The best games are the ones that you lose yourself in and make your own. That’s always been what the Mass Effect series offered, a chance to make decisions in a vastly different world from our own. The Mass Effect Andromeda release was destined to be one of this year’s most exciting games.
But fate intervened. Mass Effect Andromeda got its reveal at the Electronic Entertainment Expo last June, but hasn’t been talked about since that trailer. Electronic Arts, who owns series developer Bioware, confirmed that the decision was made to push the Mass Effect Andromeda release off of this year’s calendar and into 2017.
Mass Effect Andromeda Release Window
It was last year at the Electronic Entertainment Expo that Electronic Arts first confirmed that Bioware had a new Mass Effect game coming. The last game in the series arrived in 2012, garnering accolades and controversy over the studio, allegedly, giving users the false hope that they were truly deciding the fate of their universe. The reveal included a short trailer that confirmed the game would focus on an entirely new character in the Mass Effect franchise, leaving Commander Shepard and his story from past games behind.
On a call in March, Electronic Arts pulled the rug out from under anyone that hoped to get the game in 2016. Bioware, which is also known for Dragon Age and Star Wars: The Old Republic, needed more time to develop the game. The Mass Effect Andromeda release date wouldn’t come this year as originally planned.
Now the publisher believes that it’ll be able to deliver the game early next year. Officially, the Mass Effect Andromeda release is scheduled for the first quarter of 2017. That means that the game will launch sometime in January, February or March.
Mass Effect Andromeda Release: What’s the Story Going to Be?
By the time the game’s release was delayed, Electronic Arts had already shared some interesting details about the Mass Effect Andromeda story.
Previous games in the series were all treated as one epic story, broken into separate parts. The games had years between their releases, but they focused on Commander Shepard and his battle with the Reapers and Cerberus. Because of reasons related to Mass Effect 3’s story, Shepard ends up destroying a mass relay in the process.
All of this is important because it ties to the Mass Effect Andromeda release. The original game took place within the Milky Way Galaxy, but the new game drops that setting for a nearby galactic neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy. Andromeda is the closest galaxy to the Milky Way, but the distance between the two is still staggering.
Through a new video and interviews with media outlets for E3 2016, Bioware has confirmed that Mass Effect Andromeda takes places years after the events in the first set of games. At the core of the story is a human named Ryder, who we see in the EA Play 2016 video wake up from deep sleep. As she sits up she looks around and says, “we made it.” That’s a reference to the dangerous journey her team had to make to reach Andromeda. Bioware has said that this new team of heroes is young and inexperienced.
Though all the games take place in the same universe, Mass Effect Andromeda isn’t a direct continuation of the story from previous games. It takes place years after, Bioware and Electronic Arts say. They’re aiming for a game that’s accessible to those that never touched the earlier trilogy.
Mass Effect Andromeda Release: What We Know & Don’t
We know that players will get to choose between a male or female human character in Mass Effect Andromeda. We also know that Mass Effect Andromeda will have the Mako utility vehicle to customize and pilot. Bioware discusses both elements in an interview with video game website Polygon. It was important to the team that it brings back the Mako. There’ll be a ton of exploration in Mass Effect Andromeda.
What we don’t know is if all the mechanics of the original trilogy will make their way to this one. Mass Effect 3 had a system that let users choose between an action style play through and a more story-heavy role-playing game based play through. The differences between the two were pretty big, with the latter allowing for players to make their own choices and determine the fate of their version of Shepard. It seems unlikely that Bioware would scrap the approach, but anything is possible. There’s been no discussion about game styles publicly.
Mass Effect Andromeda will offer multiplayer. Bioware confirms as much in the same interview with Polygon. What form that multiplayer will take is unclear.
As for compatible platforms, only Windows PCs, the Xbox One and PS4 are getting versions of the game.
Mass Effect Andromeda Release: What to Expect Now
For all the information Electronic Arts has revealed about Mass Effect Andromeda, there’s a lot that we don’t know. We haven’t seen the game’s multiplayer in action. We do know that Ryder and her team are in Andromeda to find a new home for humanity, but we don’t know what happens that sparks a conflict.
Look for Bioware and Electronic Arts to reveal more about Mass Effect Andromeda this fall to build hype for the game’s release in 2017.