In the true spirit of N7 day, renowned Neogaf forum user shinobi602 has posted a huge amount of new Mass Effect: Andromeda information. The information, which is in this month’s Game Informer issue, reveals a lot of new details about the highly anticipated game, including information on combat, backstory, enemies, squadmates, relationships, and more.

Irrelevant Gamer will summarise the most important details here, but the link to the original post by shinobi602 will be included below, so you can read up on everything! Beware of spoilers below.

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These new Andromeda screenshots will be shown throughout this feature!

Backstory

Around 2185, after the Sovereign crisis but before the Reaper invasion, the Andromeda Initiative formed. The Initiative’s main goal is to send scientists, explorers, and colonists from four different races on a one-way trip to the Andromeda galaxy, which has been pinpointed as being rich in resources.

Four “Arks”, each carrying a different race, are built and set on course for Andromeda. Most people inside the Arks are in cryosleep, and each Ark is led by a “Pathfinder”.

You play as either Scott or Sarah Ryder, with humanity’s Pathfinder Alec Ryder as your father. Due to “events that transpire” (let’s be honest, your father probably dies), you are next in line to be the new Pathfinder, even though you are untested as a leader – unlike Commander Shepard.

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Sarah Ryder

Humanity’s ark, the Hyperion, arrives at an incorrect location in the Andromeda galaxy, and loses contact with the rest of the Initiative, including the big hub known as the “Nexus” which arrived on Andromeda before any of the Arks. The location Hyperion lands on is noted as being “volatile”.

Squadmates, relationships, and other races/enemy races

You are joined on your adventure by an Asari nicknamed “Peebee”, shown in previous Andromeda footage. She is described as being smart with a bubbly personality, unrestricted by societal norms. Liam, a former police officer who travelled with you on the Ark, also joins you. Liam has a “light attitude” and brings levity to situations. We assume he is a human.

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Peebee, your Asari squadmate

Turians, Krogans, and obviously Asari and humans are confirmed to be in the game. Other new, friendly races may be included. Bioware stated that they wanted players to experience encountering alien species for the first time, as opposed to having them already established like in prior games.

There are more relationships in the game than in any other Bioware game, as Bioware has noted fans put a lot of emphasis on relationships. Also, the squadmate with the least amount of lines in Andromeda has more dialogue than the squadmate with the largest amount of lines in Mass Effect 3.

Relationships will be less about building up to a sex scene, and more about bonding moments, like shooting bottles with Garrus in Mass Effect 3’s Citadel DLC.

"My name is Garrus Vakarian and this is my favourite spot on the Citadel!"
“My name is Garrus Vakarian and this is my favourite spot on the Citadel!”

The main enemies are the “Kett”. Nothing is known about them yet, but Bioware hopes you will emphasise with them, instead of viewing them purely as enemies.

Environment

Your land vehicle is called the “Nomad”. Unlike the infamous Mako of Mass Effect 1, the Nomad is fast and is able to boost and maneuver much better. It also does not have weapons, but you can customise its speed and appearance.

There are different ways to discover new planets, and most planets will have one big main enemy base. On some planets, you will encounter enemies that are too powerful for your current level, so you will be able to return to them later.

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Instead of just exploring a designated “slice” of a planet as in prior games, in Andromeda you will be able to explore planets from surface to core. There will be interesting puzzles, combat opportunities, and beats of narrative on these new planets.

Ryder can scan for new materials on planets, which will eventually allow you to obtain blueprints for crafting items such as weapons and armour. Due to new alien tech, you can craft items which have never been seen in the Milky Way galaxy before.

Combat

Global cooldowns on abilities have now been replaced by individual timers, which many fans are very happy about. Powers are also hotkeyed for quick use, so you don’t have to pause combat and constantly bring up the power wheel anymore.

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Mass Effect: Andromeda will still be a cover based shooter, with the aim of combat being to encourage the player to move around lots, always searching for new cover. It will have a dynamic cover system (as in The Last of Us).

Ryder will have a jetpack, which allows for more movement variety – e.g. letting you quick-dash instead of rolling, and providing a hover function so you can scan the area and hit enemies who are taking cover.

One of the biggest game-changers in Andromeda is the abolition of the class system. That’s right, the class system is gone! Instead, you have full access to abilities from all classes, and can mix and match abilities from the old soldier, tech, or biotic classes. Investing points in specific abilities will still unlock class profiles, however, so you can become a Vanguard later on in game, for instance. Investing points into a range of abilities earns you the “Explorer” profile.

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New melee weapons make an appearance, such as swords and hammers (hammers in Mass Effect…).

Choices

There is no more Paragon/Renegade system! Bioware wants Andromeda to feel more subtle with regards to morality and decisions. Instead of “blue=good” and red=bad” options in gameplay, options will simply be presented without implications attached (e.g. you will just be given the choice to “shoot” without hints as to whether it may be a “good” or “bad” choice).

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No more of this!

Dialogue will have four options – head, heart, professional, and casual. These options don’t sway a meter one way or the other, giving you complete freedom to just play through the story the way you want.

Conclusion

We’ll leave the other details, such as multiplayer, to the original post, which can be read here. As you can see, there’s a ton of information to process, most of which is an exciting departure from the original Mass Effect trilogy.

Keep your eyes peeled for new Mass: Effect Andromeda information on Irrelevant Gamer, and let us know your thoughts on the new Andromeda details in the comments below!