Mass Effect Andromeda: Everything We Know About the Story, Characters, Profiles & Skills

Mass Effect Andromeda: Everything We Know About the Story, Characters, Profiles & Skills

Mass Effect Andromeda is the next installment in BioWare’s celebrated franchise and is taking the story 600 years beyond the events of the original trilogy, all the way to the Andromeda Galaxy as Humans, Turians, Asari and Salarians all launch populated ark spaceships in an attempt to secure a future home for the inhabitants of the Milky Way Galaxy. Their exploration of worlds and interactions with races in the Andromeda Galaxy form the basis for the game’s story and eventual dramatic tension. We chose this game as our Top RPG of 2017 because of the scope of story and gameplay it promises to deliver and with the N7 day reveals and subsequent gameplay footage, we have a better idea of what’s going to be under the hood. In this first part of a series on what we know about the game, we take a look at everything that makes your character tick, specifically the game’s story backdrop, the characters you’ll meet and the profiles and skills that will flesh out your roleplaying experience.

mass effect andromeda space

Release Date

The game is releasing March 21st, 2017 in NA and worldwide on March 23rd. After months of speculation, rumors and leaks they finally made the announcement early January. The game will be available for preload on March 17th and EA and Origin Access members will have a limited early play period starting March 16th for 10 hours of the campaign and unlimited multiplayer.

Launch Editions & DLC

There are going to be 3 different launch editions for the game when it releases this spring.

  • Standard Edition Pre-Order Bonus: 59.99 USD
    • Deep Space Explorer Armor
    • Nomad Skin
    • Multiplayer Booster Pack
  • Deluxe Edition: 69.99 USD
    • Deep Space Explorer Armor
    • Nomad Skin
    • Multiplayer Booster Pack
    • Pathfinder Casual Outfit
    • Scavenger Armor
    • Pathfinder Elite Weapon Set (4)
    • Pet Pyjak
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Multiplayer Deluxe Launch Pack
  • Super Deluxe Edition 99.99 USD
    • Deep Space Explorer Armor
    • Nomad Skin
    • Multiplayer Booster Pack
    • Pathfinder Casual Outfit
    • Scavenger Armor
    • Pathfinder Elite Weapon Set (4)
    • Pet Pyjak
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Multiplayer Deluxe Launch Pack
    • Multiplayer Super Deluxe Booster Packs

Furthermore there is a Collector’s Edition that features either an RC or die cast version of the game’s Nomad vehicle and a steelbook case for the game. The RC version will be a 199 USD value plus the game cost if bundled and the die cast version will be a 99 USD value plus the game cost if bundled.

As far as DLC, there is nothing officially announced but we can safely anticipate it is in the works. We do know that there will be no Season Pass for it.

The Andromeda Initiative

The Andromeda Initiative is a newsletter that also promises special trainings and rewards for completion as it fleshes out the game’s story. So far a few briefing videos have been released and they give some background into the game’s backstory, exploring the arks and the Nexus home base, the Tempest and Nomad and the characters you’ll be meeting. The initiative will possibly reward players with special DLC, access to betas and more.

Story

The game takes place 600 years beyond the events of the first trilogy and stand on its own as a story, although we can expect at least nominal story connections to the original games. What we do know is that the major races of the Milky Way launched a series of ark spaceships with their inhabitants in stasis to the Andromeda Galaxy. They are led by Pathfinders, which you will play as, who will explore and chart the course to new homes, interacting diplomatically and violently if necessary with the native races and creatures. The Andromeda Galaxy is a spiral galaxy approximately 2.5 million light years from Earth, making it the nearest major galaxy to Earth’s Milky Way. Andromeda contains one trillion stars, which is more than double the number of the Milky Way, and provides an attractive location for intergalactic colonization.

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Four Mass Effect: Andromeda tie-in novels are in the works, and will hit stores over the next two years. The first book, Mass Effect: Andromeda Initiative — or Initiation, according to its cover — by N.K. Jemisin, was scheduled to arrive in August, but this release window has passed. The second, third, and fourth books are scheduled to arrive in March 2017, September 2017, and March 2018, respectively. They will “act as prequel and sequels to the events in the games” and will provide insight into the Andromeda chapter of the Mass Effect saga.

Characters & Romance

Ryder is the main character in Mass Effect: Andromeda. Ryder is shown in trailers as both male and female and BioWare has confirmed that Ryder is actually a brother and sister team. You will select one of the 2 siblings to play as, and the other will be alive somewhere in the universe as you play through the story. New Game Plus will allow you to play as the other Ryder sibling.

mass effect andromeda protagonist

Romance is making a return to the game. There will no longer be a hard line where you have to complete a romance at a certain point or it’s lost forever. There will be opportunities to romance multiple people, but this depends on the feelings of your partners and whether they are open to it. Counting squad, crew and light romances there are more romance options in Andromeda than ever before. There will even be casual moments with minor characters, potentially casual one off dates. Same sex and inter-species romance options will be available.

The Kett are one of the new races you will encounter, and early trailers have them set up as potential adversaries. The goal was to design the race to look foreboding but still allowing players to empathize with them. Because of the types of stories they want to tell, BioWare did not want players to dismiss them as mere antagonists, but rather complicated beings. Bone armor added a militaristic feel to their gear. Other new races have been shown in subsequent trailers but none of them have been specifically named. Your primary antagonist has been named though, a mysterious figure called the Archon.

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Squadmate dialogue has been increased. You will be able to speak to your sibling but they will not be in your squad. Several squadmates have been named: Humans Cora and Liam, an Asari named Peebee, a Turian named Vetra and a Krogan named Drack. The popular loyalty missions from Mass Effect 2 will also be making an appearance in Mass Effect Andromeda. Each companion had one of these story focused quests, and they gave players a chance to learn about their squadmates’ history and motivations, and made for some compelling emotional moments. You can learn more about some of your squadmates in the following video:

When it comes to Reputation, the Paragon/Renegade dichotomy has been replaced by Heart/Head/Professional/Casual. There is no longer a meter to track your moral choices against, whether it’s changes to your visual appearance or otherwise.

Profiles & Skills

There are no character classes in the game, having been replaced by the new feature called Profiles. Profiles are specialized orientations that result in play style bonuses such as improved damage with Weapons or Skills, or more defensive boosts and they have titles similar to old classes like Adept and Vanguard. They can be swapped in and out at will and there will be benefits for specific specializations and the profiles can be ranked up as players progress, increasing their specialization effectiveness. There are 7 different profiles players can choose from: Soldier, Engineer, Adept, Sentinel, Vanguard, Infiltrator, Explorer.

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As you play through the game and level up you’ll be able to spend earned skill points on any Skills you want to use, which are specialized abilities that you can use in combat. Skills can be further improved along ranks, with each new rank costing skill points and providing new benefits. As the game progresses, a narrative reason will allow you to respec your allocated points.

There are 3 categories of Skills: Combat Skills, Biotics Skills and Tech Skills. Skills themselves are classified as passive or power (active). Players can equip 3 active powers in combat at one time, each assigned to a button press.

When used, Skills themselves will now have individual cooldown timers rather than a global cooldown for all Skills. This is to allow players more freedom in how they operate, and gives them the flexibility to expend them all or use them in combinations. This is true across single and Multiplayer.

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Mass Effect Andromeda is going to be a huge game and we’ve just scratched the surface. Subsequent parts in this series will cover the weapons, armor, crafting and vehicles you’ll be using as well as the locations and types of activities you’ll be able to engage in. Keep checking back with us to read them all!


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Editor at Fextralife. I look for the substantial in gaming and I try to connect video games to the emotions and stories they elicit. I love all things culture and history and have an odd fondness for the planet Jupiter. I think my dogs are pretty awesome too.

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5 comments on “Mass Effect Andromeda: Everything We Know About the Story, Characters, Profiles & Skills”

  1. Avatar Argetlam350 says:

    So far I feel that Vetra and Drack are going to be my new Tali and Garrus, by that I mean the companions that I shall always have. That’s just me for now. Still kind of hesitant due to ME3 like I explained in the previous thread on the latest trailer but I shall probably get this more then likely day one I won’t deny.

  2. Avatar Emergence says:

    That is the key for me, finding those 2 squad buddies who I bring in no matter what, even if the mission calls for different talents. It’s funny you went Tali and Garrus, because those were 2 through thick and thin as well. It’s weird to be looking towards an experience without them honestly.

  3. Avatar Argetlam350 says:

    Yeah, I’m still holding hope that there will be quarians though we have yet to actually see any in any of the trailers or gameplay.

    Even still though yeah so far I’m leaning to those two as my characters main buddies. Also going to be weird not being Shepard but it will be the first time I mess with the character editor. Never really did that for the trilogy just stuck with the default look.

  4. Avatar Probe_Away says:

    My Ryder will be hanging out with Cora the Explorer :>

    I’ll probably rotate the other squadmate until I find my favourite.

  5. Avatar Invisible_Man says:

    i was always tactically minded… though i admit i’ve taken characters that were "slightly" less suited to the task because i liked them more. however, even though i do like tali, if she’s basically useless on said mission she’s staying home. (note: i admit it’s hard to find a situation where she would actually be useless to the mission… it was just an example)