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Mass Effect: Andromeda: What We Know, What We Think We Know

Despite multiple trailers, delays, rumors, and leaks, things have been mostly quiet on the official news front for Mass Effect: Andromeda, the newest installment in BioWare’s much-loved sci-fi franchise. But, that doesn’t mean we haven’t learned bits and pieces about it over the past few years, even if the information is often spotty and sometimes must be treated as non-confirmed possibilities rather than definite leaks.

Because we love you, Mass Effect, and comprehensive information pieces, let’s take a look at the facts and speculation about Mass Effect Andromeda.

See Ya, Shepard

Andromeda’s protagonist will be a trailblazer of sorts, but it won’t be Shepard 2.0 (or 3.0, if you want to count the Lazarus project). Instead, the new character will be a human – male or female, depending on the player’s choice – with their own interests and mission. Staying true to the BioWare RPG format, they will have “a new team of adventurers to work with, learn from, fight alongside of, and fall in love with.”

It should also be noted that the character seen in the trailer is not the main character players will use. 

New Galaxy, New Faces, New Places

As the title suggests, this game takes place in the Andromeda galaxy and places heavy emphasis on exploration and resource collecting across the varied environments on each planetary surface. The infamous Mako land rover will return again, this time with retooled physics and a more “responsive” control scheme to make planet traversal slightly less arduous than it was in the original Mass Effect.

A massive post on Reddit has shared some details about the game’s supposed plot, although it should be noted none of this has been officially confirmed by either BioWare or EA and should be taken only as speculation.

Supposedly taking place in the Helius Cluster of planets inside of Andromeda, this is essentially a story about settlement of a wild and reckless galaxy. The player character serves as a “Pathfinder,” scoping out planets and helping establish human settlements on their surface. While on their trek to expand human influence in the universe, this character and their crew will likely encounter outlaws and warring groups and races of aliens on the different planet surfaces.

According to this leak, there’s a larger story to explore dealing with the remains of an old alien race known as the Remnant, whose technology leads to a race to protect the future of humanity. Because of course, it wouldn’t be an epic space opera without epic universe-ending weaponry that must be kept from the wrong hands.

As BioWare mentioned above, there will be new crew members and friends in Andromeda, along with unique conversation selections and loyalty missions that unlock once a character has interacted with Shepard enough.

New Alien races will likely be discovered, possibly including what looks like a horned Krogan. Which, you know, considering their size and strength, is a pretty terrifying addition.

One of the most unclear plot details at the moment is when Andromeda takes place in relation to the original trilogy. An official BioWare post claims it’s “very much a new adventure, taking place far away from and long after the events of the original trilogy.” However, other leaks suggest Andromeda is set during Shepard’s time fighting with the reapers, which would then possibly lead to cameos within the game featuring classic characters from Mass Effect 1, 2, and 3. We’re hopeful more details about the story will be revealed next month during E3.

Make Mine Multiplayer

Although it may not be exactly like Mass Effect 3’s version, Andromeda will feature more online multiplayer for those who purchase the game. Nothing else has been confirmed, but the speculation and rumor mill has once again provided some possibilities.

If the campaign does indeed focus on colonization, it’s likely there will be a management element attached to the main game, in which players can send back resources and respond to different requests by sending in strike teams, sort of like the Inquisitor’s option to send representatives to deal with conflicts in their stead in Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Speculation suggests these strike teams will tie into the multiplayer, where people can opt to jump in and complete the strikes themselves rather than leave it to AI bots to manage in real time. These missions would probably involve different objectives, and it’s likely many of them will even follow the wave-based cooperative combat used in Mass Effect 3.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go

The Mass Effect series has a diverse set of environments ranging from frozen tundra to open desert. Based on what we’ve seen in the handful of trailers, Andromeda will be no different. In said trailers, we’ve seen sprawling deserts, mountainous vistas, stormy plains, and stretches of cavernous stone, all of which can likely be assumed to be a sample of the many places to see and explore in this new galaxy. Hopefully they learn from the previous trilogy and put more life on the side planets to give exploration a bit more depth and meaning.

There are plenty of other speculative theories and tentative leaks to be found online, each with seeming shreds of credibility that have yet to be confirmed. Still, it’s fun to piece things together and create predictions for the future, especially when we have more powerful tech now than when the original Mass Effect dropped in 2007. Machines now are more likely to run things they never would have before, so the opportunities are massive and enticing.

Mass Effect: Andromeda has been delayed into early 2017, but we’re hoping to learn more details about our next space odyssey in the very near future. Until then, feel free to dump your own thoughts and theories into the Chatty.  

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