With the recent announcement that Mass Effect: Andromeda will be releasing in March 2017 (current year if you are still catching up) many of us are curious as to what we may encounter in our adventure to the Milky Ways nearest friend. In a space and time far removed from the original trilogy, Mass Effect: Andromeda is to pick up with a choice between two twins: Scott & Sara Ryder. Interestingly, and unlike previous entries in the series, Scott & Sara both exist in game regardless of the players selection. However, the unselected twin will not be a squad-mate as they have their own role to play in the Andromeda galaxy.

The class base system of the previous games will not be present in the upcoming game, with your choice of Ryder twin being able to unlock any ability in any of the available skill trees that are available. Ryder will be rewarded for specialisation through unlocking profiles if certain abilities are selected, for example: if points are allocated to combat and tech powers, the infiltrator profile will unlock, this is true for all six original classes, plus a seventh, Explorer, unlocked by allocating points to all three skill trees. You’re crew will not be afforded this luxury and will be bound to the more traditional class builds. So, why has Ryder been granted this ability? Because, Ryder is the Pathfinder.

Well, the Ryder twins father, Alec Ryder, is the Pathfinder for the human ark ship Hyperion for the Andromeda initiative. This initiative began in 2176 in order to colonise the resource rich Andromeda galaxy, and in 2185 five ark ships, including Hyperion launched in hopes of finding a new home within Andromeda. The Pathfinder is a blend of elite soldier, scientist and guide, who has been tasked with finding a new home for those aboard their ark, in Alec Ryder’s case that is the task of finding a new home for humanity. Presumably Alec has passed his special blend genes down to his children to give them Pathfinder credentials.

A few races from previous games will be returning such as the Asari, Krogans and Turians. However, no crew members from previous games are expected to return – which makes sense since those aboard the Hyperion were in Cryostasis for the six-hundred year journey to Andromeda. Paragon and Renegade dialogue options will not be labelled as such, this is a design choice as the game pursue a more “shades of grey” character type.

Speaking of shades of grey, romance options are of course present. However, these have be revamped with romance options offering different levels of intimacy. Different characters will be interested in different things, some physical some emotional, some will happen quick, some will need time. It is now also possible to romance multiple characters, however they may react negatively towards your shenanigans. Deadlines to initiate a romance have also been eliminated, giving the relationship development a more natural, less task based feel.

There are many details that are yet unclear, and I for one am excited to see what Alien creatures I will be punching in the tentacles. We know one of these races is to be the Kett, a militaristic race who will be antagonists in the up-coming game (albeit, no tentacles). Who else we will be tossing up in the air with our biotic abilities is still a mystery, and I look forward to finding out for myself as I enter the wild, wild space of the Andromeda galaxy – maybe we will even fight the Rigellians, ya know… like Kang & Kodos?

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