After two years of teases, teases, and more teases, fans of Bioware’s Mass Effect series were hoping for a substantive amount of info on Mass Effect: Andromeda for “N7 Day” this year. Unfortunately, we instead got yet another tease: Bioware released a 1:43 cinematic trailer for the title with a “Spring 2017” release date.
We learned in past sneak-peeks that the game takes place in the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy, in a region called the Helios cluster. We already know that the game focuses on the Ryder family, who are part of a massive multi-species exploration/colonization effort called the “Andromeda Initiative.” And, we learned last week that the game is likely set 600 years after the main storyline in the previous Mass Effect games. Today’s trailer gives us a few dribs and drabs of additional plot details—something went wrong during the Andromeda Initiative’s trip, and the “Pathfinder”—the mysterious N7 figure shown in previous trailers, rumored to be the main character’s father—has been killed, incapacitated, or otherwise removed from the picture. This leaves the player as the new “Pathfinder,” which jibes with dialog heard in this year’s 4K tech demo video.
Update: There’s now another “Andromeda Initiative” video on the official Mass Effect Youtube channel, giving a few more details on the journey to Andromeda. It seems there are at least five “Arks” departing the Milky Way—the Hyperion, the Nexus, and three additional Arks for non-humans. Each Ark has its own “Pathfinder,” one of which will be the player character. The new video, embedded below, explains that over the next few months we’ll be getting additional video updates on several different areas of the game: Ark overviews, ground and space vehicle info, outpost establishment guidelines, first contact protocols, and training on weapons and biotics. The video also hints at the ultimate purpose of the Andromeda Initiative: to create “a new future” for humanity.
A few other details about the game cropped up this morning, too. The voice actors for the player characters have been revealed: the female version is voiced by Fryda Wolff and the male version by Tom Taylorson (in the absence of first names, fans have already begun referring to the two characters as “FemRyder” and “BroRyder”). We also learned that the players’ surface recon vehicle, previously known as an “upgraded Mako,” is officially called the Nomad ND1.
More substantive info will be coming with this month’s print edition of GameInformer, which promises to share the results of a Bioware Montreal studio visit and a lot of gameplay details. The contents of the article aren’t yet available online.
If you want to get deep into the weeds and read up on unofficial leaks and speculation, the best source remains this NeoGAF thread from last year, which contains a mixture of confirmed and unconfirmed details about the game’s plot and gameplay mechanics. The thread quotes some years-old information allegedly taken from a marketing survey about the then-untitled game—information that, for the most part, has been confirmed as more details of the game have been officially revealed. The bulk of speculation on the Web is based around that leak. Beware of spoilers: so far, it has been proven accurate.
Dates and prices
We were hoping above all for release dates and prices, but we didn’t get much. The trailer says we’ll get a spring 2017 release and didn’t mention a price. However, Bioware’s store page now shows pre-order options for three editions on three platforms. Windows, Playstation 4, and Xbox One will each have a standard edition, a “Deluxe Edition,” and a “Super Deluxe Edition.” Windows users can pre-purchase through Origin, where the pricing is $59.99 for standard, $69.99 for Deluxe, and $99.99 for Super Deluxe. The Xbox One and Playstation 4 pre-order links didn’t appear to work properly at press time, but pricing will likely be identical.
According to Bioware’s chart, the difference between standard and deluxe are some cosmetic in-game items, some in-game armor and weapons, some multiplayer booster items, and a soundtrack. The super-deluxe includes an additional multiplayer booster pack. Unless there are additional unlisted bonuses or items, it sounds like the super-deluxe edition simply provides $30 of additional multiplayer “pay to win” items.
As noted at the very end of today’s trailer, the next Andromeda tease will be in December, at the Game Awards. We’ll have to wait until then for more official stuff.
Listing image by EA/ Bioware