The humans have slept for hundreds of years in search of a new home. They’ve awoken to a new fight, where they are the aliens.

The tone of this trailer feels dark, oppressive, and urgent. I get the sense that the humans are overmatched, as we see Ryder limping from a crash site, being grabbed by the throat, and setting up explosives from cover. Definitely seems like we’ll be the underdog and thats a great place to start for the fourth chapter. There’s lots of talk of the protagonist being the ‘pathfinder’ AKA the chosen one. They might even know kung-fu by the end of it.

The player’s character is one of the twins Scott or Sara Ryder, children of the Ark’s original Pathfinder: Alec Ryder. The sibling and father will be customizable companions in the game.

The end of the trailer claims the visuals were all made in-engine and representative of gameplay (though not necessarily actual gameplay you’ll see). If they can deliver a real-time experience like that, gamers should be quite satisfied.

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I’m happy to hear that loyalty missions will be back. Game Informer recently quoted Mass Effect’s creative director Mac Walters saying ” I loved the loyalty missions…As a writer, one of the things I loved was the freedom to say ‘I know this character is coming along,’ so they can carry a lot of the narrative. That made my job easier, but it also made it more fun, because I could tell a more specific story in one of those missions.”

The loyalty missions were effective at fleshing out your companions’ backstories while bonding them with your character in the process. It contributed to the sense of loss if anything should happen to them, especially at an infamous point in ME2. Those side missions were also a nice breather from the main story, even if they suffered from the video game logic of “We have to save the galaxy now!…But first let’s take a detour and deal with my personal crap”.

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In a bold change, the class system has been removed. This was done to allow players greater customization and freedom. You’ll still be able to specialize your character, but Bioware wanted to avoid closing off progression paths. Personally, I feel this is more in line with the RPG philosophy of crafting a unique character personal to you.

Swords and Hammers will be available as melee weapons which suits me just fine. I loved getting up close and personal in ME 2 with the Vanguard’s charge, and a sword would be an excellent addition to that style.

Andromeda will still lean heavily on cover-based shooting, evolving to a ‘dynamic cover system’ compared to The Last of Us. The Jetpack will also be used in this capacity to dart in and out of safety.

The yin and yang Renegade/Paragon system will be tossed in favor of more variety. Players will now choose between Heart, Head, Professional, and (filthy) Casual. There will not be a quantitative measurement for your choices either. This could be a great change to give the choices a deeper and more realistic feel. The previous system felt dated and restrictive, forcing players to pick one or the other if they wanted the maximum benefits.

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For multiplayer, Bioware says they’re taking inspiration from ME3’s four-player Horde Mode. The card system and micro-transactions will also return. I didn’t dabble with the online but ME3 was generally well received in that regard.

At this point, I feel I know enough. The previous three game speak for themselves and it seems like Bioware has a handle on how to deliver a great fourth entry. I’ll look forward to some future information for hype purposes but would also love to avoid any possible spoilers for such a story-intensive game.

Look for Mass Effect Andromeda in Spring 2017.