Bioware still hasn’t announced the official launch date for Mass Effect: Andromeda, though it does look set to arrive sometime in March. But the company has revealed some more facts about the game itself, including its multiplayer element and the familiar alien races that may make an appearance.
Speaking to Game Informer, Bioware creative director Mac Walters said that not all of the alien species who starred in the original Mass Effect trilogy would feature in Andromeda, but they will probably appear in future titles.
“We’ve designed the IP in such a way that they can all show up,” said Walters. “For hopefully obvious reasons, they’re not all going to show up in the first game.”
After Walters confirmed that Andromeda is not the start of a new trilogy, some fans took this to mean that it would be the last ever Mass Effect. Thankfully, this is not the case.
"To be clear: Just because Andromeda isn't start of a trilogy, doesn't mean we haven't been planning for future adventures. Just not 3 acts," Walters tweeted. "There are so many stories left to tell...," he added in another tweet.
In a separate Game Informer article, Bioware’s Ian Frazier revealed that Andromeda's multiplayer does tie in with the single-player game. The team wanted the feature to fall somewhere between Dragon Age: Inquisition, where multiplayer is totally independent from the single-player campaign, and Mass Effect 3, which can push players too hard to engage in multiplayer by tying it to their galactic readiness.
Frazier said the mission funds obtained in Andromeda’s multiplayer have "tendrils going out into the rest of the game."
"You will have possibilities to send teams to complete kind of side missions, or to do it yourself in multiplayer. That’s the idea," he added. Frazier also said people shouldn’t feel like they have to take part in the multiplayer element: "If you feel cheated, we’ve done something wrong."
Changes from ME 3's multiplayer include methods of keeping battles open and flowing with less hiding behind cover, such as jet packs and enemies designed to flush out players. Additionally, powers will now have individual cooldowns, rather than them all being attached to a single timer. But one feature that will return is blind card packs, so receiving new weapons, character kits, and items will rely on luck.
"If you don’t want to be at the mercy of the random number generator for the cards, you’re still at the mercy of what’s in the store right now, but it’s like, ‘Oh, that’s the Black Widow and I really want it!'" says Frazier. "You can buy them with real-world money if you want to, but again, nothing requires that."
We’ll no doubt learn more about Andromeda at the Game Awards on December 1.