Much like every other BioWare game before it, preventing Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s very imminent cataclysm-by-evil-aliens will be entirely secondary to whooshing around the galaxy in a spaceship, collecting shiny things, and trying to persuade members of your crew to bang.
“This is the biggest we’ve ever gone, in terms of the number of pieces of content,” game producer Mike Gamble told GameInformer. “There are combat-related encounters, puzzle-related encounters, narrative-related encounters, and a lot of things will happen that add more depth to the critical path.”
Loyalty missions are back, for example. It’s one thing adding a new person to your away team roster, but who are they really? “Because they veer off of the critical path, it just allows you to tell very different stories,” explained creative director Mac Walters. These missions can also take the player to new locations that they might not have discovered on their own.
Planets are much bigger this time, and include multiple points of interest, and some even have environmental hazards like “sulfur pools and magma flow” to negotiate. “We don’t want to just give you map markers to follow,” said Gamble. “We want you to explore, and find things, and stumble upon them. We really wanted to do that for players because it teaches them to go outside of the roads, and that is what the game is all about and why we give you the Nomad.” There are also enemy bases to capture and pillage, potential combat encounters with other factions and “super-bosses”, and (obviously) minerals to scan for new tech upgrades.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is out on PC, PS4, and Xbox One in March 2017.