With the impending release of Mass Effect: Andromeda, the series could prove to be pretty impenetrable for those of you who do not know about the franchise. Set in the distant future, the original Mass Effect Trilogy chronicled the adventures of Commander Shepherd, and the impending threat from The Reapers, who seek to destroy modern civilisations and enslave their races. After culling the threat of the Reapers, Mass Effect: Andromeda has you taking the role of Ryder and explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations.
Who the hell are all of these weird Aliens?
To kick off, it’s best to get familiar with some of the races that you might encounter throughout the games. The Asari race are considered to be the most respected of all the races we see in Mass Effect. Being completely mono-gender, the Asari are all feminine in appearance. Additionally, they are the heart of co-operation in the series, we also see an Asari main character in your team in Mass Effect: Andromeda.
On the other side of the peaceful races, we see the Turians, a militaristic race who also star in Mass Effect: Andromeda. One of the most notable Turians is Garrus Vakarian, also known as Archangel. Garrus is one of the most iconic characters in the series, just for being such a cool dude. The new principal Turian character in Mass Effect: Andromeda has a whole lot to live up to, in order to fill the shoes of Garrus.
The Turians were also involved in making another race completely sterile. The Krogan were a primitive race in the original Mass Effect trilogy. The main conflict focused on the sterile Krogans trying to find a way to save their race and cure the Gennophage, which is the name of the sickness. Back in action, we see a Krogan character in Mass Effect Andromeda, presumably because the Genophage has been cured, with the race now in relative prosperity.
The last of the races that you need to be introduced to are the Salarians, this race has incredible ways of thinking derived from how their brains work. Salarians specialise in research and engineering due to their quick-thinking. Unfortunately, due to the biology behind this, Salarians only ever live for 40 years. It remains to be seen whether or not Salarians have cured this or not.
The Pathfinder Crew
Andromeda puts us into the world after Commander Shepherd’s story, which means that it’s likely that we won’t see some of our fan-favourite characters again. However, the currently revealed cast is as follows:
The Ryder Twins
You are able to play as either of the Ryder twins, who are fully customisable. Whichever Ryder you choose, you’ll play as the leader of the Pathfinders, who is leading a team to colonise golden worlds in a new galaxy. You inherit the title of Pathfinder from your father and are able to mold this character however you choose.
Cora is the second-in-command to Ryder, with vast military knowledge and innate biotic abilities. Interestingly, she also shares her surname with Jack Harper- also known as the Illusive Man from Mass Effect 2 and 3. It remains to be seen whether Cora has a deeper connection to the Illusive Man or not.
Liam was hand-picked to be in Ryder’s pathfinder team. Sporting a British accent, Liam is from London. His fresh and positive outlook on life bleeds into the team. Dealing with crisis management, Liam looks to be a great addition to the Pathfinder Crew. He sounds a lot like Wash from Firefly, but we still have to wait and find out more about the character.
The Asari PeeBee is bubbly, flighty and impulsive. She came to Andromeda after getting bored with the Milky Way. Being Asari, she’s proficient with Biotic abilities and has a penchant for exploration and finding treasure. She’s not part of the original crew, so we’ll just have to find out how we meet PeeBee!
Vetra is a female Turian with a chip on her shoulder. After being born on the Turian homeworld of Palaven, she found herself dropping in with the wrong crowd. Innately distrustful of others, it will take a long time to earn Vetra’s trust, but it seems like she will prove as a worthy ally on the pathfinder quest.
Elder-Krogan Drack is a veteran survivor of the Krogan civil wars and survived through the Genophage. His clan, the Nackmor appear briefly in Mass Effect 2. Additionally having this aged character on the team will give the crew some perspective on all of the events that have happened over the past 1400 years. Drack is built like a tank, like all Krogans, and will provide a venerable point of view for our crew as well as being incredibly strong, thanks to the Krogan’s affinity for combat.
Jaal is an Angara, a new race never seen before in the Mass Effect series. Thought to be a native to Andromeda, we’re unsure whether or not Jaal will completely gel with the rest of the team, but from the footage that we’ve seen, it seems that we definitely hook up with the resistance fighter at some point in the story.