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Strap in for the Journey to a New Galaxy in Mass Effect: Andromeda; N7 Day Trailer Debuts

Category: Gaming
Posted: 07:27PM

N7 Day is here, where we'd finally get some more information on Mass Effect: Andromeda, BioWare's newest entry in the space RPG saga. Sure, we had some bits and pieces since the reveal trailer last year, but this is the N7 Day closest to the game's launch, so we'd have to get something. Well, BioWare delivered, as it revealed a cinematic trailer that helps set the stage of ME:A a little more than what we've known before. We get glimpses of the villain, or possible villain, as well as some of the exploration, armor, weapons, vehicles, and more. Really, you just need to watch it to get the whole picture of what we're getting in ME:A. Or at least, as much of the picture as BioWare is letting loose at this time. I'm all for the rather small amount of hype for the game, as the less that's revealed means the more we get to see for ourselves first-hand.

Mass Effect: Andromeda is, of course, set in the Andromeda Galaxy. In 2185, the Andromeda Initiative was started as a civilian, multi-species project to send life far away to the Andromeda Galaxy. For context, 2185 is when the bulk of Mass Effect 2 take place, so while the galaxy has experienced the Eden Prime War and Sovereign's attack on the Citadel, it is before the Collectors emerge and the Reapers invade. The trip to Andromeda is one way, with ark ships for each species set to arrive at a specific destination in the galaxy, the Nexus (a massive ship that arrives early to serve as a forward command post), for seeding and the restart of galactic life. The goal is to eventually form enough of a civilization and get a link back to the Milky Way Galaxy for easier travel. However, something goes wrong with the human ark ship and it arrives at the wrong destination in Andromeda, where your story now begins.

You play as either Scott or Sara Ryder, the children of Alec Ryder, the Pathfinder for the human ark ship. You can customize your character to your heart's content, while your sibling and father can get some customization options, too. An interesting element of ME:A is that whichever sibling you don't play as is still with you on your adventures, just not able to engage in combat due to some issues waking up from cryosleep. You can still interact with them, and they can likely help you out as you scan and explore the planets in Andromeda, but that's likely it. It's all optional, of course, as is the ability to discover more about the Ryder family, possibly things your father has kept secret.

There are also a range of new characters and companions for you to encounter, with the ability to form relationships with all of them. BioWare states the smallest companion in ME:A has more lines than the largest companion in Mass Effect 3, which is quite a feat. Loyalty missions return for your companions, however the missions are not critical to the completion of the main story. You can actually do the loyalty missions after beating the main story of ME:A, which is a nice change from past BioWare games. Conversations and dialogue in general are getting a massive revamp, with the Paragon/Renegade system getting cut and decisions being more about what you feel is best, rather than locking to a specific set. Agreements and disagreements can happen without forcing you down a path, with options such as head, heart, professional, and casual making up your choices. It all sounds like something I can get behind.

Classes are gone in ME:A, with you instead playing however you like to play. If you want to focus on combat, biotics, or tech, you can choose one or all of them to do just that. You can eventually choose a specialization based on your playstyle, where you can choose the more familiar Vanguard, Infiltrator, and other classes. You can also invest in multiple categories to get the Explorer profile, although the exact details of that aren't known. It sounds like we can freely switch between playstyles and classes, meaning we won't have to create a new character just to try out a different class. Armor customization returns, with more options available to us than in ME3. Plenty of familiar weapons return, too, although there are some new ones we can find, including new melee weapons like swords and hammers. Crafting can play a large part in ME:A, with ammo types, weapon mods, weapons, and armor all being possible. Some should be quite interesting, thanks to being in a different galaxy with new tech at our disposal.

Multiplayer returns in Andromeda, too, with BioWare evolving what we got in ME3. There's a card-based economy for earning XP and credits, with everything unlocked normally if you want to avoid paying for microtransactions. You still choose the map and enemy type, as before, but can toss in some modifiers for better rewards (or for fewer rewards, if you want). BioWare also plans to release custom missions with specific parameters, where completing it gives you "mission funds" to purchase cards and packs instead of waiting for them to drop. If you choose to play multiplayer, you take on the role of the Apex Force, a strike force composed of different species from the Nexus. Single player advantages can be gained through multiplayer, but it is not required for the ending of ME:A (we can only hope).

So much and more awaits us with Mass Effect: Andromeda. We'll be getting more information soon, including a gameplay trailer during the Video Game Awards in December. If you want to find out more soon (or now), you can pick up the newest Game Informer when it hits shelves, or navigate to the source below for an in-depth breakdown. And if you want to find out more about the Andromeda Initiative, you're covered below.

Mass Effect: Andromeda is due to arrive in Spring 2017 for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. A Deluxe Edition is available on PC and console, which includes a casual outfit to wear aboard the Tempest (your ship in ME:A), unique Scavenger armor, some Pathfinder weapons, a pet pyjak, digital soundtrack, and multiplayer pack. There's a Super Deluxe Edition available on PC, which adds everything from the Deluxe Edition, as well as a multiplayer pack and a super deluxe pack every week for 20 weeks. The Collector's Edition for ME:A includes a diecast model of the Nomad, your new six-wheel Mako-esque vehicle for exploring planets, or a deluxe Collector's Edition that includes an RC Nomad. You can also buy the diecast and RC models of the Nomad separately.

Sources: YouTube, Game Informer (digital magazine), NeoGAF, and BioWare Store

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