Mass Effect: Andromeda Tech Demo Leaks

The Mass Effect: Andromeda hype machine is ramping up: following the most recent leak of an EA marketing survey (a repeat of an incident from last year), which teased details of the forthcoming BioWare RPG, a video of a tech demo from the game has emerged online, giving us a glimpse of the VFX engine, gameplay and HUD, and even jetpacks!

https://vid.me/p41b

The tech demo, which seems to date from 2014, shows off the game’s pollen plumes, ambient flame bursts and fog elements, rain impacts and engine VFX, meteorite impacts, and FumeFX diffusion. A quick look at the gameplay shows a character wearing – and using – a jetpack.

But is the video genuine? The look of the characters – which include a couple of Krogan and two N7 officers – seem legitimate, if dated, but that’s to be expected from a two-year-old tech demo. The HUD seen in the video seems to match the one previewed in a Tweet by the game’s former director Chris Wynn:

But the biggest indication that the video is genuine comes courtesy of EA (owners of BioWare) itself: the video first leaked on YouTube, but has now been taken down by due to a copyright claim. By who? By EA.

Mass Effect: Andromeda is expected for release during the first-quarter of 2017 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The game is expected to feature heavily at this year’s E3.

More Mass Effect: Andromeda Details Leaked?

New details regarding BioWare’s hotly-anticipated action RPG sequel Mass Effect: Andromeda may have leaked online. Screenshots of an EA marketing survey were posted to NeoGAF this week, which – while unverified – reveal that the forthcoming game deals with issues of colonialism, and casts humanity as the aliens in an unfamiliar and hostile galaxy.

The survey screenshots read:

“Below is a description for a possible future version of Mass Effect. Please read this and answer some questions on the following pages about this game.

There is a major battle brewing, and it awaits you. In is unfolding across a galaxy of planets, with creatures and species entirely unknown. Draw your weapon, because the fight is bigger than you thought. It’s not just for your own life, it’s for all of humanity – the ultimate battle for a place we can all call home.

Mass Effect: Andromeda takes players to the Andromeda galaxy, far beyond the Milky Way, where players will lead the fight for a new home in hostile territory – where WE are the aliens – opposed by a deadly indigenous race bent on stopping us.

Experience the freedom to traverse and explore a planet-dense but seamless open-world galaxy, rich with discovery. Play as the leader of a squad of military-trained explorers in an intense third-person shooter, with deep progression and customization systems.

This is the story of humanity’s next chapter, and player choices throughout the game will ultimately determine our survival in the Andromeda Galaxy.”

We’ve been here before, of course: at the turn of 2015, a similar survey leak occurred, which revealed that the game’s protagonist would be known as The Pathfinder, and would lead humanity into a previously unexplored area of space. With momentum building behind the game, can we expect BioWare to formally unveil Mass Effect: Andromeda at E3 this Summer?

Lead Writer for Mass Effect: Andromeda Leaves BioWare

It looks like another writer has decided to jump ship over at BioWare, and this time around we’re talking about the lead writer for Mass Effect: Andromeda, namely Chris Schlerf. Not too long ago, the man behind the writing in Dragon Age, David Gaider, has also left the company, but it’s not entirely clear right now if these departures have anything to do with the studio itself. The news of Schlerf’s departure was shared by the man himself via Twitter, where he stated that he is very proud of what he has managed to accomplish for Andromeda so far and that working with BioWare was one of the best experiences of his career.

Chris has moved over to a company named Bungie, where he is probably writing up the most important parts of Destiny’s next update. It’s quite possible that Chris was only temporarily employed by BioWare to work on Mass Effect: Andromeda, and that moving on to another company was just the next obvious step in his career. However, it could also indicate that some employees are looking for better jobs before things get worse. BioWare has not issued a statement regarding these rumors, but we’ll definitely keep you in the loop if the story develops any further.

EA Confirms Battlefield 5 Release Window

Battlefield fans will be happy to know that EA has plans for the installment of the franchise. According to a statement given out by EA, the next Battlefield title from DICE will launch in time to be sold during the holiday season later this year. Following up Battlefield 5 will be Titanfall 2 from Respawn and Mass Effect: Andromeda from BioWare either in late 2016 or early 2017. In the interim, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and a number of EA Sports titles will fill in the year.

Unfortunately for those looking for a new Battlefield title set during either World War 2 or the Cold War, Battlefield 5 will once again be a modern shooter. This is the latest in a long line of titles since Battlefield: Bad Company 2 in 2010 which have focused on modern warfare. Honestly, the modern warfare setting has gotten a bit stale and repetitive so hopefully, the next installment will show a return to their roots.

The full EA statement follows:

“In Q1, we’ll begin with the creative and innovative Mirror’s Edge Catalyst from DICE launching in May. A great line-up of EA Sports titles are in development for next year, and we look forward to sharing more about these new experiences in the months ahead. An all-new Battlefield game from DICE will arrive in time for the holidays, we’re excited to have a new Titanfall experience coming from our friends at Respawn – and of course, Mass Effect Andromeda from the team at BioWare will launch later in the fiscal year.”

Mass Effect: Andromeda Details Leaked?

Two mods from the Mass Effect subreddit (‘Salsadips‘ and ‘KYCygni’) have been contacted by an anonymous source claiming to have played an early version of BioWare’s Mass Effect: Andromeda and supplied them with details of the in-development game. While none of the information, nor the integrity of the source itself, can be verified, the two mods say that they have been provided proof of the leaker’s integrity.

The pair compiled the information gleaned from their source into the following YouTube video:

Mass Effect subreddit user DealWithTheC-12 handily broke down the key points contained in the video for those unable to watch:

  • 2 squad mates as before, a human blonde and a Krogan mentioned;
  • All squad mates have jetpacks which come into play in exploration;
  • Omnitool has more functionality, for example a combat shield;
  • Greater detail in character facial features and models;
  • Destructible covers (Yay Frostbite!);
  • Completely different ship (I take it as a step away from the frigate sized ship that we saw in Normandy and towards a larger ship, perhaps the one seen here);
  • Hints at Mako customization;
  • ‘Pathfinder quarters’ section in the ship
  • Main character is referred to as ‘the pathfinder’;
  • Story revolves around finding a new home for humanity and other races;
  • New ship travel system (Instead of the old galaxy map) where you manually fly the ship;
  • Enemies (the main opposing force I assume) are bipedal cross between Vorcha and Collectors;
  • The (non-human) enemies drop into combat from Cerberus ships (I would assume a placeholder, but if it’s not then it gets interesting)
  • One of the antagonists is a human soldier with armor similar to yours but without N7 insignia.

New Mass Effect: Andromeda Trailer has a Familiar Voiceover

Despite recently denying that “any major announcements” were to be made, BioWare has released a brand new trailer for its forthcoming sci-fi RPG Mass Effect: Andromeda to celebrate N7 Day (7th November), and the video’s voiceover might sound familiar…

Jennifer Hale, reprising her role as Commander Shepard (colloquially known as FemShep), narrates a retrospective of Earth’s voyages into space, and beyond, ending with a glimpse of our and Mass Effect’s future, ending with a glimpse of one of the game’s new ships.

The return of Commander Shepard, even just in audio form, is a curious choice by BioWare, considering the developer’s previous insistence that Shepard’s story is over and that Andromeda will “[take] place far away from and long after the events of the original trilogy.” A supposed leak of Andromeda’s synopsis via an online survey seems to back this up, saying that, “The next Mass Effect game takes place in the Helius Cluster (a cluster of 100s of solar systems in the Andromeda Galaxy), far removed by time and space from Commander Shepard’s heroic acts and the final events of the Mass Effect trilogy. You are a pathfinder, a combat trained but un-tested explorer leading an expedition into the Helius cluster to establish a new home for humanity.”

Mass Effect: Andromeda is expected to hit Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC towards the end of 2016.

BioWare Debuts Mass Effect: Andromeda at E3

The new Mass Effect game has been given its first trailer, and a name, at E3 yesterday. Mass Effect: Andromeda takes us far from the Earth and the Citadel, and Commander Shepard, and flings us into another galaxy. BioWare announced the title of the game at an EA press conference during E3, followed shortly by a blog post by Aaryn Flynn and Yanick Roy, Studio General Manager and Studio Director, respectively, of BioWare Canada/Montreal:

When we wrapped up the original Mass Effect trilogy with Mass Effect 3: Citadel in early 2013, planning and design on Mass Effect: Andromeda was already well underway. We knew we wanted to start with a foundation composed of the best parts of any Mass Effect game: exciting new worlds to discover, great characters, and intense action. At the same time, we clearly wanted to expand the definition of what you should expect from a Mass Effect game.

While we aren’t ready to go into too many details just yet, as you saw in the trailer and can tell by the name, this game is very much a new adventure, taking place far away from and long after the events of the original trilogy. You will play a human, male or female, though that’s actually not the character you saw in the trailer (more on that later). You’ll be exploring an all-new galaxy, Andromeda, and piloting the new and improved Mako you saw. And through it all, you will have a new team of adventurers to work with, learn from, fight alongside of, and fall in love with.

We built this trailer in Frostbite, our game engine, and it represents our visual target for the final game. We are thrilled by what we’ve already been able to achieve in bringing Mass Effect to Frostbite and by putting our entire focus on PC and current gen consoles. With the time remaining in development, we’re excited about the possibility to push things even more.

Thank you again for all of the support you keep showing us, and we’re looking forward to sharing more details with you near the end of the year. Until then, the teams in our Montreal, Edmonton, and Austin studios will be hard at work creating an entirely new adventure for you to lose yourselves in.

The trailer reveals little, but we do get a glimpse of the infamous Mako, some brief battle scenes, and an intriguing shot of buildings emerging from the ground and assembling themselves. The structures bare a resemblance to the towers seen on Eden Prime in the first Mass Effect game. Are the Alliance terraforming alien planets, perhaps?

Mass Effect: Andromeda is due for release during the Holiday season of 2016.