I write this with the hesitation of someone who worries it might provoke someone else into starting an online petition. "Boycott Mass Effect Andromeda [official site] unless it has that one alien that looks like a space-cow made of jelly in it!" But, I am curious as to just how much of the existent Mass Effect universe the game they don't want to put a 4 after will cherry pick to remain.
Some familiar knobbly faces will return, others will not - not yet, anyway.
We don't have an exact picture of who is and isn't returning for Andromeda, but Eurogamer have drawn together various info from trailers and the slow drip feed of reveals to Game Informer (most recently this) to surmise that humans, Asari, Turians and Salarians are all returning - apparently it's these who have all crammed a few souls onto big spaceships travelling to a new life in Andromeda. (More info on how that works here).
I guess they're the most familiar faces, but that also makes them the most boring factions to return, in that they're the ones we already know a bunch about from extensive time with them in the last games, so now Andromeda has to effectively redo them in order to create new tensions.
Krogans are reportedly going to be there too, but apparently don't have their own ship. There's evidence to suggest that one of the blighters will fetch up on your team, however. The short-tempered rhino-Klingons feel a bit less played out somehow, but perhaps that's because they're based on a clearer, more timeless archetype and their aggressive nature can keep them in the frenemies bracket without requiring elaborate new explanation.
None of the other existent ME races have been spotted anywhere as yet. This doesn't mean a few of 'em them won't crop up somewhere in Andromeda, but creative director Mac Walters has told Game Informer that "For hopefully obvious reasons, they're not all going to show up in the first game." My guess would be that 'obvious' means 'we don't want to do basically the same thing all over again.'
Leaving out the factions we know are there, those in contention to be absent from the new galaxy are Quarians, Geth, Drell, Volus, Batarians, Vorcha, Elcor and Hanar.
WHICH IS ALL THE BEST ONES. Apart from the Vorcha. Space-goblins are too obvious.
I'll particularly miss the Hanar and the Elcor if they don't show up. Actual Otherness, not just more bipeds. Fortunately, Walters goes on to say that absent friends may not be eternally absent. "We've designed the IP in such a way that they can all show up." Even if these chaps didn't get their own colony ships, space magic can solve anything, remember.