Mass Effect enters Andromeda

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For many “Mass Effect” fans, Nov. 7 or N7 day, is a day of celebration for one of the most iconic video games series released in the last 10 years. “Mass Effect 3” was released in 2012, and since then there has been talk of a new game. In past years, the “Mass Effect” series developer Bioware has used N7 day to reward fans with concept art or possible hints for the new game. In 2015, Bioware released a teaser trailer for their new game “Mass Effect: Andromeda.” Another trailer was released at this year’s E3 convention, showcasing more of the game and its development. But those trailers were nothing compared to the new cinematic trailer released on this year’s N7 day.
The original “Mass Effect” series is set in the futuristic 2180s in the Milky Way Galaxy. In this future, humanity has become very technologically advanced, which allows humans to travel throughout the Milky Way Galaxy via Mass Relays (hence “Mass Effect). Over time, humanity has built relationships with other species found and established colonies throughout the galaxy. The main character is Commander Shepard, a decorated soldier in Earth’s System Alliance N7 program. The Earth’s System Alliance is charged with protecting Earth and each of its respective colonies. Commander Shepard becomes the first human Spectre, an elite group of agents who serve the Citadel Council, the governing force in the Milky Way Galaxy.
The galaxy is threatened when mysterious robotic enemies called the Geth attack the human colony Eden Prime. Commander Shepard is tasked with protecting the colony and driving back the Geth forces. But in the process of liberating Eden Prime, Shepard comes into contact with an artifact from the ancient Prothean Empire. The Protheans were an advanced alien race who left behind many artifacts, including the Mass Relays. This artifact shows the Prothean Empire’s demise at the hand of the all-powerful robotic alien race known as the Reapers.  Shepard and their team come to the conclusion that unless they stop the Reapers, the entire galaxy will be destroyed. Throughout the series, Shepard recruits allies from many different races such as the Krogan, Turian, Asari, Quarian and many more. Each ally has different abilities that helps Shepard throughout their struggle against the Reapers.
If you have never experienced “Mass Effect” before and own an Xbox One, or if you have but want to play the games on your newer console, Bioware has made the entire “Mass Effect” series backwards compatible as a part of N7 day.
While the original “Mass Effect” games were about saving the Milky Way Galaxy, “Mass Effect: Andromeda” will take place in the Andromeda Galaxy. Instead of being Commander Shepard, you will now be the “Pathfinder,” named Ryder. The female and male Ryder characters are actually twins, and are voiced by Fryda Wolff (Sarah Ryder) and Tom Taylorson (Scott Ryder). According to the various trailers shown so far, the Alliance has decided to send various ships with different races to the Andromeda Galaxy.
The exact timeline has not been given, so whether or not “Mass Effect: Andromeda” takes place before or after the original “Mass Effect” games is unclear. In one of the trailers, Alec Ryder (the twin’s father) and Andromeda Initiative founder Jien Garson are standing on the Moon and tell the audience “It is time for us to prepare for a future beyond the Milky Way, the future begins 600 years from where we stand, in a time and place among unknown stars and unseen dangers.”
Let’s break that down. “Six hundred years from where we stand” probably means that humanity has finally gained the ability to travel millions of light years. Also the newest trailer said that the people traveling in the ships will be put into cryostasis on the ship Ark Hyperion, and will wake up upon arrival.
The names of the human and Asari squad mates shown in past trailers and concept art have been revealed, and are known as Liam and PeeBee, respectively. In addition, there is also appears to be one villain, rather than an army (like the Reapers). Like past games, players will be able to romance various characters found throughout the game, or befriend them and earn their trust via loyalty missions.
In addition, the mission known as the Andromeda Initiative is said to be a “one-way trip” meaning that we will most likely not run into any characters from the past series, or find out what happened to Commander Shepard after the Reaper battle on Earth. In addition, a companion trailer was released announcing a website to learn more about Andromeda Initiative. On the site, one can learn about the mission, watch mission briefing videos and complete training to receive an exclusive special edition Pathfinder helmet which may be for Xbox Live Avatars.
This N7 day was one of the most exciting yet as it revealed the answers to many questions fans have had since E3. “Mass Effect: Andromeda” is surely to be quite the adventure, as it will be a whole new story in a completely different galaxy. Its March 21 release date next year seems like 600 years itself. Until then, many will be asking, “What adventures await me in the Andromeda Galaxy?”