Bioware's Mass Effect trilogy was one of the most popular sci-fi series of the last generation. Now the Canadian studio's finally bringing its grand space opera to PS4, Xbox One and PC. Dubbed Mass Effect Andromeda, the latest entry in its intergalactic RPG series promises a world four times the size of Mass Effect 3 for players to explore and roam around in, giving players full control over their very own space adventure.
In preparation for the game's release, we've gathered together everything we know about the game so far, including its release date, merchandise and price and pre-order deals. We've also explained how Mass Effect Andromeda will support Sony's super-powered PS4 Pro console.
Mass Effect Andromeda release date
Mass Effect Andromeda will be arriving on March 23rd 2017 in Europe on PS4, Xbox One and PC, two days later than its launch in the US. Bioware's general manager Aaryn Flynn announced the news on Bioware's website, stating, "We appreciate your patience (and in fact, even your lack of patience in some instances) as we’ve been focused on completing the game."
He added: "Over this holiday break, developers at BioWare took home a version of the game in what we call the “holiday build”. This is a longstanding studio tradition that goes back to the early days of the original Mass Effect. Many load up a PC or console and go home to play as much as possible at their leisure. Coming back from holiday, the feedback has been great. Getting the endorsement from members of our studio, many of whom played key roles on the original trilogy, was definitely a key factor in helping us lock in on the date.
"Even more exciting for us over the last couple of months has been seeing the excitement build in the community as we’ve started to share more about the game. The passion you have for the franchise continues to drive us. And now, we’re just a couple of months away from delivering a brand new Mass Effect experience to you for the first time in five years – richer, deeper and ready for exploration. We’re excited about how far we are going with the franchise, and we hope you find it’s been worth the wait."
What is Mass Effect Andromeda?
Mass Effect Andromeda is the next instalment in Bioware's popular Mass Effect series. Set in a brand new universe thousands of light years away from the events of the original Mass Effect trilogy, Andromeda should be a great jumping-in point for newcomers to the franchise.
The game features a brand new cast of characters and an all-new protagonist, Ryder, but s/he is no longer the captain of a grand space mission. Instead, Ryder and their crew are pathfinders, tasked with exploring the galaxies of Andromeda to find a new home for humanity.
Naturally, exploration will play a key role in Mass Effect Andromeda, and Ryder will have various tools at his/her disposal to help them tackle Bioware's huge, intergalactic environments. First up, Ryder and crew will be equipped with jetpacks, giving them greater flexibility to scale tall landmarks. The buggy-like Mako vehicle will also be on hand, allowing the team to take to the open road to cut down journey times between far away destinations.
As well as discovering new landmarks, players will be looking for ancient Remnant alien blueprints to craft better weapons and equipment. Building colonies is another important gameplay element, and players will be able to give each one specific functions such as recon, assault or mining.
As with previous Mass Effect games, players will only be able to take two additional party members with them on each mission, but the final cast is sure to be much larger. Bioware's also built on its relationship mechanics for Mass Effect Andromeda, as you'll be able to undertake specific character missions to help strengthen your bond with them.
Mass Effect Andromeda PS4 Pro support
Bioware has confirmed that Mass Effect will receive additional support for the PS4 Pro, but the exact details of what that will entail are still thin on the ground. So far, Bioware has promised higher, near-4K resolutions and high dynamic range (HDR) support, offering richer, more detailed visuals, but there's currently no word on whether multiple frame rate options will be available, or whether Full HD TVs will benefit from sharper visuals via super-sampling.
At the moment, all we have to go on is a pre-alpha video from Sony's PS4 Pro unveiling, where Bioware's general manager Aaryn Flynn talks us how the PS4 Pro will enhance Mass Effect Andromeda beyond what's available on the regular console.
Mass Effect Andromeda prices and pre-order deals
Despite the game not having a firm release date, many retailers have already opened pre-orders for Mass Effect Andromeda. At GAME, consumers will be able to buy a standard version of the game, as well as exclusive bundles that include a miniature die cast Nomad vehicle and a collector's edition remote control Nomad.
Prices are as follows:
£49.99 for Standard PS4 and Xbox One
£39.99 for Standard PC (physical)
£54.99 for PS4, Xbox One and PC with miniature die cast Nomad
£279.99 for PS4, Xbox One and PC with collector's edition remote control Nomad
Meanwhile, Amazon is selling standard versions of the game alongside digital deluxe and super deluxe editions for Xbox One.
£39.99 for Standard PC (physical)
£49.99 for Standard PC (Origin digital code)
£47.49 for Standard PS4 and Xbox One (physical)
£59.99 for Standard Xbox One (digital download code)
£69.99 for Deluxe Xbox One (digital download code)
£89.99 for Super Deluxe Xbox One (digital download code)
The Deluxe edition includes additional armour and costume sets, an elite weapons set and a new vehicle skin for the Nomad. Players will also receive multiplayer booster and deluxe launch packs, the game's digital soundtrack and a pet space-monkey for your ship.
The Super Deluxe edition contains all of the above, but adds more Multiplayer Booster packs. Players will also receive a premium pack designed for co-op play every week for 20 weeks.
Tesco is only selling the standard PS4 and Xbox One version of the game, which at time of writing costs £47.49 on each format, but other supermarkets have yet to list their pre-order prices. Argos, on the other hand, is selling all three physical formats, with PS4 and Xbox One costing £49.99 and PC costing £48.99.
Naturally, the game will also be available digitally on PC through EA Origin. Here, the standard version of the game costs £49.99, the Deluxe edition costs £54.99, and the Super Deluxe edition costs £69.99. It's also worth noting that Origin Access members will be able to save an additional 10 per cent on these prices.
In the UK, the PlayStation Store and Xbox One Store have yet to reveal their pre-order prices.
Mass Effect Andromeda merchandise
GAME currently lists various pieces of Mass Effect Andromeda merchandise, ranging from shirts, tank tops and rubber keyrings. All apparel costs £19.99, while the keyring costs £2.99.
Merchoid also has an official line of Andromeda merchandise, again mainly focused on apparel. The collection includes N7 hoodies and jackets, men's t-shirts, women's crop tops and leggings, socks, caps and beanie hats. All feature artwork and logos from the game. Prices start from £14.99 for the accessories, £17.99 for the women's range, £15.99 for the men's range, and £37.99 for the hoodies and jackets. All are available to pre-order now and will ship in the weeks running up to the game's release date.
Merchoid community manager Jessica Adams stated, “Whether you’re a FemRyder or MaleRyder, if you’re off exploring in search of a new Earth, you’re going to need some good gear. Our new range has everything you need (except the spaceship!)."