Unlike the previous Mass Effect games, Mass Effect: Andromeda will have a seamless non-interrupt feel to it thanks to current-gen PC and console hardware, meaning gamers won't have to sit through tons of loading points through their interstellar adventures.
Sitting down with GameInformer, BioWare recently confirmed that Mass Effect: Andromeda's player ship, the Tempest, would be a seamless space within the game. That means the Tempest won't have any pesky loading zones as players explore and navigate through the different layers of the ship, with even planet exploration and even spaceflight travel being re-worked to feel much more immersive.
The Tempest's bridge will serve as the main hub for the ship, and will be the nexus for missions and the like. Rather than going to a galaxy map to select locations, players will be able to look through a massive window aboard the Tempest and select nearby planets to explore.
BioWare affirms that the entire exploration process--selecting a planet, flying to the atmosphere, and landing topside with the Mako--will feel much more streamlined and fluid, with minimal loading sequences.
"With memory limitations, with loading limitations, there was a real problem; if you wanted to go from one place to another, you had to unload everything, you had to reload everything - it was a long time," technical director Harold Chaput told Game Informer.
"It really broke the flow of the game. Now, it's so much smoother to be on the ship, land on a planet, jump around, go inside a building. It's all very seamless, so breaking down the barriers frees up the player to explore and do activities. It makes it easier to make a rich and full environment."
The very first Mass Effect: Andromeda announcement trailer showcased how the seamless planet selection would work, so check the video below:
Sadly, players won't be able to actually fly the Tempest. The ship will be manned by a salarian pilot this time around, who will zoom around the stars at Ryder's command (similar to Joker in the original games).
"Part of what made it hard is, we had debates about whether you should be able to manually fly the Tempest all the way around," ME: Andromeda creative director Mac Walters told GameInformer.
"Ultimately, we had to say 'Not in this game.' If you try to do too many things, everything starts to suffer. But we had working prototypes of that, and it was compelling, but it wasn't compelling enough."
BioWare has yet to reveal the official Mass Effect: Andromeda release date, but we have it on good authority that the game will release on March 21, 2017 on PS4, PS4 Pro, Xbox One and PC.
We could even see Mass Effect: Andromeda make the jump over to Nintendo's new Switch console.