5 Reasons to Get Excited for Mass Effect: Andromeda

Get excited, y'all.

A Whole New Galaxy

Mass Effect: Andromeda New World

The original Mass Effect trilogy took place completely in the Milky Way galaxy. By the time we stared down the Reapers and told them to suck it, we’d explored nearly every planet in every star system, whether by probe (oh, so many probes) or by touching down on it. There were memorable locations we visited, such as Illium, Palaven, and Rannoch, and those memories are going to stick with us forever. But it’s time to see something new.

Mass Effect: Andromeda will thankfully give us a new galaxy to explore. Even though we won’t be able to see all of what it entails this first time around, there’ll be a bevy of planets for players to touch down on and establish a home. Each planet will contain secret bases for players to go through that BioWare has designed to test the player’s skill, along with the standard random zones with enemies and loot. They’re lengthy and will contain some kind of reward that’ll definitely prove invaluable later on.

With a new galaxy comes new mysteries and gear. As an action RPG, the latter is the most important part of a game like Mass Effect. Along with the classic Alliance weapons that players have come to know and use over the years, there’ll also be weapons exclusive to the Andromeda galaxy. Fans of the first game’s overheat system will be happy to hear the Remnant-type weapons use this method, while Helius Cluster-type guns are more plasma-based. In a first time move for the series, Andromeda also introduces melee weapons for Ryder to kill enemies with. If you want to shank someone with some space shivs or bash their head in with a Krogan hammer, you can do that. And it only took a 600 year journey to a new galaxy!

New World, New Ride


It’s no secret that the Mako in the original Mass Effect is rather divisive, to put it lightly. While it did have the benefit of making the galaxy feel big by allowing you to drop onto a planet and discover its secrets, the vehicle itself had some control issues. The second game tried to rectify this with the Hammerhead, but many were still crying out for our old space buggy to return. Andromeda isn’t giving us the Mako back in its fullest form with the Nomad, but BioWare has promised that things will be different this time around. Having the developers behind the Need for Speed games means that if nothing else, the controls will be much better this time around.

And then there’s the Tempest, Ryder’s ship and intended to be the new Normandy. Unlike Shepard’s frigate, the Tempest is said to have no loading screens when traveling through the different decks and areas. Further, the different squad members and crew aboard won’t just be in specific, planted locations as they were in the original trilogy. They’ll walk around the Tempest like actual living, breathing people with their own lives. It helps the characters feel more real and the Tempest feel a little more like a home than the Normandy did.

Building Up Ryder

mass effect

Commander Shepard was the face of the original Mass Effect trilogy. As the first human Spectre, you connected with them over three games and tons of content that made them the best hero (or jackass) the galaxy had in the fight against the Reapers. Their influence was so powerful that they managed to resolve century-long stalemates such as the Genophage and Quarian/Geth War, and the Reapers certainly feared them by the time the trilogy had wrapped up.

Ryder, Andromeda’s new protagonist, is not Shepard. At least, not yet; they know how to fire a gun and perform a variety of moves that’ll be helpful in the game, but they don’t have the decorated war history that our original had. In place of military history is family history; players can choose between playing as twin siblings Scott or Sarah as both join their father Alec on a 600-year journey to the Andromeda galaxy. Having your family present in the story–whichever Ryder you don’t pick will continue to exist in the world and do their own thing–allows for a different kind of history in the game, and you’ll be learning more about the family over the course of the game.

Gameplay wise, Ryder brings some differences to Mass Effect: Andromeda. Instead of the typical class system present in the first trilogy, they can switch between the skills of the different classes at any time. Any points you have in one area of expertise can be reshuffled into another for when the mission requires it. Ryder can also craft weapons and name them, and use a jetpack to get around the environment. Needless to say, the new Pathfinder has a handful of skills that makes them different from Shepard, and building them is going to be a huge part of the fun.



It’s safe to say that not a lot of people were looking forward to Mass Effect 3 having multiplayer. Traditionally single-player games have had it tacked on before, with all the indications of being a forced addition, and it didn’t seem like the sci-fi action RPG was a good fit for that. Surprisingly, the four player co-op won a lot of players over with its fast gameplay and compelling rewards system. With nearly every key species in the series history covered under the different classes–how did we get to be a Volus, but not a Hanar?–and a ton of free content, even the most staunch folks against the idea of multiplayer were won over.

Thankfully, it’s making a comeback in Mass Effect: Andromeda. It won’t be as intimately tied to the single-player as it was in ME3, which is either good or bad, depending on your point of view. Still, you and three friends will be performing missions all across the new galaxy. Unlike in the previous games, your powers and abilities all run on individual timers rather than the same one (this mechanic applies to the single-player as well), which will no doubt be invaluable during those Gold tier missions. The blind card packs from last time return, along with a store that sells limited time loot that rotates frequently. If Andromeda’s multiplayer is anywhere near as fun as ME3’s, that’s all we can hope for. The beta has sadly been canned, but the fact that DLC will be free yet again heals some of the pain.

Having gotten a chance to play it at PAX East this past weekend, we can indeed confirm that the fun in Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer has transferred over to Andromeda. If you were worried about that, you don’t need to after you’ve read our thoughts on it.

The New Squad


As with other BioWare games, a Mass Effect title is only as good as its squad. Over the course of three games, we got to know and love the various faces that came to inhabit the Normandy over 30-40 hours. There were some characters you loved right away, such as Garrus Vakarian and Mordin Solus. Then there were others, such as Jack, Javik, and Kaidan (or Ashley) that took some time to get on with, but eventually grew on you. Given how vital that they were to the story of Commander Shepard, it was pretty obvious that none of them will be returning for Andromeda. Some may be referenced by other characters, but that’s as far as we’re gonna get.

Up until recently, BioWare has been keeping fairly mum on the squad for Mass Effect: Andromeda. We’ve already been introduced to Liam, Cora, Peebee, Jaal, Drack, and Vetra. There’s also Ryder’s father, Alec, and Salarian pilot Kallo Jath. Jaal is the only alien (thus far) to come from the new galaxy and is a member of the Angara race.

Like with other games from the studio, the cast of Mass Effect: Andromeda is sure to be loved by the time you finish the game. What’ll certainly help, aside from their personalities and looks, is the return of loyalty missions from ME2. Helping the squad with their own personal agendas will help Ryder learn more about them, in turn giving you new insight to their already complicated lives. Like with Shepard, you’ll basically be a space therapist, but at least you’ve got a fun gang of people to travel the stars with.

Plus, you’ll get to bang some of them, and said banging is reportedly “pretty good.” If that’s not reason enough to be excited by the new blood, then what is?

About the author

Justin Carter

Justin was a former Staff Writer for Twinfinite between 2014 and 2017 who specialized in writing lists and covering news across the entire video games industry. Sometimes a writer, always a dork. When he isn't staring in front of a screen for hours, he's probably reading comics or eating Hot Pockets. So many of them.