Regardless of how gamers were affected by the destroy/control/synthesis ending of Mass Effect 3, there's no question that there's enormous buzz surrounding the upcoming release of the fourth installment, Mass Effect: Andromeda. In fact, the game landed at the top of our most anticipated games of 2017 list. Based on the information that has been released, BioWare appear to have listened to their fan-base and are bringing back some of the most popular elements from previous games. Players can expect more hands on exploration like dropping onto planets in the Mako from the first game; the return of loyalty missions for squadmates; and more romance options (seriously).
Recent Andromeda Initiative briefings have introduced core team members, and the short videos continue to provide more information about what to expect on the journey ahead. As Ryder and their team set out to find a new homeworld, the ark Hyperion needs to collect resources to aid in finishing the Nexus -- a Citadel-esque station that will be home to millions.
The closer we get to the official release date, the more we learn about squadmates and the companions the Pathfinder picks up along the way. Having already met quite a few new characters, Twitter user @shinobi602 has posted screenshots of a handful of new faces and far out places. Some of the photos look like they reveal (or confirm) more plot details. We know that some (as yet unseen) catastrophic event happens that causes either Sara or Scott Ryder to become the new Pathfinder. Take a look at the new images in the gallery below.
[vn_gallery name="Mass Effect: Andromeda – Environment & Character Images" id="902491"]
The unnamed Asari looks like she could be the ship's doctor; the Salarian is one of the pilots that was introduced in the latest cinematic trailer; we finally see a female Krogan without a helmet; and we see distressed protagonists, the Ryder siblings. The newest environment photos don't provide much information other than a snippet of the variety of landscapes fans should expect throughout the Andromeda galaxy.
Not pictured in the new photos, the Nomad (a 6-wheeled all terrain vehicle) and the Tempest (a ship not unlike the Normandy SR1) are smaller vehicles that allow for more mobility. Though BioWare has touted more expansive environments, Mass Effect: Andromeda is not an open world game; producer Michael Gamble confirmed to Xbox Magazine (h/t to GamesRadar). It's possible explorable planets might have boundaries like in the first game; but Gamble also promises these worlds will be "places filled with life and have a history all in and of themselves.”
Mass Effect: Andromeda will be available on Xbox One, PC, and PS4 on March 21st in the US and Canada and the 23rd in Europe.