The Mass Effect trilogy had a sweeping and branching story that couldn't be contained to just one game. Player profiles could be loaded from the previous edition to influence the background story in each game, culminating in the epic Mass Effect 3. Since the story of Commander Shepard and the Reapers was pretty soundly resolved by the end of that trilogy, the newest installment, Mass Effect: Andromeda is jumping forward in time and to a new galaxy.
Coming in at #1 of Screen Rant's 30 Most Anticipated Video Games of 2017, Mass Effect: Andromeda looks to be a triumphant return for BioWare with a new and improved multiplayer; an open and explorable world; crafting features; and of course, the same branching style RPG story that made the Mass Effect franchise popular in the first place.
The newest story trailer for Andromeda (see above) has several interesting reveals. While Commander Shepard of the original Mass Effect came from a military background, Andromeda's protagonist, Ryder, is not a soldier; a point mentioned several times in the trailer with lines like "We're explorers, not an army."
Taking place over 600 years after the Reaper invasion of the first Mass Effect games, Mass Effect: Andromeda follows the Ryder family, sent to the Andromeda Galaxy with 20,000 other beings to find and colonize a hospitable "New Earth". In the trailer, the explorers hope that "Habitat 7" will serve that purpose before they run out of resources.
The trailer also introduces fans to Kett Archon, who doesn't seem to be a fan of the Ryders or the colonists of the Milky Way, commanding them to "surrender or burn." Details about why Archon isn't a fan of the Milky Way refugees and what his ultimate goal is aren't clear yet, but that could very well be a part of Andromeda's dense and branching story that plays differently for different players.
Since the game takes place in a new galaxy, most of the reces featured are also new; though the colonists and the crew of the new ship, the Tempest, including a Turian, an Asari, a Salarian, and, as Ryder proudly announces, "We don't need an army, we have a Krogan." While so much of this galaxy will be new, it's nice to know familiar races and technology will still be around in the latest Mass Effect game installment.
Mass Effect: Andromeda releases on March 21st, 2017 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.