The stars in Mass Effect: Andromeda are stacked with story missions, sidequests, loyalty missions and open world exploration, meaning it should easily be the most expansive game in the series. That freedom will also carry over to how you complete the game. When I interviewed lead designer Ian Frazier last week, after playing a few hours of Andromeda, he mentioned that completing the main story doesn't mean it's all over this time around. In fact, almost the entire game will remain open and playable.
I asked Frazier if there are time-sensitive quests in Andromeda like some of Mass Effect 2's missions—quests that are missable if you allow too much game time to pass. "There's nothing that's explicitly time-sensitive, but there are two things that are kind of in that vein," he said. "One is, there's a handful of quests that if you finish the main story, are no longer accessible. But it's a pretty small percentage. But the vast majority of the game, including the loyalty missions, Mass Effect-2 style, you can do even after you finish the main story. Most parts are still open."
The other time-sensitive component Frazier went on to describe is pretty standard: certain quest content will appear in the game as you explore further into the galaxy. "We do it not to drown you," he said.
In the vein of open world games like The Elder Scrolls, then, it sounds like Ryder's adventures in Andromeda will continue after the main story concludes.
We've that loyalty missions will still be completable after finishing the main story, but it's nice to have confirmation that the same goes for most other quests, too. It feels fitting for a character who is meant to be an explorer, rather than a military leader. It also makes me wonder if Andromeda will end with Ryder finding a new home planet for humanity, or if that arc will be ongoing through a new trilogy of games.
We'll know soon enough: Mass Effect: Andromeda is out in less than a month, on March 21. You can read our hands-on impressions with Andromeda right here, and find more in our Mass Effect: Andromeda news hub.