Published on September 9th, 2016 | by David


Andromeda Conquers the Helios Cluster.

Further ReadingArs sits down with BioWare to talk about Mass Effect: AndromedaThe Internet was abuzz with rumor and speculation prior to today’s Sony PlayStation 4 event that BioWare might sneak in with some surprise information about the next game in the Mass Effect series, Mass Effect: Andromeda. Since formally announcing the game way back at E3 2015, Bioware has played things very close to the vest—in spite of a few teases since, there are few concrete details on the game’s plot or the characters.

The rumors proved right: BioWare General Manager Aaryn Flynn took the stage and showed us a three-minute video that included a bit of gameplay and a bit of exploration—in addition to announcing that the game will take advantage of the Playstation Pro’s 4K and HDR capabilities (as will FIFA 17 and Battlefield One). “You’ll be totally immersed in Andromeda,” he said to the crowd, “discovering all new alien worlds, brought to life with sharper graphics and high dynamic range lighting. We’re also able to create more lifelike characters, which will continue to allow you to experience the best stories you can play.” Update: Here’s a link to the video.

We already know that Mass Effect: Andromeda takes place in the Helios Cluster, a region of space located in the distant Andromeda galaxy. The game breaks from previous Mass Effect titles and features a whole new cast of humans and aliens. Based on tweets and other hints, the humans in the new cast of characters appear to be part of a family with the surname “Ryder,” with the story (possibly) centering around the young woman shown in the 2016 E3 trailer.

Further ReadingVideo reveals new Mass Effect Andromeda hints, including character nameThe video shown at today’s event (skip to about 33 minutes into the presentation) featured Ryder (though male instead of female, which supports previous comments from BioWare that you’ll be able to pick the player character’s gender) inside what appears to be an enormous, dimly lit abandoned alien vault filled with Tron-like lines and pulsing geometric shapes. The effect is similar to (but distinct from) the technology used by the ancient Protheans in previous Mass Effect games. Ryder walks slowly through the structure, hopping from platform to platform with the aid of a jetpack and scanning the environment via Dead Space-style visual menus (that is, we as the player see the interface as the game’s characters see it).

There’s no combat shown in the demo, though Ryder does have at least one weapon hanging off his back. The brief glimpse of gameplay we get is comfortingly Mass Effect-y. Ryder exchanges some brief banter during the exploration portion with his three companions (two other humans and an Asari), and then the video shifts to a cutscene showing Ryder interacting with a control panel. The panel summons a holographic map of the region.

Mass Effect: Andromeda is expected to be released early next year. We’re expecting to get a huge amount of info on the game in two months, on November 7—”N7 Day,” as BioWare calls it. Stay tuned.


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