Few new game franchises have matched the ambition of BioWare’s Mass Effect trilogy, and Electronic Arts might laugh a whole new generation of Mass Effect games before anyone else can really compete with that scope.
The BioWare development studio is promising a flood of new features and reasons for fans to get excited about Mass Effect: Andromeda in a new blog on its website today. The blockbuster role-playing game will have a large presence at EA’s upcoming Play press conference on June 12 prior to the Electronic Entertainment Expo tradeshow. BioWare also reiterated that it is taking its time to get things right for the launch of the new adventure, which is why it’s releasing Andromeda in “early 2017.” EA previously announced this delay in March in a conference call with its investors, and GamesBeat confirmed with the company that it is still targeting Q1 2017. Mass Effect is a massive science-fiction action experience with an emphasis on characters and story, and it’s one of the few high-budget blockbusters we can expect to help buoy the $99.6 billion gaming industry in 2017.
The studio noted that it is currently testing Andromeda internally, and it claims it’s onto something fun. To deliver on its potential, BioWare highlighted a few areas where players can expect big changes or improvements.
“One of our biggest ambitions is to give players an unprecedented level of freedom for a Mass Effect experience,” BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn wrote in his blog post.
The studio also touched on the potential for leaving behind the setting of the original games to take on an entirely new galaxy.
“We’re leaving the Milky Way behind and headed to Andromeda,” he wrote. “[There] we’ll meet new allies, confront new enemies, and explore fascinating new worlds.”
Finally, Andromeda is the first Mass Effect game built entirely using the DICE graphics engine that powers its beautiful-looking Battlefield and Star Wars: Battlefront games. BioWare claims this will enable it to create better visuals than ever before, which it claims will have a positive effect on the story and gameplay.
We’ll learn more about all of this around the time of E3. EA is holding its own fan event instead of having a traditional booth at E3 this year, following a trend where publishers and studios are downgrading — or leaving — the show.