For such a marquee release, Electronic Arts has been strangely tight-lipped about Mass Effect: Andromeda, the latest game in BioWare’s acclaimed space-opera series. It was originally scheduled to launch last fall but slipped into 2017 and, aside from a few insubstantial snippets, was kept completely under wraps until Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro event in October. Yesterday, alongside the trailer released at the Consumer Electronics Show, EA went ahead and announced the game’s first firm release date, and it’s way sooner than most anyone expected: March 21, 2017.
As for that trailer, it’s not the first time we’ve seen the game in motion—this clip from December was our first in-depth look—but this new one does give a more detailed, uninterrupted glimpse into the nuts and bolts of how it plays. Most notably, it appears the series’ traditional character classes—roles picked at the beginning of the games that determined what guns and techno-magic you could use—are gone. Instead, the new player character, a “Pathfinder” who’s been tasked with scouring the Andromeda galaxy for humanity’s new home, is able to pick and choose from a diverse tree of abilities and a “profile” that provides bonuses to specific capabilities. Soldier makes you better at shooting guns, for example, while Engineer comes with improved drone buddies. Mass Effect: Andromeda will be released on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.