Despite the middling reception of the final game in the first Mass Effect trilogy, fans still wanted more of the sci-fi universe BioWare created. Now, 5 years later, we're finally on the verge of the next game in the franchise with Mass Effect: Andromeda.
While Andromeda is clearly a part of the same universe as the first three games, it's really more of a spinoff, as the events follow a group of colonists that left the Milky Way galaxy before the adventures of Commander Shepard and the war against the Reapers. After traveling in cryosleep for 634 years, they arrive in the Andromeda galaxy, ready to find a new home for humanity.
Unfortunately, the planet they intended to colonize, Habitat 7, appears to have suffered some sort of calamity, calling into question whether it is still habitable. As a part of the Pathfinder team, players will scout the galaxy in search of a new home for the former citizens of Earth.
Mass Effect Andromeda recently went gold, meaning everything is set for its release date on March 21. In the lead-up to launch day, IGN has released a new video revealing the first 13 minutes of the game.
Fans of Keith David's dulcet tones in the first games will be pleased to find the game opens with the similarly deep voice of Clancy Brown, who voices Alec Ryder, the lead Pathfinder and father to the game's protagonist. The clip doesn't include any huge reveals since it covers most of the typical introduction beats to get players familiar with the controls, the HUD, and other game features, but it does show fans of the franchise that they should feel right at home with Mass Effect: Andromeda, despite the new setting.
The new conversation system should be a point of excitement for many gamers. While the original trilogy stuck to a mostly binary paragon/renegade set of options for most dialogue, Andromeda introduces the ability to define a much more nuanced personality, balancing response options between four categories: emotional, logical, casual, and professional. A more traditional alignment system will also be in play, but the added complexity here is sure to enhance the character-driven story the franchise is known for.
There are also some changes with the omi-tool functionality. While the tool appears to be largely similar, it also features a scanning function that can be used to diagnose equipment in need of repairs and other environmental situations.
These types of enhancements hopefully serve to make the already engaging gameplay even more immersive, and obviously give fans much more to look forward to with the official release in just a few weeks.