Gaming hasn’t really had an epic space adventure in a little while, and back when the release of Mass Effect Andromeda wasn’t a billion light years away, it looked like it might well be the massive hit of sci-fi action that we were looking forward to. You can check out more details in the review notes below, but in general it doesn’t quite live up to expectations, despite delivering a massive-scale third person shooter adventure.
It follows up on the previous entry in the series, Mass Effect 3, but this time around you’re going to have to head out even deeper into space in a bid to save humanity once again after the previous climactic battle with the Reapers. The series is one of BioWare’s key titles and Andromeda had been shaping up to be one of its most impressive outings. The game takes place a long time after the events of Mass Effect 3 and sees much of the action well outside of earth’s solar system, in the Andromeda System, the closest galaxy to the Milky Way.
MAE went on to arrive in the US on the 21st March 2017, before getting a UK release date of the 23rd March 2017. It didn’t quite make the credits note in the reveal trailer below, which referred to holiday 2016, but we’re always in favour of games getting more time to get things right than rushing out something that doesn’t work.
It was released on the Xbox ONE, PlayStation 4 and PC, but we’ll be surprised if there isn’t a follow up port to the Nintendo Switch and Mac before too long too. There’s no word on whether or not there will be any compatibility with Virtual Reality headsets like the Oculus Rift or the PlayStation VR, but we can live in hope, because it would suit the sci-fi credentials of the game very well.
Apart from the tells in the reveal trailer below, Bioware is being pretty tight-lipped about the story behind Mass Effect Andromeda, but if we’re being honest you don’t need to be Punxatawney Phil to be able to see what’s on the way. With a protagonist scrolling through Andromeda worlds to explore with cowboy music running in the background it’s clear to see that humanity is going to need to head off to the Wild Wild West of outer space.
Think space frontiers, hostile native inhabitants and a significant disregard for anything other than a gunfight to settle your differences. If the game isn’t the outer limits equivalent of Red Dead Redemption, we’ll eat our Stetson shaped space helmet, but there should be more than enough futuristic sci-fi wonder thrown in for good measure as the new frontier you head out in is pretty technologically advanced.
Mass Effect Andromeda is essentially a third person shooter with a lot of action and a little role playing competition thrown in for good measure. You’ll be heading out to a whole host of new worlds to explore and from the look of announcement trailer you will be given a non-linear option to tackle them as you want to. We’ll know a lot more once the gameplay trailer arrives, which should be around E3 2016.
What Bioware has confirmed is that your character isn’t that depicted in the trailer below, so we can only assume that it’s either one of your mission comrades in charge of the exploration project or a more sinister force. The character you’ll control will be human, but more mailable than has previously been the case in Mass Effect games, so you will be able to choose whether you play as a male or female. We’re assuming that this means you’ll be able to customise them with similarities to Fallout 4, but we’ll know more once the developer gameplay demos start to do the rounds.
You’ll be making your way around Andromeda in a new exploration ship, but we’re not 100% sure it’s necessarily the one that you can see in the trailer video below, because we already know the pilot isn’t the character you’ll play. However, you won’t be heading out some as there will be a large support crew of fellow adventurers along for the ride, who you’ll need to learn from and work with to make it through the massive challenge ahead of you. BioWare has also been pretty open about romance being a big part of the game, talking about falling in love on the odysee, so you might want to invest in a few breath mints and a trip to the barbers ahead of the release.
As with all of the previous games, gunplay will be a big part of the adventure, so you’ll need an itchy trigger finger, a well stocked armoury and some precision aiming to face up against the host of new opposition you’ll face out in the wilds of Andromeda. You’ll also have a new and improved Mako planet exploration vehicle to roam around in, which looks a little like the Batmobile from Batman: Arkham Knight.
The Mass Effect Andromeda reveal trailer was created for E3 2015 and it was built in Frostbite 3, the same engine that the game is in the process of being developed in. If the finished article is anything like this then we should be in for a visual treat with stunning landscapes to explore, epic futuristic structures and a lot of high intestinal action within a sci-fi frontier design concept.
If the trailer isn’t enough eye candy to back up the potential of the graphics, then you can also check out the new artwork stills BioWare has put out ahead of the release date. The three shots show the stunning environments you’ll get to run around in with the first being an arctic tundra with an ice station lit up in the background. There’s also a shot of a massive burning spaceship with the Mako thundering towards it, and an otherworldly cave, so we’re predicting good things from the graphics in the game.
Mass Effect Andromeda was shaping up to be the space cowboy, action adventure heart thumper that fans had been hoping for, a bit like the space equivalent of expectations for Red Dead Redemption 2. There’s a lot still to play for from BioWare with plenty of time left for development, especially if the release date has in fact been pushed back to early 2017, but things have been looking promising since E3 2015. If it turns out to be the open Galaxy thrill-ride that it’s starting to look like then it’ll be another much-loved game in the Mass Effect series, while also rebooting it for future greatness.