E3: Mass Effect: Andromeda revealed

2015-06-18

Fans of the immensely popular Mass Effect trilogy by Bioware got their first glimpse of the much-anticipated sequel Monday at E3. True to Bioware’s avowed mission to give fans what they most want – namely to go somewhere new and have new adventures with new characters and species – Mass Effect: Andromeda will take the player to the vast new galaxy of Andromeda, far away and long after the events of Mass Effect 3.

Bioware’s reveal trailer opens on a John Ford-worthy western landscape to the music of Johnny Cash’s Ghost Riders in the Sky. The scene is wiped to that of an ice planet, then to a magma planet as we discover we are looking at a HUD being operated Minority Report-style by an N7 soldier, who Bioware states is not the main protagonist. The soldier browses several more breathtaking planetscapes before going back to the first. He then activates warp drive through the HUD and we arrive shortly in orbit above the beautiful orb of the desert planet. The soldier pulls out his trusty pistol on his way, no doubt, to the shuttle bay.

We then see a new and improved Mako ground vehicle race to the scene of combat. The N7 soldier advances under fire accompanied by a Krogan and a humanoid female figure as hidden technological spires emerge from the ground. He uses a new piece of equipment – a jetpack – to make a powerful jump attack with his omni blade on the unidentified but soon-to-be-dead enemy.

The trailer ends with the disclosure of the release window of Holiday 2016 and the mention that the trailer was “captured in-game” and is “representative of game experience”.

We built this trailer in Frostbite™, our game engine,” states Aaryn Flynn, Studio General Manager of BioWare Canada on their blog, “and it represents our visual target for the final game. We are thrilled by what we’ve already been able to achieve in bringing Mass Effect to Frostbite and by putting our entire focus on PC and current gen consoles.

Frostbite is the same engine that powers Bioware’s Dragon Age Inquisition and Battlefield 4. Because the Edmonton-based Dragon Age and Montreal-based Mass Effect teams are using the same Frostbite engine, Mass Effect: Andromeda “…can start from some of DA3’s core systems instead of starting from scratchtweeted Yanick Roy, Studio Director of BioWare Montreal.

Much of the reveal trailer aligns with unofficial but compellingly credible information leaked via a “survey” and posted to Reddit two months ago.

“The next Mass Effect game takes place in the Helius Cluster (a cluster of 100s of solar systems in the Andromeda Galaxy), far removed by time and space from Commander Shepard’s heroic acts and the final events of the Mass Effect trilogy. You are a pathfinder, a combat trained but un-tested explorer leading an expedition into the Helius cluster to establish a new home for humanity.

As you explore this sprawling series of solar systems (over 4x the size of Mass Effect 3), collecting resources and building colonies, you will encounter the savagery of untamed lands in the form of cut-throat outlaws and warring alien races. To survive and colonize the wild reaches of space, you will need to grow your arsenal, your ship, your crew and make strategic (and often uneasy) alliances to fight against increasingly menacing foes.

Along the way, you will encounter the remains of a once powerful and mysterious alien race, the Remnant, whose forgotten technology holds the key to gaining power in this region of the galaxy. As you uncover who the Remnant were, and the mysteries their ruins contain, you are drawn into a violent race to find the source of their forgotten technology that will determine the fate of humanity.”

What is beyond question is that Mass Effect: Andromeda as revealed in this trailer has stunning graphics and promises a vast new world for a new protagonist to explore. New adventures and new challenges await. Choose your comrades and your equipment wisely.

This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by Ion Blacknight.

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