Meeting the Ryders
Shepard is gone in Mass Effect Andromeda, enjoying a well-deserved rest after saving the universe or lying six feet under, depending on how your adventure went. Because of the completely new setting, Andromeda has two new heroes. The Ryders are a brother-sister team amidst the Andromeda Initiative.
They lead the expedition into the Andromeda galaxy, learning of its dangers and seeing if it can house the remnants of humanity. While they seem like noble soldiers, the Ryders have remained mostly a mystery leading up to the game. Now it’s time to get to know them and shape them into the heroes the galaxy needs.
Exploring the Nexus
The citadel was essentially the center of the galaxy in the original Mass Effect series – a massive space station that served as a hub for all the galaxy’s races to gather and conduct business on. The Nexus is Andromeda’s version of this kind of central area.
Featuring many races coexisting peacefully, plenty of unique shops and quirky side missions, the massive station will be built over the course of the game, slowly opening new areas. Exploring it will be a quick look at the state of this brand new corner of the universe and the many creatures that inhabit it.
Exploring New Planets
Mass Effect has always been about exploration. Because it is set in a brand new galaxy, Andromeda will feature plenty of new planets to explore. The several we have already seen are diverse and beautiful to behold.
Desert planets are barren wastes where aliens struggle to survive, while lush jungles cover the surface of another planet. Each new area will hold its own secrets and enemies to discover. There are apparently several dozen new worlds to land on, and each one is meticulously designed, making it worthwhile to visit their mysterious surfaces.
Meeting New Alien Races
One highlight of the original Mass Effect series was meeting the bizarre races of aliens that made their home in the milky way galaxy. Here in Andromeda, there’s all new life, including the new, an insect-like species with hard exoskeletons that serve as tough armor.
There are undoubtedly many more races to discover over the course of the game, and meeting them and gaining their trust will shed light on yet another dark corner of the Andromeda galaxy. Look forward to discovering what kind of evil BioWare has cooked up, and what strange creatures we’ll be falling in love with his time around.
Revisiting Classic Races
It wouldn’t be a Mass Effect game if a few old favorites didn’t make an appearance. The various alien races from the original trilogy return. The Krogan are still battle-hardened warriors. The Salarians still wield brain over brawn. And the Asari are still a race of cunningly elegant creatures who are as deadly as they are enrapturing.
They may look familiar, but meeting new members of these respective races will still be thrilling. Seeing how they interact with previously unknown forces will also switch things up, making proceedings feel even fresher.
Piloting the New Mako
Touching down on a new planet and jumping in the Mako was always a joy in the original Mass Effect. Rolling over the hills of alien planets, discovering secret installations, and battling all sorts of deadly creatures was a nice change from crouching behind cover and shooting enemies.
Andromeda features a brand new all-terrain vehicle called the Nomad. It will once again make exploring distant worlds feel like a true adventure and not just a walk in a very pretty park. It is also capable of crushing enemies beneath its gargantuan tires, making it a deadly weapon as well.
Jumping Into the New Multiplayer Mode
First introduced in Mass Effect 3, the cooperative multiplayer mode gave players something to cut their teeth on outside of the main story. Players chose a race and leaped into battle, working together to take down waves of vicious enemies.
The mode hasn’t changed too much in its new iteration, but it does benefit from the improvements made to combat. The new races also bring with them new abilities, leading to some fresh ways that players can work together.
Discovering the Mysterious New Story
The story of Andromeda is still shrouded in mystery. We know that Pathfinders Scott and Sara Ryder have come to the Andromeda galaxy to establish a new home for the beings of the Milky Way, but an ancient evil has returned to put a stop to their plans.
The Pathfinders certainly have their work cut out for them. Discovering exactly what this new menace is and what they want will likely be the driving narrative in Andromeda, setting up another epic tale of sci-fi heroism and destruction.
Getting Back into the Series’ Fantastic Combat
Mass Effect has long blended third-person shooting with RPG mechanics. Andromeda is leaning into both facets, delivering hard hitting combat and the customization and weapon specialization offered in RPGs.
Utilizing each class’s unique abilities and destroying any enemy that gets in your way will be even more visceral and dynamic than it was in past games. Andromeda is also implementing plenty of new systems and skills that will make combat even more ferocious than it previously was, giving each encounter a real sense of tension.
Take Advantage of the New Jump Pack and Cover Systems
Ryder can do much more than roll and sprint. They can also utilize the new jump pack to cover the battlefield quickly and take cover much more fluidly. These two simple additions make the act of combating enemies much faster, offering more diversity in the heat of battle.
The jump pack adds a layer of verticality, meaning that abilities can be used from the air and the player can quickly dash around an enemy, pumping them full of bullets in an instant. The cover system makes transitioning in and out of cover much easier. Gone are the days of dying because you couldn’t leave the safety of cover.
Exploring the Tempest
The Normandy was a mainstay in the original Mass Effect series, the player’s home base. They could always return to the sleek vessel and interact with crew, organize equipment and decide their next destination. It received slight upgrades between games, but it was always familiar.
Andromeda will introduce the Tempest. It looks similar to the Normandy, but it undoubtedly has some fantastic additions that will make it stand next to one of the most famed spaceships in all of video games.
New Romance Options
Mass Effect may be about exploring the unknown corners of the universe and saving the galaxy from utter annihilation, but it’s also about love. Whether you want to engage in a deep and passionate romance with an exotic alien or just hook up with a member of your crew, Andromeda will have lots of ways to pick up anything from any corner of the known galaxy.
Meeting the new crew will also let us decide who we want to keep around for the long run in the trilogy. Whoever we decide to choose, one thing is certain: space is about to get steamy again.