Mass Effect: Andromeda Graphics Targets Are CGI Trailers from the Original Trilogy, All Assets Were Made from Scratch
As they near the end of their exclusive Mass Effect: Andromeda coverage, GameInformer posted a miscellaneous piece with several new tidbits of information on Bioware's next Sci-fi RPG. Some of them are well worth being highlighted, such as the fact that the studio is using CGI trailers from the original trilogy as the target for real-time graphics in Mass Effect: Andromeda.
That's mostly thanks to the power of Frostbite. The engine change also meant that Bioware had to create all assets, systems and tools from scratch for this game.
The main character has been designed to be a more blank slate in comparison to the trilogy's Shepard. Creative Director Mac Walters said:
Shepard came on the scene, and it felt like they’d already accomplished a lot and they’d done a lot and they’d seen a lot – but I hadn’t. That whole universe was new to me, and so there was a bit of a disconnect between me and my player character right from the start. And so, with this, I’d really like us to close that gap as much as we can without going full amnesia.
Interestingly, Ryder's rank before assuming the role of Pathfinder is recon specialist. On the gameplay front, Bioware revealed that enemies of the same class will sport different abilities based on their race. They also said that while not all of the known races will show up in the first game of this new saga, that is going to happen over the course of future installments.
While visiting planets across the Andromeda galaxy, you'll have to encounter different kinds of environmental hazards. The scorching heat of Elaaden was mentioned earlier, but there are others as explained by Producer Mike Gamble:
Another planet you might have ice, or radiation, or another kind of hazard. We’re trying to mix it up, and how you survive them will be different depending on the planet. Some might require a different Nomad upgrade, others will take shelter, and so forth.
The scope of the game is reportedly huge but that doesn't mean the developers have favored quantity over quality. On this topic, Mac Walters said:
The key for us has been ensuring that the content is rich and up to BioWare quality standards. Believe it or not, as massive as this is, we’ve actually continued to restrain the scope as much as possible so we can bring quality to each of these areas and make each one memorable. That’s a term I use a lot – I want these places to be memorable. I don’t want it to be like, the white planet, the blue planet – I want to remember the names of the locations and the characters I meet.
Finally, you won't have to start a New Game + after you've finished the game the first time around as it will be possible to keep exploring the galaxy, even after the main story has been completed.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is targeting a Spring 2017 release for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. We already know it will support HDR on all platforms (HDR10 on Xbox One S and PlayStation 4, Dolby Vision on PC) and that it will support PlayStation 4 Pro with a native 1800P (3200x1800) resolution coupled with checkerboard rendering.
The first gameplay trailer debuts on December 1st, during The Game Awards 2016.