Video Game / Mass Effect: Andromeda

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"Every great moment in our history began with a dream. Each bold leap forward was achieved by those willing to do anything to attain it. We are, all of us, leaving behind families, homes, the very birthplace of our species. Some for discovery, to see the unknown. Others, for a new start. But today, whatever our reasons, we take the first steps toward a new future for humanity. Today, we begin to make our dream, reality."
Alec Ryder, opening lines

Mass Effect: Andromeda is the fourth game in the Mass Effect series. Developed by BioWare Montreal, it was released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on March 21, 2017 in North America and March 23, 2017 in Europe.

In 2176 CE, humanity founded the Andromeda Initiative, a multi-species project to reach and colonize the Andromeda Galaxy. Nine years later, and only months before the Reaper invasion, five massive ships leave the Milky Way, beginning a six hundred year journey across the gulf between galaxies. Even though the ultimate goal is to establish a trade route between galaxies, everyone on board knows it won't happen in their lifetimes. Of course, reaching Andromeda is just the easy part, as the Milky Way isn't the only galaxy that has its dangers...

Players can choose to play as either Scott or Sara Ryder, the twin children of Alec Ryder, Pathfinder for humanity's ark, the Hyperion. After arriving in Andromeda, an incident forces the chosen Ryder sibling to take on the mantle of Pathfinder, and continue their mission to explore the Andromeda galaxy in search of new home worlds.

Three semi-prequel novels, starting with Mass Effect: Nexus Uprising in March 2017, will flesh out the Andromeda Initiative and the events that led to the state of the project at the start of the game.

The game reintroduces vehicular gameplay to the series, after the all terrain vehicle was dropped in Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3.

Previews: Announcement trailer, N7 Day 2015 trailer, EA Play 2016 trailer, 4K tech demo gameplay, Join the Andromeda Initiative trailer, Orientation Briefing, Official Cinematic Reveal trailer, NVIDIA CES Gameplay trailer, Official Cinematic Trailer #2, Launch Trailer

Mass Effect: Andromeda contains examples of:

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     # - E 
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: The current level cap is 135. Most players will be at or around lvl 65-70 by the time they finish the game. Only in a NG+ can you reach the cap.
  • The Ace: Each species on each Ark has one representative who is the exemplar of that race called "The Pathfinder".
  • Action Girl:
    • Sara Ryder, naturally. Of note is the fact that she exists in the game even if the player chooses to play as Scott, existing as his sister and still playing an important role in the story.
    • Asari squadmate Peebee, turian female squadmate Vetra and human female squadmate Cora.
  • The Adventure Continues: In the epilogue, Ryder and their crew can all voice the desire to get back to the Tempest and go out exploring.
  • Alien Geometries: The Remnant Vaults have a lot of this going on in their designs and architecture. From a physical point of view, a lot of these buildings shouldn't be able to support their own weight.
  • Aliens of London: Kett all speak with a British accent once you can communicate with them. Several Angarans also have british accents, though they actually have a wide variety of accents due to their fractured culture, including British, African, South African, Australian, and Kiwi.
  • Aliens Speaking English:
    • Averted with regards to Andromeda races. Hands-on previews show the Kett being unable to communicate with Ryder during their first encounter due to the language barrier, averting this trope. It has also been stated by the writers that other races that made the journey with humanity (fellow Council Races asari, turian, and salarian, plus the krogan) arrived before mankind's Ark the Hyperion. Like the original trilogy, these races has already set up shop on the galactic community. Presumably they paved the way for humanity's arrival amongst the non-hostile Andromeda species. The Kett are antagonists, thus it's unlikely they've had a chance to work with the Milky Way races in preparation for humanity.
    • Careful reading reveals this trope has never been the case in Mass Effect. The Milky Way races and other friendly aliens use real-time translators so each species just happens to hear everything in the language they speak. These are not universal translators, as they need data to analyze in order to be able to do their job, which is why they initially prove useless against the kett.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Alec Ryder's private files include transmissions from during the Reaper war, including a turian alert that gets interrupted by the iconic foghorn.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Played very straight, as you can only have two squadmates accompany Ryder at a time, no matter how dangerous the situation. This is averted during the final battle. Like in Dragon Age II, your benched party members will show up as uncontrollable NPCs during the final fight with the Archon.
  • A Taste of Power: At the end of the prologue mision, you fight alongside Alec Ryder, who switches between each of the various profiles while using his extremely powerful skills to wipe the floor with the kett.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: The Nomad, a vehicle similar to the Mako, is part of the game.
  • Badass Crew: The game introduces a new team of adventurers exploring, and fighting, their way through an uncharted galaxy.
  • Badass Family: The Ryder family. Players will choose between twins Scott and Sarah as their Player Character, with the other twin still playing an important role in the story. Their dad, Alec, was one of the first humans to travel through a mass relay on Jon Grissom's exploration team, enlisted as an N7, and later became the Pathfinder (a mixture of soldier, diplomat, and explorer meant to lead the colonists once they arrive). According to the trailer, one of the twins has to take his place after something happens to him.
  • Bar Brawl: After Drack's loyalty mission, Ryder meets him for a drink at Kralla's Song in Kadara Port. It turns into an epic bar fight with Ryder and Drack being the last ones standing amid all the bodies.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Peebee has this.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The Tempest. Natch. Unlike previous Mass Effect games, the ship actually lands on the planets you visit, allowing you to walk on the roof of your own ship if you want to the annoyance of Kallo. If you do this, you'll notice how the ship you can walk on the roof of outside, is significantly smaller than the interior ship you walk on the inside. The cockpit for example, is 20 paces wide from Suvi's seat, to Kallo's, but only 5 steps wide when walking along the roof of the same cockpit.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The other trope applying to Remnant Vaults. These buildings would be impossible to replicate in real life. Both inside and outside, and make very little sense from a structural point.
  • Blown Across the Room: Guns have a force effect that causes stagger proportional to their individual shot damage. This force effect is amplified if the shot kills the target. High damage guns like the Black Widow will blow their targets across the room and will even cause enemies who somehow survive being shot to be blown off their feet.
  • Body Horror: The Kett are revealed to be a parasitic life form, that infects other species with part of the DNA of the Archon, and mutating them with grotesque bone protrusions on their head, torso, arms and legs, until they barely resemble what they used to be prior to the mutation. Indeed all kett troops are simply mutated forms of either Angara, or native animals of the Heleus Cluster. Whether or not the Archon is the one True Kett, or merely another infected life form from outside the Heleus Cluster, remains to be seen.
  • Bonus Boss: Architects, massive snake-like remnants that hit hard and take a lot of damage. There's a mandatory Architect fight as part of the final battle, but it's far less complex and strong than the optional ones, as you're fighting dozens of lesser Remnant at the same time.
  • Bookends: Ryder's first line and last line before the credits is "we made it." The first conveys Ryder's relief that the Hyperion made it to Andromeda. The second conveys Ryder's relief that the Hyperion has found a safe home for humanity in Meridian.
  • Breast Plate: A mix of played straight and averted. Cora and Peebee wear formfitting armor or clothing in combat, while Sara has, well, an armor plate covering her breasts. Technically so does Vetra, but her suits are just standard turian armors, which have always looked pretty much the same.
  • Broken Pedestal: A pedestal breaks big time during Cora's Loyalty Mission to rescue the asari ark ship. On it, Cora meets Sirissa a legendary asari commando, who literally wrote the book on how to be the ideal asari huntress. Sirissa is now the asari pathfinder, having succeeded Matriarch Ishaar the original pathfinder. Cora had memorized that manual thoroughly, especially the portion on being a good Tianma or bodyguard to The Captain. After restoring power to the ark's drive core, the asari pathfinder succession log is revealed, in which Cora learns that Sirissa intentionally abandoned Ishaar to die at the hands of the Kett, in order to obtain a map of safe routes through the Scourge, that the Kett used to get around. Due to being in possession of that data, the ark became a priority target for Kett raiding teams, endangering everyone. And on top of that, Sirissa refuses to take responsibility for contradicting a central tenet of her own treatise, claiming that the image of her being the ideal huntress must persist to give people hope. This is hard to take for Cora.
  • Character Customization: You can choose to play as a male or female Ryder and customize your features, as in previous Mass Effect games, though as with those, only humans can be chosen. Unlike previous Mass Effect games both the male and female Ryders exist in the game regardless of who you choose, because they're siblings. You can also customize the Ryder twins appearance individually and their father will resemble them to an extent. Another new addition is the ability to mix and match classes (now known as profiles) and abilities on the fly. You can also choose the type of training Ryder received back at the Milky Way at the beginning of the game. The training doesn't lock Ryder into classes like Shepard was in the original trilogy, it just gives Ryder a boost in certain skills. The types of training are Security (Soldier), Biotic (Adept), Technician (Engineer), Leader (Sentinel), Scrapper (Vanguard), and Operative (Infiltrator).
  • Colony Ship: Four "Arks" make the journey from the Milky Way to the Andromeda Galaxy, accompanied by the Nexus hub station. Each Council species has its own Ark ship, including the human Ark Hyperion. There is said to be another Ark primarily helmed by quarians, which was also to have hanar and drell. However, they were delayed and have not yet arrived in Andromeda.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • You can find ex-Cerberus scientists on Kadara who are still performing strange and highly unethical experiments. Their reason for leaving was the inordinate resources and credits the Illusive Man and Miranda Lawson had thrown at a project to bring a dead person back to life - which just happened to be Project Lazarus.
    • Conrad Verner's sister Cassandra is an Exile on Kadara who happens to share his hero-worshipping fanboy ways.
    • An anti-AI terrorist group's founder is motivated by trying to prevent another Project Overlord type disaster.
    • An NPC states that he is an orphan from Mindoir. Mindoir is the colony hit by batarian raiders, where Colonist Shepard is from.
    • Nakmor Kesh mentions the krogan adaptation to the genophage. Mordin mentioned this adaptation in ME2 and had taken steps to counter it.
    • There's a sidequest to recover genophage cure research performed by one Doctor Okeer, which turns out to be Okeer's research into creating a krogan super soldier, aka Grunt.
    • The first baby born in Andromeda is named David Edward Kennedy, after an old friend of his mother's. Presumably, this old friend was David Edward Anderson.
    • On Eos, you can meet a bounty hunter killing Kett who goes by the name of Bain Massani, strongly implied to be Zaeed's son.
    • Speaking of Zaeed, Drack will mention "some crazy one-eyed mercenary" tried to pry the plate of his head with a knife. A tactic Zaeed mentioned he enjoyed using in Mass Effect 2.
    • Alec Ryder's last memory is him confirming information about the Reapers and Shepard's findings with Castis Vakarian, Garrus's father. Garrus mentioned telling his father everything, who in turn took action during Mass Effect 3.
    • Suvi's codex entry mentions that she was headhunted by a black ops group for a certain biomedical experiment, though she turned them down. It is heavily implied that Cerberus wanted Suvi's expertise in molecular biology for Project Lazarus.
    • Drack occasionally name drops some of the historical krogan warlords that formed Grunt's genetic material, even claiming descent from one of them, making him and Grunt genetic relatives if he's telling the truth.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Applies to Ryder, the Tempest Crew and some of the NP Cs. Also overlaps somewhat with Composite Character.
    • Ryder to Shepard: Whereas Commander Shepard was an experienced and decorated officer at the beginning of the first game, Ryder is described as being much more inexperienced and untested.
    • Peebee to Liara: While Liara was extremely serious and often dour, Peebee has an extremely bubbly personality. Liara was the only character in the first game to lack weapons training, while Peebee is a gunslinger. Peebee is also a lone wolf, while Liara was an ardent believer in cooperation and diplomacy.
    • Cora to Kaidan: Kaidan was a normal biotic who was used as a guinea pig towards how biotics worked and has an upgraded implant that caused issues in exchange for power rivaling an Asari. Cora was a naturally powerful biotic for a human who couldn't control herself and received help from Asari commandos to control her abilities.
      • Cora to Jack: Jack and Cora are both supremely powerful human biotics. Jack was a bitter person driven by hatred and fury after horrific experiments during her childhood, antagonistic toward rules and regulations, and definitely not a joiner unless inspired by Shepard. Cora is an inwardly peaceful woman who embraced esoteric quasi-religious philosophies and emails you her favorite quotes from those texts. She got there by being trained by the asari to harness her aggression and is a solidly Lawful Good type.
    • Liam to Ashley: Ashley was very cynical and hot headed towards cooperation and believes that other species will be naturally distrustful towards each other. Liam is very optimistic towards working together regarding the Andromeda Initiative and the future. Also, Ashley purely uses weapons while Liam compliments his abilities with some tech stuff. Liam also has a bit of Garrus in him with regards to being former law enforcement.
    • Drack to Wrex and Grunt: Wrex was quiet (for a Krogan) and was depressed about the state of his people. Drack, on the other hand, is loud, trigger happy and optimistic-ish for the Krogan colonists. Drack's also very old with a living granddaughter, while Grunt was young and was becoming a full adult.
    • Vetra and Garrus: Garrus first tried working with the system until his frustration regarding regulations caused him to try and fight crime on his own in a lawless system. Vetra was once an ex-smuggler who is now using her shady gifts to work with the Initiative. And while Garrus has a rocky relationship with his father and sister, Vetra and her sister get along pretty well.
    • Jaal to Tali: Tali is a young and slender woman who has little experience with the outside world until her pilgrimage and has some difficulty explaining her feelings. Jaal is a big, burly guy who already has experience fighting prior to joining Ryder and is the only one of the squad who has some experience traveling around Andromeda and often speaks his mind.
    • Tann to Udina: Both are politicians who like being in authority and feel self-important, though Tann is more reasonable and polite than Udina. Tann's status being a You Are in Command Now situation because everyone who outranked him is dead is also reminiscent of Primarch Victus.
    • SAM to EDI: Both are AI's installed on a ship that manifest as a blue hologram and havee classified information that gets revealed as you progress through the game. However EDI doesn't interface with anyone's body directly apart from downloading herself into the Cerberus robot Eva Core and she has more emotions and free will than SAM. SAM is more subservient to Ryder and doesn't have a sense of humor that's as developed as EDI's.
    • The Tempest to the Normandy: the Normandy was a military vessel with minimal comforts built to house multiple shifts of crew. The Tempest is an exploration vessel built to run with only a handful of people in quite a bit of comfort, with large windows, a very open interior, and a lack of any sort of offensive or defensive capability.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: The helmets worn by the Pathfinder teams. Unlike the helmets from previous Mass Effect games which only had clear material over the eye/face area, the Pathfinder helmets have a dome that extends from nose height all the way to the top rear of their head. Unsurprisingly, the initial mission sees Ryder get a crack in the dome while he/she is on a planet without a breathable atmosphere and toward the end of the mission, the dome is shattered beyond the point of repair, causing Alec to make a Heroic Sacrifice to save his child.
  • Cool Starship: The Tempest, which resembles a smaller and slimmer version of the Normandy.
  • Cool Sword: The asari biotic sword is one option available to players for their choice of melee weapon.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Potentially. During a side-quest Ryder infiltrates an anti-AI group to get close to the leader who goes by the codename Knight. One way of getting information from the group is by giving Knight's son an implant to fix his biological impairments. After the mission is over and if Knight is killed (the conflict can be resolved peacefully), Ryder gets an e-mail from the son who swearing vengeance on Ryder and adopts the codename Paladin.
  • Death World: Every Golden World initially surveyed by the Initiative turned into this during their journey between galaxies, due to malfunctioning Remnant terraforming tech.
    • Habitat 7, the first world, has random lightning strikes, floating rocks, and a toxic atmosphere. The ground is too broken up to make construction easy, and anything outside for five minutes will be hit by lightning at least three times.
    • Eos is a desert world with a highly irradiated atmosphere, which has contaminated the surface water and killed off all but the hardiest flora and fauna. Outside the shielded Initiative outpost sites, the ambient radiation ranges in strength from "will eat through your hardsuit's life support in fifteen minutes" to "will eat through your vehicle's life support in fifteen seconds."
    • Voeld was once a temperate world with a thriving angaran colony, until it's Vault altered its orbit and plunged it into an ice age. Now it's a frozen wasteland where -30 degrees Celsius is considered to be "warm".
    • Havarl, the angara's ancestral homeworld, is one of the few planets in the cluster that can still sustain most forms of life. Unfortunately, its vault hyper-accelerated the evolution of its ecology, resulting in fast-growing, poisonous plant life and powerful, aggressive animals. According to the angara scientists studying the phenomenon, if left unchecked, the planet's whole ecosystem will eventually collapse, rendering it lifeless.
    • The vault on Kadara drastically increased its volcanic activity, poisoning most of its surface water with lethal levels of sulfur. The short supply of potable water has allowed criminal elements (primarily the exiles from the Nexus mutiny) to effectively seize control of the planet's only sizable settlement, turning it into a pirate kingdom where ordinary people either bankrupt themselves paying protection fees to live in town, or get kicked out into the badlands to die of thirst (or worse).
    • Elaaden is a desert planet where temperatures ranged from 52-99 Celsius (125-210 Fahrenheit) with surface acid pools and precious little ground water. However, it proves perfect for a race like the krogan, to the point their colony on the planet is called New Tuchanka.
    • Finally, the Scourge is a Negative Space Wedgie that looks like tendrils of fiber, and it rips apart ships that are approaching their destination.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Early on, Alec Ryder sacrifices himself in order to save his son/daughter and makes them the new Pathfinder in his final moments. The Ryder twins's mother, Ellen, is also stated to have died from eezo poisoning. A log from SAM, however, suggests this might not be the case, as Alec put her in cryo as well under a false name.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: Defeating an Architect allows Ryder to reprogram it to help restore the planet's environment.
  • Disc One Nuke: Pathfinder weapons and armor, by design. Available straight away with the more expensive editions of the game, Pathfinder weapons and armor are among the strongest in the early game until the player gets access to alien weapons or can craft their own. The Space Explorer armor remains one of the best armors throughout the entire game because it grants a whooping 25% increase to encounter XP, allowing a player to level up their Ryder ridiculously fast...although it lacks in the offensive and defensive departments.
  • Downer Beginning: The game starts out pretty bleak: you quickly learn that Habitat 7, the would be New Earth, has been reduced to a stormy, toxic wasteland completely unfit for habitation, the first sapient race you find attacks without provocation, your father dies, the founder of the Initiative died and her replacement is unqualified for his job. The Nexus is a few months away from starvation and has exiled a good portion of its awake crew for participating in an armed mutiny, none of the Ark ships other than the human are accounted for, and none of the Golden Worlds are fit for colonization.
  • Drop the Hammer: Another available melee weapon is a krogan-designed war hammer (albeit one significantly smaller than ones krogan have been previously spotted using). Squadmate Nakmor Drack wields the same type of hammer as his default melee weapon.
  • Dyson Sphere: The true form of Meridian is one of these.
  • Early Game Hell: Overall, Ryder starts the game comparatively weaker than an early-game Commander Shepard. Cooldowns and damage are overall underpowered in the early game. This is because Ryder will eventually gain a lot more freedom in abilities, weapons, customization, and movement than Shepard ever did, but the player has to work for it.
  • Eaten Alive: Ryder may have this happen to him/her if killed by a Fiend.
  • Energy Weapons: Weapons from the Andromeda galaxy are usually this (either Frickin' Laser Beams or plasma weapons), in contrast to the weapons from the Milky Way.
  • Eternal Engine: The Remnant vaults contain futuristic versions of these in their hearts.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Sloane Kelly was the Nexus's chief of security and a decorated Alliance soldier. By the time Ryder catches up to her, Kelly has become an outlaw.

     F - K 
  • The Faceless: Ryder's father in the initial trailer, whose face is obscured behind the helmet of his N7 armor.
    • Cora and Liam were also shown in promotional materials wearing face-concealing helmets, until the second cinematic trailer.
  • First Contact: Since the Andromeda Initiative will encounter the native inhabitants of Andromeda, the Initiative stress the importance of peaceful first contact in order to avoid any serious misunderstandings. Unless said aliens are hostile.
    • When Ryder first encounter the Kett, they proceed to follow first contact protocols by raising their hands in the air and appearing less aggressive. But the Kett quickly shows that they are not interest in peaceful contact.
    • Plays straight during Ryder's first contact with the Angara, who have heard about the Andromeda Initiative and are wary of their agenda. The Angara in turn have a violent first contact with the Kett eighty years ago and are currently at war with them; in which this is the reason the Angara are understandably suspicious of other aliens.
  • Flash Step: A biotic Ryder can do this in place of a jet thrust. A tech Ryder can give the illusion of one with cloaking.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Tempest doesn't have heavy armor or powerful weapons, but it is so fast that most enemy ships can't hit it.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • The announcement trailer contained a very brief shot that included a dog tag with the name Ryder, which was the first hint as to the protagonist's name, though apparently the dog tag does not belong to the protagonist, but a different Ryder (now confirmed to be Ryder's father).
    • Also, in the same trailer, a photograph could be spotted opposite of the dog tags showing a man with two children, foreshadowing the existence of the Ryder family (with the man being the N7 father, and the two children being the two playable characters).
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Remnant weapons are these, using an overheat mechanic instead of limited ammunition, like Javik's particle rifle from the third game and all weapons from the first game.
  • The Ghost: Considering the Andromeda galaxy is over six centuries worth of space travel from the Milky Way, and there's a "Shepard's gender" option in character customization, Commander Shepard may be this in the game.
  • Giant Flyer: One of the more hospitable-looking planets had some kind of large, bizarre creature flapping its way across the sky.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: During the final mission, Ryder, looking for an edge in the final battle against the Archon, asks the Tempest crew to invite their contacts to come along. Depending on your choices, your allies can include the other Pathfinders, the Resistance, Moshae Sjefa, Kandros, Reyes, the survivors of Alec's Pathfinder team, Drack's scouts, Vorn, and Kalinda.
  • Greater Scope Villain: The Scourge, a dark energy storm, and the greatest threat to life in the Heleus Cluster. The true villains are the unknown race that created the Scourge as a weapon to fight the jardaan.
    • In a sense, the Reapers from the original trilogy. This is because, while the Andromeda Initiative was going to happen anyway, Alec Ryder's logs reveal that most of the people leading the Initiative believed Shepard's warning about the Reapers. The reason the Andromeda Initiative left the Milky Way during the events of ME 2 was because the fear of the Reapers made Alec, Jien and the Mysterious Benefactor (who may or may not be the Illusive Man) move the schedule forward drastically to get them out of the Milky Way quicker.
    • Also from the original trilogy, Cerberus. While not physically present their actions have caused numerous problems in Heleus, including ex-scientist experimenting on other species, and an extremist group looking to eradicate AI like the SA Ms because they were victims of Project Overlord.
    • The government of the Kett empire. They ordered the Archon to the Heleus Cluster in the first place, and they have other agents causing similar trouble elsewhere in Andromeda.
  • Ground Punch: One of the new abilities combines this with the omni-blade melee weapon and Jump Jet Pack to clear away groups of enemies at once.
  • Hand Wave: The reason information on the region was current as of the time the Initiative left instead of millions of years out of date is data stolen from a Geth observatory that used technology nobody but them understands.
  • Hotter and Sexier: All Mass Effect games include the option for a sex scene late in the narrative with your Romance Sidequest. In general, prior games were pretty tame with implied nudity (at most) and simply embracing each other. In this game, while not excessive there is some overt nudity and sexual movement. The number of potential romantic options is also much higher, though the actual sex scenes are no more than normal.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Architect is a really ginormous worm shaped mech. It is encountered on Eos, Voeld, Kadara and Elaaden. The devs have stated that only a high level Ryder has any chance of surviving against it.
  • I Call It "Vera": The game's crafting system allows players to rename their newly made weapon into anything they want.
  • Ill Girl: The Ryder you didn't opt to play as, becomes this. The energy cloud that left Ark Hyperion adrift, also caused a cryopod malfunction that left NPC Ryder unable to thaw and wake up. The doctors had to medically induce a coma to keep him/her alive. They wake up later, and you can speak to them.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Ryder can flirt with people who aren't attracted to Ryder's gender, which can lead to some minor awkwardness.
  • Item Crafting: You can use a tech lab on the Nexus to research and craft upgrades and augmentations to your armor, weapons, Nomad, settlement outposts etc, from minerals you have obtained.
  • It's All Upstairs from Here: Part of the world arc on Havarl involves climbing a massive Remnant tower to speak with the angara hermit sages living on its peak.
  • Jump Jet Pack: You can use one to traverse vertical distances and aid in exploration. Biotic characters put away the jet packs and just use their biotics.
  • Karma Meter: Averted. The Paragon and Renegade system do not make a return, instead being replaced with a tone-based dialogue system similar to the one present in Dragon Age: Inquisition.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: The weapons brought from the Milky Way are these. They lack the unlimited ammunition of the Remnants and the gimmicks of the Helius, but make up for it by being deadly against unshielded targets.

     L - P 
  • La Résistance: The Resistance, in which Jaal belongs to, is a group of Angara resisting Kett occupation.
  • Late to the Tragedy: The Hyperion, humanity's Ark, is revealed to have arrived in Andromeda 14 months after the Nexus. In the meantime, things have gone extremely poorly for the Initiative: a massive accident with the Scourge upon arrival resulted in the deaths of numerous people including founder Jien Garson, the other Arks are missing, and the lack of resources and hostility of the planets they were supposed to colonize resulted in a revolt that was only stopped by assistance from the krogan, who were promptly double-crossed and went off on their own as a result.
  • Le Parkour: Using the Jump Jet Pack, Ryder engages in this as s/he navigates the Remnant vault they find on Eos.
  • Lighter and Softer: The developers have indicated that they want Andromeda to have a lighter tone so that the player doesn't feel like they're leaving the galaxy to burn when they engage in exploration and sidequests. The game is also rated 16 on PEGI as opposed to 18 like previous entries.
  • Meaningful Name: The developers have confirmed that the name Ryder has plenty of meaning behind it, not the least of which is Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, as a successor to Commander Shepard's surname which comes from Alan Shepard, the first American man in space. More so for the female Ryder, whose default name Sara is a derivative of "Sarah" just like "Sally" is.
    • Also meaningful, as Ryder spends a majority of the game "riding" around on the Nomad and exploring. Nomad is also a suitable Meaningful Name for the buggy.
  • Mecha-Mooks: We see several bizarre looking robots in the Remnant vault, though they don't turn hostile unless you mess with them or activate the vault core.
  • The Milky Way Is the Only Way: Averted; as the title indicates, the game takes place in the Andromeda galaxy, which Ryder and the other characters reach via Sleeper Starship.
  • N.G.O. Superpower: The Andromeda Initiative is a civilian, privately-funded project founded by the mysterious Jien Garson, with no ties to the Alliance or the Council, making their monumental journey to Andromeda all the more impressive.
  • No Flow in CGI: Averted. Finally, for the first time in the series, the hair will move.
  • One Steve Limit: Enforced; the submachinegun known as the Tempest in Mass Effect 2 and 3 is renamed the "Charger" in Andromeda due to the player's scout ship taking on the name.
  • Only One Female Mold: Averted in both single and multiplayer- female characters have a much greater variation in height and build, from tall Amazonian Beauty to short and androgynous.
  • Only Six Faces: With the exception of Peebee, all Asari have the same face with different colors and markings. Similarly, the Salarians are mostly just recolors of Tann with the exception of Raeka.
  • Organic Technology: The Kett, the main antagonists, have a rock-like body that melds into a similarly rock-like armor/carapace. it turns out the Kett's bone-like armor is part of their body and not any sort of clothing, as the Kett are "born" naked and already fully armored.
  • Passing the Torch: In game, this happens when Alec passes the title of Pathfinder on to you as he dies.
    • The second teaser of the game is a symbolic torch passing - a voiceover from Commander Shepard telling (presumably) Ryder that it's time to become The Hero and find new worlds for humanity.
    Shepard: Know that wherever you go, we will be with you. This is Commander Shepard, signing off.
  • The Place: Unsurprisingly, Mass Effect: Andromeda takes place in the neighboring Andromeda galaxy.
  • Plasma Cannon: Weapons made by the races currently living in the Helius Cluster are these; their projectiles move comparatively slowly, but can usually home in on targets, be charged for more powerful blasts, or etc.
  • Politically Correct History: The main gag of the Cultural Exchange section of the Nexus. Every race presents themselves in the most flattering possible light and one display has the quad to call the Milky Way in general a harmonious collective of peace-loving races.
  • Polyamory: Played With. While Ryder can have sex with a multitude of potential partners, the game basically divides relationships into Official Couple and Friends with Benefits. Characters like Suvi or Cora will lock out any other full romance option, while characters like Keri or Avela are closer to temporary flings and Peebee can be either. However, there's no option to set up a Menage A Trois (or greater) situation, or an open relationship with two or more committed partners, who are all on the same page.
  • Product Placement:
    • Oddly enough to SpaceX, the private aerospace company currently working on creating reusable space launch systems. According to the codex, SpaceX was vital to the efforts that eventually led humanity to discovering the Mars Prothean Archives that gave them mass effect technology.
    • A model of the SpaceX rocket is one of the first model ships the player may collect. The only one ahead of SpaceX? The Normandy SR 2 of Mass Effect 2 and 3, of course.

     Q - U 
  • Relationship Values: Unlike in previous Mass Effect games, the game tracks Ryder's relationship with the crew members and there's a menu tab where you can review Ryder's relationship statuses.
  • Retcon:
    • Obviously, the Andromeda Initiative has never been mentioned in the original trilogy, despite getting launched roughly at the time of the second game. Especially noteworthy in the third game, where after Thessia the asari councilwoman states that they will have to make plans for the continuation of their civilization, which is exactly what the Initiative is all about.
    • The N7 Piranha shotgun got retconned in order to appear in this game. In Mass Effect 3 it was explicitly stated to have been designed after the initial Reaper invasion due to the sudden need for a powerful, low-weight weapon for species like salarians and quarians who had trouble handling heavier guns. In Andromeda, it's stated that it had already reached the functioning prototype stage early enough to be included in the Initiative's equipment stores.
  • Revisiting the Roots: Vehicular gameplay returns in the form of the Nomad ATV, and the emphasis is on exploring a completely new galaxy, just as players did in Mass Effect.
  • Really 700 Years Old: In chronological terms at least, Scott and Sara's father Alec Ryder counts as this. Being among the oldest of the twenty thousand humans - barring noncombatants such as scientists who could plausibly be older - on the Hyperion Ark when they set off (56 years old, born in 2129), Alec is revived upon arrival in the Andromeda galaxy at the "age" of 690. Of course, that doesn't even take into consideration any of the Asari and Krogan who made the trip; both species with life expectancies at, around or exceeding a millennium.
    • Drack is the oldest Krogan shown in the series at around 1400 years old at the start of the Andromeda project. Counting time spent in stasis he's now over 2000 years old, making him one of the oldest beings encountered in the games.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Revolvers (or something similar to them, considering how guns work in Mass Effect) make their debut in Andromeda.
  • Romance Sidequest: Ryder can romance several members of his/her squad and the Tempest crew, including Peebee and Vetra as bisexual options, Cora, Liam and Jaal as exclusively heterosexual options, and Gil and Suvi as exclusively homosexual options. There are additional light romances outside of the crew on the various worlds the player visits that Ryder can engage in.
  • Sadistic Choice: Par for the course in a Bioware game:
    • During the mission to rescue Moshae Sjefa, the Cardinal offers to free the imprisoned angara in the exaltation center in exchange for your leaving the base intact. You have a weapon that can destroy the base, but there won't be enough time to get the imprisoned angara out of the base before it blows. Your are forced to choose between sacrificing innocent angara or leaving the base intact so the kett can exalt more innocents.
    • The quest "Contagion" ends with the woman that carries a fatal, incurable, rapidly-communicable, and worst of all, cross-species virus being held at gunpoint by the Roekkar—a xenophobic Angaran faction that happens to be immune and carrying a sample of said virus as a bioweapon. She will beg you to kill her so that you can kill him and stop a future genocide, but SAM will tell you that the virus is decayed, possibly beyond use. Do you allow the innocent woman to die to save other innocents, or do you save her and risk letting the genocidal bigot go with one of the deadliest pathogens in the universe?
    • During "Hunting the Archon," you have to choose between saving Drack's scouts and helping Pathfinder Raeka save the last imprisoned salarians. Save the scouts, and Raeka dies, leaving the less experienced Captain Hayjer as Salarian Pathfinder. Save the salarians, and Drack takes it as a personal betrayal. Either way, after the mission, you are treated to footage of the aliens you didn't save being herded into an exaltation center.
  • Scenery Porn:
    • The 2016 trailer has plenty of gorgeous alien vistas, often with other planets visible in the sky.
    • A Remnant vault looks breathtaking, especially in 4k.
    • Players can now see any planets or anomalies in the place they're in outside the Tempest's windows, and they look amazing.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • The Arks that have arrived in Andromeda were for humanity, turians, salarians, and asari, and the krogan were explicitly denied one. However, Director Tann explains that a quarian ark was also in the works, but they have had to postpone transit due to a desire to include accommodations for the drell, hanar, and other races, and their ark should not be expected for some time. During the epilogue party, a worker alerts Ryder that the Initiative has picked up a distress call from the quarian ark, but they haven't been able to pinpoint the ark's location.
    • Prior to leaving for Andromeda, the Initiative received massive amounts of funding from a Mysterious Backer, who have been theorized to be Cerberus, and whom were also responsible for sending an agent along on the expedition who murdered Jien Garson. The identity of the backer and the agent, as well as their motives for murdering Garson remain unknown.
    • Ellen Ryder is also Not Quite Dead thanks to being put in cryo by Alec and being smuggled aboard the Initiative under a false name. She remains in cryo until a cure for her condition is found.
    • The Archon is the agent of a larger kett empire that is causing trouble in many places throughout the Andromeda galaxy. Preparations for their expected future attacks on the Initiative and its angaran allies are already underway.
    • The fate of the jardaan race is unknown, as is their reason for creating the angara and the Remnant network. Ryder and SAM speculate that they are likely to return to finish what they started.
    • The identity and fate of the race that created the Scourge to fight the jardaan are complete unknowns.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Some of the romance scenes end with a discreet fade to black before the characters have sex. Others... do not.
  • Shout-Out: You are offered a pyjak pet near the beginning. The instructions are "no food after 2359, no baths or showers, and please limit his exposure to solar radiation"
  • Shown Their Work: The writers record radiation dose in the unit mSv, or millisieverts, which is a commonly used unit. The level encountered at Hazard Level 3 is about the maximum dose allowed annually for working in a nuclear plant, every second.
    • On the other hand, [1]: Hazard Level 1 is listed as around 0.04 mSv/hr. In the game, this won't kill you very quickly, but it will will eventually prove fatal. In real life this exposure rate is too low to cause even the mildest symptoms of radiation sickness.
  • Sleeper Starship: You arrive in the Andromeda galaxy by going into stasis on board a starship which arrives at the new galaxy after many generations.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Voeld is a frozen world. Its icy surface makes controlling the Nomad somewhat more difficult than normal.
  • Space Pirates: Encountered in Liam's loyalty mission.
  • Space Western: Just as the original trilogy evoked the Space Opera popular in late '70s/early '80s sci-fi through aesthetics and themes of politics, personal tragedy, and epic warfare, Andromeda seems to be angling for the Space Western sensibilities of science fiction like Firefly and Serenity atmospherically and by focusing on exploration and colonization. The announcement trailer starts by showing a sprawling desert landscape filled with buttes and mesas set to "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky" by Johnny Cash.
  • Stopped Numbering Sequels: The given reason for this game not being called "Mass Effect 4" is that the developers consider the numbered installments to comprise the "Shepard trilogy", while Andromeda is an entirely new story, unrelated to the Commander and the Reaper wars.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: The jardaan race was so advanced that they created an entire sapient species. Suvi briefly questions where the line between advancement and divinity is once a race reaches that level.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Despite there having lakes in several planets, neither Ryder, nor the Nomad can go over any body of water that is more than ankle-deep. Trying to do so will simply have them respawn at the shoreline.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: In universe, the Nexus is meant to be to Andromeda what the Citadel is to the Milky Way. The Nexus has a similar design to the Citadel and is meant to be the capital of the worlds settled by the Andromeda Initiative. It also uses the same Avina VI guide as the Citadel.
  • Sword and Gun: The game allows you to carry several guns at a time (which can be plasma weapons from the Helius Cluster, kinetic weapons from the Milky Way, or Remnant energy weapons) as well as a melee weapon of your choice.
  • Take Cover: Andromeda uses a similar system to the first game-get close to a suitable object, and Ryder will automatically crouch behind it. Also, blind-firing is now possible.
  • Tell Me Again: The Ryder twins seem to have had a pretty sheltered upbringing, as they're totally in the dark about some basic facts of life of the Mass Effect universe that the average Alliance citizen really should already know (but which many video game players in Real Life would also be unaware of). For example, when speaking to the Nexus V.I., Ryder is completely clueless as to the fact true A.I. is incredibly illegal and that most people have massive prejudices against true A.I.s and also seems to not remember the geth attack against the Citadel.
  • Tie-In Novel: Nexus Uprising, Annihilation and Initiation will bridge the gap between the original trilogy and Andromeda, as well as provide additional information about the events that led to the state of the Andromeda Initiative at the start of the game.
  • Time Skip: The Milky Way-to-Andromeda trip took the Hyperion, the Ark housing humanity, 634 years. As the trip started in 2185, following the events of Mass Effect 2, Andromeda is set in the year 2819.

    V - Z 
  • Wagon Train to the Stars: The Andromeda Initiative is a massive, multi-species project to explore and colonize another galaxy.
  • Was Once a Man: It turns out the Kett are actually genetically altered Angarans, and have been growing their army by kidnapping and converting Angarans. They've all been injected with the Archon's DNA, and he may very well be the only "true" Kett in Andromeda.
    • Mirrored against the Reapers and the Collectors of the original trilogy, being made up of various races, such as Leviathan, Prothean, Human, Rachni, Asari, Turian...Etc.
  • Wham Episode: The Remnant City, where Ryder learns the origins of the Remnant and the Scourge. The Remnant were created by an incredibly advanced race called the jardaan. The jardaan were so advanced that they didn't just create the Remnant, they created the angara race, as well as many other organisms found in the Heleus Cluster for an as yet unknown reason. The Scourge is a weapon created by an unknown race that was at war with the jardaan.
  • Wham Line:
    • Ryder learning that their mother is alive.
    "Mom is here? Alive?"
  • Wretched Hive: Kandara port. The Badlands outside are worse.
  • You Are in Command Now: Happens to Ryder early in the game, and to Director Tann prior to the start of the game. It's also possible for this to happen with every single Pathfinder. The original human, asari, and turian Pathfinders will always die, and the salarian Pathfinder may die as well depending on your choices.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Justified, since you arrive in a new galaxy on a starship that has been on a centuries long journey. It's a one-way trip and everybody you used to know from your past life (except for the asari and krogan maybe) are long dead. Especially since the expedition launched a year before the Reaper Invasion. So it's possible the entire Milky Way galaxy is dead. Of course, one of the stated goals of the Initiative is to eventually, work out a way to get between each galaxy.

"We made it."
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/MassEffectAndromeda