Nebulous: Mass Effect Andromeda Due In Early 2017

Last time we talked about vague release windows for Mass Effect Andromeda [official site], you told me were planning to spawn a child in time for its launch. You told me you would name that child Ianlusive Manfred. Well, I’m not going to argue with you again, but I will tell you to wait a few months to to begin spawning. BioWare’s RPG is now due in 2017, some time before the end of March.

If you’re really desperate for scraps, hey, folks have dug up a better look at the guy from that trailer?

Electronic Arts mentioned the revised release window during a recent moneychat with investors, Eurogamer report. When EA officially announced Andromeda in June 2015, after years of talk about ‘the next Mass Effect game’, they said it was due in the 2016 holiday season. The thing which got you going on about Ianlusive was slightly more vague chat about releasing before March 2017, and now, yep, we know it’ll be in the final quarter of EA’s fiscal year: between January 1st and March 31st, 2017.

One day, maybe we’ll even have a release date. That’s not to say I think you should try to have your spawn hatch on launch day – there’s no strict nine-month timer, and you’ll only end up disappointing yourself.

Anyway, the trailer guy, yeah? Back in October, BioWare Montreal senior character artist Furio Tedeschi showed off his high-poly Zbrush work on the Pathfinder model, which was made by Herbert Lowis. It’s old-ish and, y’know, a model render, but Internet detectives only recently spotted it and look I can show you these renders or I can go back to talking about baby names. Which do you want?

Good then.

BioWare did say that the trailer chap wasn’t the player character, mind.

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  1. Choca says:

    I see those Advent soldiers have found a new job.

  2. MadMinstrel says:

    Ah. So it’s going to be delayed until holiday 2017 then. Good to know.

  3. jalf says:

    I’m not really sure how to feel about this game. On one hand, I did like the Mass Effect universe, on the other hand… they’re kind of abandoning it almost entirely with this game.
    I liked the story in the Mass Effect trilogy, but… they’re throwing that away too.

    So hey, if they make it sufficiently Mass Effect-esque, it could great, but that’s not really a given. They could turn it into absolutely anything. It’s weird that they’re trying to drum up hype for the game when the only thing it really has in common with the first ME games is the name…

    Still, looking forward to learning more about it

    • MadMinstrel says:

      Yep. Dumping Shepard and the crew wasn’t the brightest idea considering so many players are invested in that. If they needed the reign in the story branches, they should have just picked a One True Path.

      • jalf says:

        Probably not from a business point of view, but personally, I don’t have a need for more games with Shepard. Her story is done, I think and despite the ending, it feels pretty wrapped up to me. I have no particular need to go back to it.

        But the galaxy, its politics and history and the interplay between the different races, I’d love to explore that further.

        But then again, if they can make something amazing from scratch with Andromeda then hey, more power to them!

        • Rizlar says:

          Playing a Spectre would be a great basis for lots of little unconnected stories, exploring different parts of the universe. They always seemed so cool as well… hearing stories of the legendary Saren, Shepard’s appointment being a big deal politically, Ashley and her bulletproof cyber catsuit. License to kill, total independence, report only to the council etc etc.

        • sosolidshoe says:

          I’d also love to explore those things further, alas they chucked them out too remember. This new game is set in a new galaxy a long time in the future after the end of ME3, ie after Shep fucked literally the whole milky way in one of three colour-coded manners; there shouldn’t really be even a slight resemblance to the previous ME political and cultural scenario.

          They’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t on that score; the more familiar they make the races and cultures, the harder it is for folk who care about story and consistency to get immersed(which makes them less likely to buy), but the more plausibly distant they make those things the less appealing the game is to people who just want a “Mass Effect-y” backdrop while they enjoy the gameplay.

      • Smaug says:

        Please no more SHEPARD, I think moving to galaxy next door is interesting as I liked the initial wonder over the alien species and lore, now they can create brand new ones and hopefully this mass effect will be less human centered.

    • Distec says:

      The problem Bioware/EA faces is that they effectively killed the setting that was built in the first trilogy. The plot painted itself into a corner that not only irrevocably altered the makeup of the galaxy (my understanding is that exploding ME relays does nobody any good and cripples all your intergalactic infrastructure), but also destroyed any of its thematic integrity as well. How do you move forward from any of those endings?

      It’s a shame, because I too would love to revisit my favorite characters from ME 1-3. The character writing – despite some horrendous dialogue that seemed to become more pronounced as the series went on – was easily one of its best parts and redeemed a series that was constantly fumbling its main arc.

      But how do you bring back the characters without that universe? I’m sure somebody can come up with a few contrived hand-waves explaining everything (that probably produces more questions for each answer it provides), but that is exactly the kind of thing that made the series end on such a disappointing note and I advise against it.

      A clean slate that puts a good bit of distance between Andromeda and the OT is probably for the best. And it hopefully allows them to incorporate any lessons learned from the previous games rather than futilely salvaging a setting that was kaput by the end of its run.

      • Zenicetus says:

        That’s my take on it too.

        I only hope that Bioware can resist the temptation to bring along a “beloved character” like Garrus, Liara, Tali, or Wrex along on the expedition to Andromeda. That would suck, and be pure fan service.

      • Asurmen says:

        They didn’t explode.

      • jalf says:

        The plot painted itself into a corner that not only irrevocably altered the makeup of the galaxy (my understanding is that exploding ME relays does nobody any good and cripples all your intergalactic infrastructure), but also destroyed any of its thematic integrity as well. How do you move forward from any of those endings?

        Yes and no. I don’t think that’s impossible to work around.

        First, yes, I’d say that the original cast of characters would pretty much be done with (and I’d be fine with that). But considering that:

        – while the mass relays might be destroyed, at least the important parts of the galaxy would still be able to communicate (we know quantum entanglement thingies were a thing, and those bypass the relay network completely). So at least the main races’ governments would be able to keep in touch
        – people would know that mass relay technology is *possible* (and we know that the Protheans were able to do it on a prototype basis at least, so it’s not *that* far-fetched), and they’d have lots of old parts to study, so there’d be a huge research surge to understand and repair/rebuild/reinvent the relays.

        I actually think it would be a good setting for additional games. Set it a few decades or even centuries after this event, so it becomes the big traumatic event that the galaxy is still recovering from. The first next-gen relays are starting to come online, and races which have been separated for generations are starting to meet up again and rebuild galactic society.

        I think that would make a fantastic basis for new stories in the ME universe.

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      phuzz says:

      Look at it this way; when you (we) first played Mass Effect 1, you knew nothing about the backstory or characters at all, and it still managed to draw you in.
      This game is being made by much the same people, so hopefully it’ll do as good a job of making you care about the new setting and characters as ME1 did.
      We’ll just have to wait and see.

  4. Pich says:

    Please let it have more weird races as companions (or even better, as PC). i’m tired of humanoids, i want an elcor buddy.

  5. Jimbot says:

    If Inquisition is the direction they’re taking their games then I’ll pass. I thought Mass Effect 3 dropped the ball with its story and Inquisition had these huge areas filled to the brim with boring MMO-style fetch busywork.

    Having that garbage in place of proper side missions is not a good thing.

    • brucethemoose says:

      I haven’t played Inquisition, but are they really worse than ME1’s Mako side-missions?

      • mavrik says:

        No, but in ME1 those side missions were the minority of play time. In Inquisition the nicely written character quests are in minority.

        • brucethemoose says:

          I see. Bioware took the “soulless filler gameplay” approach in SWTOR as well, which is pretty sad, as I saw an OK game underneath that.

    • Grinless says:

      Yup, for me Inquisition is the lowest point Bioware ever got in term of bad gameplay.

      Let’s just hope the new ME take a page from the old ME rather than the overly boring Inquisition

      • brucethemoose says:

        ME3 had excellent gameplay though. I’ve a shamefully large number hoirs into its co-op multiplayer…

        • brucethemoose says:

          *put a shamefully large

          Curse you RPS, and your lack of an edit button

          • Asurmen says:

            Notices the word they don’t need to include for the sentence to make sense. Doesn’t notice that hours is spelt incorrectly and needed an ‘of’ before it.

            Your pain pleases me.

          • brucethemoose says:

            I blame my phone :P

        • Tekrunner says:

          I hope MEnot4 expands on ME3’s multiplayer. I spent a good 100h in it, and I never even bothered to make it past the first mission in single player.

          • brucethemoose says:

            Believe it or not, there are some excellent modding tools for it now that are still being updated. That part of the game generated a very dedicated community.

          • Frosty_2.0 says:

            I’m in the hundreds of hours Co-op club also. It’s interesting when people who only played SP comment on the combat – I feel if you haven’t played co-op (esp. w/Updates) you haven’t truly experienced it (el’cheapo ‘nade spam etc.. aside).

            Very interested to see how they advance it in Andromeda. I think taking ME3 Co-op (with updates) as a base bodes well for SP gameplay too. And hopefully they use more co-op style maps/hubs/areas in the SP Campaign and fewer linear battles.

            Just please no one-key-context-“everything” controls again – please, separate binding options on PC at the least. And smoother movement in general.

            I Had no idea modding was working with co-op now; before, changes to the coalesced.ini (even SP only changes) could get you banned?

          • brucethemoose says:

            Bioware doesn’t watch ME3-MP anymore, so you can mod to your heart’s desire.

            I’ll point you here:
            link to

  6. Nim says:

    Yeah… the mass effect world as established in the first game went kinda pants in the two sequels. I understand perfectly it they are trying to steer away from that mess altogether and start anew. Shamus Young has been posting a lengthy retrospective of the trilogy over on his site. It’s a recommended read to anyone who still has interest in the series and why it all ended like it did.

  7. int says:

    Is it a sequel, prequel, interquel, reboot, requel, bellboot, or what?

    • Asurmen says:

      None of the above? I’m not sure whether a game set in the same universe but in the future with new cast and new story line counts as a sequel or not.

  8. Buggery says:

    Make the story more hard sci-fi like Mass Effect 1 was and less soft sci-fi than 2 or 3 and maybe I’ll be interested. Mass Effect 1 had this massive, real feeling galaxy with interesting alien designs and the feeling that the universe was kind of impossible for one single man to explore or barely even have much impact on. The next two games completely abandoned that and made the world they’d set up seem tiny and less interesting, as if the universe was really only the size of a large city.

    • Frosty_2.0 says:

      I think when Drew Karpyshyn (Lead Writer ME1 & novels) left for Star Wars, it was a big loss for the series.. in many ways, it was his vision of the galaxy.
      Obviously there were alot of changes and ideas the team wanted to try moving on to ME2, as well as the changing of the lead writer.

      I also felt alot more cheesy writing coming through in ME2, reigned in a bit in ME3.

  9. Unsheep says:

    …still waiting for Mass Effect 2 to be come out, BioWare is sure taking their sweet time on it.

    If Andromeda is anything like the first Mass Effect game I might forego waiting for Mass Effect 2 to be released, I mean its been 9 years…how long does it take to make a sequel ?!

    • lglethal says:

      I’m sure theres meant to be a joke in that statement somewhere but im just not seeing it…

      • Unsheep says:

        What I’m saying is that Mass Effect 2 should have joined E.T. in the desert.