BioWare fans rejoice. After being pushed back into 2017 some fans were obviously frustrated and the inevitable concerns of whether this would signal a string of delays were roused. However, in an official blog post today, BioWare General Manager Aaaryn Flynn revealed that they're finally ready to finish their calibrations and get the game into our hands.
Taking a moment to thank fans (both for their patience and, in some cases, their impatience - which has kept them motivated), Aaaryn announced that Mass Effect: Andromeda will be launching to PC, PS4 and Xbox One in North America on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 and commencing its European roll-out from Thursday, March 23, 2017.
That's right folks, not long now until you can take up the mantle of The Pathfinder and dive back into BioWare's epic sci-fi universe for the first time in five years! (Just be grateful we didn't have to wait as long as the in-game characters - Mass Effect: Andromeda is set around 600 years after the events of Mass Effect 3 so it's high time they got some of our attention again). Last May, Aaryn broke the news of the delayed launch stating:
“As we've been playing the game at the studio recently, it’s showing us that we’re taking the game in the right direction. But we also know we need the right amount of time to make sure we deliver everything the game can be and should be – that’s our commitment from all of us to all of you. Because of that, Mass Effect: Andromeda will now ship in early 2017”
Especially in the wake of complaints over Mass Effect 3's ending (and implications that a rushed release was to blame), the majority of fans were happy to hear that the new BioWare team's focus for Andromeda was on nailing every aspect of their newest title. Describing it as their "most ambitious Mass Effect game to date", in today's announcement Aaryn goes on to list the jumps being seen from the upcoming game:
We’re telling completely new stories, creating new characters, new planets, new species, and introducing new gameplay systems. And for the first time, we’re bringing Mass Effect to the FrostbiteTM game engine, an incredible engine that’s delivering a tremendous graphical jump from the trilogy to Mass Effect: Andromeda. To deliver on this, we’re taking all the time we can to make sure you’re getting the best possible experience.
Indeed, we were given a preview of what the Frostbite engine was capable of delivering for the Mass Effect universe back in December when they unveiled the 4K gameplay trailer below.
Over Christmas, however, the development team took home what they refer to as their "holiday build" of the game - a longstanding studio tradition with a test build being taken home by the full team to play at their leisure and deliver final feedback in the New Year. So far, Aaryn says, it's been a ringing endorsement of all their hard work, and this feedback, especially from many who were involved in the original trilogy has made them comfortable in committing to the final release date.
We've no doubt you're all as excited as we are to start charting our course across a whole new galaxy over the Easter holidays. But, for those itching for more right now, NVIDIA will be showcasing new gameplay footage and environments as part of their CES keynote tonight 2:30am GMT (5th Jan) - that's 6:30pm PT or 9:30pm ET (4th Jan) - with a livestream available through Nvidia’s corporate blog.