E3 2016: Mass Effect: Andromeda at E3 2016 – the top four things we learned


Buzz Lightyear would be proud

mass effect andromeda

Game publisher Electronic Arts (EA) and developer BioWare tried to let us down easy with the news that the next major entry in the Mass Effect series, Andromeda, wouldn’t release until early 2017 back in May.

Now, the duo has come to E3 2016 with yet another trailer interposed with shots of the development team working on the game, promising to unveil more later this autumn. However, this time they’ve thrown in plenty of new tidbits of info for mega-nerd followers of the series.

I’ve picked out a few of the biggest takeaways about the new game that we can look forward to exploring in a new galaxy in another seven or eight months. Man, they’re really putting a lot into this one, aren’t they?

1. Built on Frostbite, sweat and tears

mass effect andromeda

BioWare general manager Aaron Flynn revealed on stage that the game is being developed using Frostbite, Swedish developer and Mirror’s Edge creator DICE’s own game engine. What does this mean for you?

Not a ton, really, but it’s a seal of approval of sorts for EA, who’s basically instated Frostbite as its engine of choice for its closest developer partners. We’ve all seen games built on the engine before – Battlefield 3 and 4, for instance – so we can expect an extreme level of polish across vast environments.

Perhaps more telling of the work being put into the game – and don’t you forget it! – was the long-leaping motion capture work shown off in the trailer. That’s a level of dedication that’s going to translate into some hyper-realistic combat animations and character interactions.

2. Tempest is the new ship, and it’s fleeing

mass effect andromeda

Some elements from the story leak last April seem to be panning out, as you no doubt scoped the new SR vessel dubbed “Tempest”. It looks like a much sleeker take on the Normandy, but with an arguably lamer name.

Isn’t there another cool-sounding, minimally-offensive titled battle from history? I’d even take “Normandy 2” or “Son of Normandy.” Maybe my nostalgia’s just too strong.

Anyway, what’s also made clear in the trailer is that you and your compatriots will be fleeing from the Milky Way for whatever reason – the aftermath of the events of ME3, perhaps? The characters seem to be on a desperate mission to find the species of the Milky Way a new home in the Andromeda galaxy.

Plus, there seems to be a whole mess of new ships and vehicles for us to pilot – please let us break out the flight sticks?

3. It sounds like we’ll barely make it there

mass effect andromeda

“We made it.”

That’s what the trailer ends with. A woman in sci-fi uniform wakes up in what looks to be some sort of deep-sleep chamber and utters those words.

Was there a chance of failure in this expedition? What happened to the Mass Effect fields, or were they pushed to their limits to get the expedition crew as far as Andromeda?

Regardless, it’s sure to make for an interesting tone for the game. This game’s story seems to have an uncertainty and desperation to it similar to that of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.

If you, like me, absolutely loved Interstellar – yay! If not … I’m sorry?

4. At least the Krogan and Asari will join us

mass effect andromeda

Essentially every action scene in the trailer included shots of the Asari and the Krogan alongside the human protagonist, which is more comforting than it is revealing. No signs of the Turian, unfortunately.

Surely, that will come in a later trailer with a big stink made about it.

That said, we’ll surely meet some new alien races that will join us on the adventure once we reach Andromeda, all of which will be inexplicably humanoid, because sci-fi.