey:
"There is a major battle brewing, and it awaits you. It is unfolding across a galaxy of planets, with creatures and species entirely unknown. Draw your weapon, because the fight is bigger than you thought. It's not just for your own life, it's for all humanity, the ultimate battle for a place we can all call home."
It will certainly be exciting to see how all of this plays out, provided the leaked plot symopsis in question is in fact genuine, and may very well result in a finished Mass Effect: Andromeda fit to be a more than thrilling successor to the epic narrative last undertaken by Commander Shepard. With any luck, playing as the Pathfinder in his or her exploration and attempted human colonization of the Andromeda galaxy will be a more than exceptional gaming achievement when the production finally sees release early next year.
Mass Effect: Andromeda will be available to purchase from all participating retailers for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in early 2017.