Mass Effect fans have had an exciting weekend.
The next Mass Effect game, Mass Effect Andromeda, has been kept under pretty tight wraps so far. That's probably why the fanbase is so eager to embrace an alleged leak that surfaced over the weekend.
The mods of the Mass Effect Reddit received a stack of alleged details from what they believe to be an inside source, and posted the information in the video below - none of which should be considered confirmed at this stage.
According to the alleged leak, the player will be accompanied by two AI squadmates, as in past Mass Effect games. Two squadmates were mentioned - a blonde woman and the Krogan featured in the E3 trailer. All characters are equipped with jetpacks for environmental exploration.
No word on whether jetpacks will be used in combat but the Omnitool will be leveraged more, with the capacity to create a shield. There'll be more destructible cover. Weapons will be pretty much the same as past games.
The player's ship is very different from the Normandy. The Mako is visible inside the ship. There's a meeting room where you can interact with your squad members. You can manually fly the ship from location to location in first person rather than fast traveling from the Galaxy map, although an FTL guide is available for rapid travel. Waypoints and markers guide the player.
There's a section on the ship called Pathfinder's Quarters; this refers to the N7 protagonist's title of Pathfinder, as they're on a quest to find a new world for humanity. Other species, recognisable from past games, are also on the hunt for a new planet. A new enemy race is described as a cross between Vorcha and Collector's, and there's an antagonist the player cna choose to kill or spare.
Graphics-wise, the alleged leaker said facial models have been improved drastically. Armour is customisable, but details were not supplied. There are a few more details beyond this summary, so do give the video a watch:
So is any of this true? Well, the Mass Effect Reddit mods admit they have not been shown any materials backing up the leaker's claims and that they could be utter rubbish. That said, they do have confidence in the source's identity and access to information - if not the veracity of details supplied.
Nothing detailed by the leaker seems improbable or incompatible with what little BioWare and EA have told us about Andromeda so far. Also, most of it is pretty shallow, which seems conversant with what you might pick up if you were part of a focus or testing group - a common source of development leaks.
So pour some salt on it all. We've dutifully asked EA about the alleged leak and will report back if we receive a comment.
In any case, this has all made me tremendously excited about Mass Effect, a state I'm usually a hair's breadth from anyway. Let's revisit the N7 day teaser and sigh wistfully while we wait for the eventual reveals. Mass Effect Andromeda is expected on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in late 2016.