This can only really be experienced once, but watching the trailer live at E3 as it opens Electronic Arts' press conference, and not knowing that it was going to be for the next Mass Effect game as the trailer slowly reveals its for a science fiction game, then for a space exploration game, and then finally we see the N7 explorer turn around around, revealing an omni-tool and Carnifex handgun, finally revealing that this is definitely Mass Effect. And finally he steps out of the shadows, revealing the N7 patch on his armor.
The new and improved Mako making its redesigned debut as a sleek, space-age dune buggy rocketing across the plateau of a far off desert planet, accompanied by a wonderfully juicy "zoom" sound effect that we can only hope will be in the game itself.
And finally, the trailer ends with the N7 explorer showing off one of the new abilities in game, in which he uses his omni-blade to Ground Punch a group of enemies after using his Jump Jet Pack.
As divisive as the choice of song was, there's something to the man in black'sbaritone reverberating with the refrain, just as the N7 explorer walks toward the screen, gun in hand.
The N7 Day 2015 trailer. Jennifer Hale returns to voice Shepard one last time, and we get to see a large spacecraft resembling the Citadel traveling beyond our galaxy and towards Andromeda.
And considering the timeline for the games, this may not be just some Leaning on the Fourth Wall fanservice. That may really well be Commander Shepard speaking, in-universe, to the Andromeda crew. note The Andromeda Ark Ships departed Earth around the same time as the events of Mass Effect 2
The design of the new Tempest starship looks awesome◊.
The gameplay demo proves it was well worth the wait to finally see the next generation of Mass Effect gameplay. In particular:
Sis!Ryder casually disarming a turian Mook. She doesn't even break a sweat or really show any kind of distress; she just nonchalantly snatches the pistol from his hands and turns it on him and Sloane.
The reveal of the much beloved Biotic Charge being a returning ability definitely was a hit with many fans. It can now be used after jumping with a jetpack for even more insane mobility.
The second cinematic trailer might be only two minutes long, but those two minutes are jam-packed with the perfect blend of action, humour, snark, and most importantly, hype. Within minutes of being posted it set the entire /r/masseffect subreddit aflame with excitement. We get to see Drack in action, the reveal of our two human squadmates, Liam and Cora, a taste of what romance will be like in ME:A, and new alien races to meet!
The intro sequence. Seeing the shuttle fleet leave Earth, excited faces staring out of the windows in wonder as they race around Luna and the gigantic arks come into sight, knowing they're about to embark on the greatest adventure in the history of any sapient species of this cycle - if that doesn't give you goosebumps and an urge to go out and do something awesome, nothing will.
Despite consisting of a mostly civilian crew with little or no combat experience Ryder and the group manage to hold their own very well against the hostile aliens known as Kett when first encountering them.
Shortly after meeting up with Alec Ryder on Habitat 7, you get to see then and there, why he's both the Pathfinder and an N7. The man is a bonafide killing machine, sweeping the area of all enemy forces with little to no effort involved. As soon as you make the rendezvous, the rest of the mission plays like a reverse escort mission, where he escorts you, mowing through Kett with a mix of combat, biotics, and tech while displaying almost no effort.
Throughout the course of this segment you get to experience what it's like to basically be one of the hero's squadmates. Remember playing as Shepard and rampaging through enemies only to look back and see your squad stuck way behind you (or perhaps one or both of them down and needing to be revived) and muttering under your breath about why can't they keep up? Now you find yourself in their shoes, 100ft behind Alec, sprinting desperately to keep up as he smashes through the kett like they aren't even there.
Indeed unlike Nihlus, he survives the mission totally unscathed, and is the one who finally saves the day. It's your bad luck that gets him killed.
The first time you confront an Architect. Only topped by the triumph of defeating it.
Ryder's first time storming a kett base, which can be done before you've even reached Aya (just go back to Eos right after leaving it). It is at that point that Ryder and their team-mates officially become Implacable Men / Women.
Storming the flophouse on Elaaden as well, since it's basically the same, only instead of kett, the player has to fight through snipers, turians, salarians, krogan, and even a mech. None of this stops Ryder.
The defiant spirit of the angara, nearly a century of kett occupation in the cluster, and their entire civilization nearly destroyed by the arrival of the Scourge. And they fight on, even on hostile worlds that humans would struggle to live on without aid. While many angara have gone astray, such as the Roekaar embracing single minded xenophoebia, the mainstream angara fight on with grit and determination.
Basically any time Ryder drops an F bomb is pretty awesome.
The "We are stronger than you think" Option is also legit.
"We didn't voyage across Dark Space to be made Great."
Alternately, the "you're an arrogant jerk" option is subtle but powerful.
"You don't get to decide what's "great".
The Krogan hold the honor of being the most successful of the Andromeda Intiative participants.
Denied their own Ark, Clan Nakmor signed up in whole anyways, with one of their own, Nakmor Kesh, becoming the Nexus' Superintendent (Chief Engineer) and part of its core construction team.
The krogan do get Overshadowed by Awesome once the humans of Ark Hyperion show up. While all other arks, and to a certain extent the Nexus are barely clinging to life after encountering the Scourge, Hyperion is the only one that makes it to its golden world with minimal casualties, immediately neutralizes the threat it faces, and successfully rendezvous and docks with the Nexus. And although their Pathfinder dies like most other initial Pathfinders, their backup gets to work and can establish at least three viable outposts, and make successful first contact with a new species. So, the Hyperion humans end up accomplishing way more than any other group did, including the krogan on Elaaden.
And don't discount what the turian ark accomplished. They were another ark to actually make it to their destination - by just powering their way through. And like dutiful turians, they did whatever was needed to keep themselves going. Had their golden world not already succumbed to an Earth-Shattering Kaboom, they could very well have established an outpost there. As a result of their grit and toughness, their ark is the only one you "rescue" with absolutely no hostile presence aboard, turning it into an easy milk run.
The ending of Jaal's loyalty mission: Ryder and Jaal confront an apparently unarmed Akksul in front of an army of Roekaar. Akksul attempts to goad Ryder into martyring him, but Jaal convinces Ryder not to take the bait and gives a rousing speech to the assembled Roekaar about how Ryder has done much to help the Initiative and has the full approval of the Moshae. Akksul then pulls out a pistol and fires at Jaal in a final attempt to get Ryder to shoot him. If Ryder doesn't shoot Akksul, Jaal dodges the bullet by moving his head very slightly, giving him a rather nifty scar. Jaal then just walks away, as Akksul has proven himself a hypocrite in front of his followers by attempting to murder another angara in cold blood.
A mission on Elaaden to settle a krogan dispute ends up with Ryder having to fight a Fiend. Only before the fight starts there's a complication: The captured Fiend has brought two friends. So Ryder has to end up fighting three Fiends at once. note Technically, there are two krogan in the arena with you, but they're not much help.
After the fight, the two krogan settle their feud, and lament that Ryder isn't a krogan, as they'd make a good warlord. Ryder's response:
Ryder: Warlord Ryder does have a nice ring to it.
Gren: Ha. Spoken like a true krogan!
If you bring Drack to what appears to be Meridian, when you kill the kett Ascendant waiting outside the development tower, Drack neatly sums up the player's feelings at that point:
The final mission, of course. After playing as your twin to reconnect SAM and save your life, you and all the allies you've gathered take on the Kett armada by using the Scourge to tie up the Kett warships on the advice that Alec gave his children.
Remember how in Mass Effect 3, one of the biggest complaints was that your war assets had no real presence during the final mission? They very much make up for it here, where countless characters you've met and helped throughout your journey return to spit in the Archon's face in one climatic battle. Specific examples listed below.
The whole thing STARTS with the Tempest emerging from FTL against the Kett armada, accompanied by a fleet of Remnant dreadnoughts and fighters, all at Ryder's command.
The Nomad gets to participate, in that you deploy in it out of the Tempest to the surface. You then proceed to chase the Archon's ship down a ravine. The Kett ground forces apparently begin to set up ahead when suddenly, in comes the Nexus militia, the Exile faction you chose, the Angaran Resistance and the Krogan in fighters and shuttles, and their leaders vow to protect the Hyperion and handle the Kett, allowing you to push forward.
Tiran Kandros, either Sloane Kelly or Reyes Vidal, and possibly Evfra personally descend to the surface of Meridian to help you push towards the entrance to the Remnant facility.
If you saved Drack's scouts, Birtak and a few of the other scouts decide to repay their debt by helping you battle through a few waves of kett. Later, offscreen, they find themselves cornered and think it's the end, only to be rescued by none other than the cowboy hat-wearing merchant from the outpost on Havarl.
Though not partaking in the battle themselves, you can catch radio chatter between Nakmor Kesh, Suvi, and the Nexus science team running operations and analysis and protection of the Hyperion once it goes down.
You can at one point also hear Vorn over the radio having a riotous time gassing the kett with more plant pods.
When you get to the door of the facility, a kett fighter nearly lands a hit on you but is shot down by none other than the Salarian pathfinder, accompanied by the Moshae using bioelectric shields.
This can potentially be followed up by Avitus Rix engaging in a dogfight with some kett fighters pulling his best Poe Dameron impression, taking them out as if he was on a nice saturday morning drive.
THEN Asari Pathfinder Sarissa Theris or Vederia Damali create a barrier that destroys 3 kett fighters with their bare hands.
Jaal's cousins will also arrive to participate if you completed his loyalty mission, as will Kalinda if you spared her during Peebee's loyalty mission.
Depending on your story choices, you can also get assistance from Annea's raider band, the Voeld AI, and the Prodromos militia.
Your squadmates also rally whatever help they can. Cora and the Asari pathfinder bring squads of Asari commandos, Drack and Morda bring krogan warriors, Vetra brings mercenaries and arms, and Jaal rallies the ENTIRE ANGARAN RACE. Liam's Angaran contact, Verand, provides technical support.
The pathfinders you've saved through the game return the favor by working together to save the Hyperion and, if you have all 3 present, the life of Captain Dunn.
The entire squad helping out in the final battle with the Archon.
Ryder: Everyone in Heleus has earned some fucking payback.
After all is said and done, you can hang out in Meridian. Talking to a technician there will reveal this tantalizing detail that, for fans of the original trilogy, is VERY exciting news: The Quarian ark is out there, and it also has Volus, Elcor, Hanar and Drell aboard. But something has apparently gone terribly wrong. With luck, the Milky Way family of races in Andromeda will grow even bigger in a DLC or sequel.
All four Pathfinders going rogue and ducking the Kett fleet, to give Ryder just a CHANCE at reviving the golden worlds.
Needless to say the risk payed off, and when the Kett chose to start shooting at the all powerful macguffin with their BFG Warships....It was a bad day for the Kett.
The Andromeda Initiative's simple EXISTENCE is one, if nothing else than for what it means to the Reapers and their cycle of extermination. It means that regardless of whether or not Shepard and co. succeeded in stopping the Reapers, the Initiative has ensured that the people of the Milky Way WILL endure. They escaped the harvest, and have gone where the Reapers cannot follow. To use Harbinger's own words: "THEY HAVE FAILED. WE FOUND ANOTHER WAY."
Ark Paarchero has to awaken a skeleton crew to aid Pathfinder Raeka on her mission while Ryder is getting the Archon's relic for Meridian. Thanks to a lack of time, she only gets the captain of the ark (and her second-in-command), a tinkering tech, and a history teacher. They rig up explosives and manage to EMP the Archon's flagship to save the Ark and Ryder both.
Vetra: Those are some badass salarians!
Later in the mission, Raeka disables several kett (with no assistance from her SAM, as it's deactivated), and gives off one hell of a Badass Boast
Raeka: You hear that, Archon. There's TWO Pathfinders after you now!
Detailed in the Nightmare Fuel page is discovering a Fiend on Eos, followed by having a major kett attack start on you after it barges in on you. At this point you've only got a few levels under your belt, tops, and may not even have more than the guns from Habitat-7 - but when you beat the ambush and stand over the corpses, you not only feel like a badass - you feel like you've extracted much-needed justice for Resilience. Then you can go and finish what they started.
While it takes some dirty tricks to get it, Reyes taking over Kadara port is almost universally hailed. Kandros is glad that the traitorous mutineer Sloane has been put down, even Evfra is happy that an angaaran (puppet she may be though) is in charge of Kadara again. The best part - Reyes never demands any sort of protection fee from the Initiative outpost you establish. He says that the trade between Kadara and everyone else is more than enough payment.
Alternatively, it's pretty awesome getting Sloane Kelly to admit that she was wrong about Ryder, and agree to work with the Initiative again. Considering that the Uprising happened in part because of the belief that the Initiative's leadership had failed to deliver on "the dream," Ryder earns her trust enough to get her to even slightly believe in that dream again.
Though it clearly hurts Cora, there's a lot of satisfaction to be had in refusing to allow Sarissa to remain the asari Pathfinder after learning that she abandoned Matriarch Ishara, her predecessor, in the name of recovering data that the kett proceeded to hunt the asari ark down until dumb luck got Ryder to find and rescue them in time. And, if you enjoy saying Screw You, Asari! when any of them start in on the "the asari were spacefaring when humans were still mired in the Crusades" and such, it's pretty satisfying to see that the humans not just rescued the asari ark, but have done a better job at being "the Pathfinder" than this asari commando with centuries of experience.