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Mass Effect Andromeda Revealed at E3 2015

"Discover a new galaxy."


EA started off its E3 press conference this afternoon with a short trailer for the new Mass Effect game, which we know now is called Mass Effect Andromeda.

The trailer didn't show any gameplay--it was purely CG. It did, however, provide us with some teases of what to expect from the game. This includes the return of the Mako (now capable of moving much faster) and the addition of some kind of jetpack for players to possibly use.

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Additional details were not revealed, but we do now have a release window: holiday 2016. It's set for release on PC and current-gen consoles, presumably meaning the Xbox One and PS4.

A blog post on BioWare's website provides a bit more background on the game's development, which was already "well underway" when the Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3 was completed in early 2013.

"We knew we wanted to start with a foundation composed of the best parts of any Mass Effect game: exciting new worlds to discover, great characters, and intense action," BioWare said in a statement. "At the same time, we clearly wanted to expand the definition of what you should expect from a Mass Effect game."

Players will be able to assume the role of a human male or female, but this is not the character seen during the trailer.

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The company goes on to describe Andromeda as "very much a new adventure, taking place far away from and long after the events of the original trilogy." Andromeda refers to the name of the new galaxy.

Also discussed is the game's place within the larger Mass Effect universe.

"While we aren't ready to go into too many details just yet ... this game is very much a new adventure, taking place far away from and long after the events of the original trilogy," EA explains.

"You will play a human, male or female, though that's actually not the character you saw in the trailer (more on that later). You'll be exploring an all-new galaxy, Andromeda, and piloting the new and improved Mako you saw. And through it all, you will have a new team of adventurers to work with, learn from, fight alongside of, and fall in love with."

The trailer shown at EA's press conference was built in the Frostbite engine, which the company says "represents our visual target for the final game."

BioWare announced the next Mass Effect game in September 2012, which is where it first confirmed it will not feature Commander Shepard, as his story came to a close in Mass Effect 3.

A teaser image from the new Mass Effect game was released in November 2013 by producer Michael Gamble.

"The next chapter of Mass Effect is upon us!!" Gamble wrote, attaching an image of a developer playing the untitled Mass Effect game with an Xbox 360 controller.

Shortly thereafter we learned that the game was already playable and "fresh but recognizable."

Talk of the next entry in BioWare's Mass Effect series resumed in April 2014, when studio director Yanick Roy described its development status as being "somewhere in the middle" of the early and late stages.

At EA's E3 2014 press conference, former BioWare executive producer Casey Hudson confirmed that the new Mass Effect would feature entirely new characters, set in a new region of the universe.

Some conceptual prototype footage showed a series of brief glimpses into the new part of the universe, with the environments appearing war torn, a big departure from the clean, angular corridors from the original trilogy.

In November 2014, Chris Schlerf, who was the lead writer at 343 Industries on Halo 4, was revealed to be lead writer on the new Mass Effect game. New concept art was also shown.

More recently, a BioWare Montreal job posting indicated the new Mass Effect will feature some form of online multiplayer, as it required applicants to "create and champion the vision of the multi-player, connected experiences and online features of the game..."

A leak in April 2015 offered suggestions on the game's key features and premise, though it was noted at the time that these may be potential design ideas and not necessarily features already designed and coded.

The survey suggested that the game will be distinctly separate from the previous trilogy, and will take on the role of a new hero, a "pathfinder" explorer searching for a new home for humanity. Read more of the leak here.

Check out all of the news from EA's press conference here, and keep an eye on GameSpot for more news about Mass Effect: Andromeda when it becomes available.

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