At the end of Mass Effect 3, the Milky Way was forever changed into a very different place. *Spoiler Alert* The Reapers are defeated depending on the ending you chose, and with the destruction of the mass effect relays, every living person is effectively cut off from the rest of the galaxy and stuck on whatever planet or system they happen to be inhabiting. Before this, N7 sent a team out on a 600-year journey to the Andromeda system to explore it and find a colony for humanity to begin anew, if everyone should lose to the Reapers. By the time your team arrives in Andromeda, the Milky Way has already had 600 years of history following the destruction of the Reapers and the mass effect relays. Not knowing what happened back home, you lead your team to start anew in Andromeda.
Story and Characters:
As mentioned above, the game takes place following the 600-year journey of Ryder and the team led by his/her father into the Andromeda galaxy following the events of Mass Effect 2. Shepard and the old cast are completely absent in this game, although familiar races like the asari, krogan, turian, and salarians seem to make an appearance. Surprisingly, not much about the deep plot of the story is revealed other than you being a pathfinder in search of a new home for humanity and the races you left behind. It will be interesting to know whether there will be any communication from the Milky Way that reaches the Andromeda team within the 600 years that have passed in the timeline. However, as this is a completely new galaxy and cluster, you are bound to encounter new allies and enemies, including the confirmed hostile race, the Kett. While not being as insectoid as the Collectors, the Kett seem to have a chitinous type armor akin to the Collectors, but without the multiple eyes and wings. Will the Kett be the main antagonist of the game, or is there a bigger power player and threat in Andromeda yet to be revealed. Following Ryder is a variety of crew members with positions we are all familiar with from past games, but all of them are new faces. We see our first female turian, Vetra, a permanent addition to your crew. According to Bioware, all of your squad mates will be romance candidates within the deeper relationship system coming to Andromeda, including same-sex relationships.
This time around, planets have much more of an open world experience, akin to Dragon Age Inquisition but instead of taking a horse around from place to place, you take the Nomad cruiser to traverse the extensive surfaces of the planet. Instead of selecting your class in the beginning of the game, Mass Effect: Andromeda allows you to tailor and build your skill tree to your liking without being pigeon-holed into a class from the start. The skills, however, are nothing new; with tech, soldier, and biotic abilities populating the skill trees any player of previous games in the franchise will feel right at home. Combat also takes place completely in real time, with the player aiming and using abilities without a pause to select them. Conversation works the same, but Bioware has removed the paragon/renegade dialog options and instead opted for more conversation options to make the role-playing aspect more rewarding and open to different situations. In this installment, a crafting system is included, where you may make new equipment or upgrades based on the natural resources you find in your explorations.
So, what is the verdict? We want to hear from you! Will Mass Effect Andromeda be a sizzling new addition to the franchise? Or will it only fizzle and create controversy like Mass Effect 3. Sound off below and check out Mass Effect Andromeda on March 21, 2017.