"We could have had the Normandy 3," BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn told PC Gamer earlier this year. "But we decided to take a step to the left." That sidestep marks the introduction of Mass Effect Andromeda's Tempest—a ship that's similarly sleek in design but is instead built primarily for exploration as opposed to combat. In conversation with Game Informer, BioWare shared details on the new ship's structure—not least that it won't contain loading screens.
Which of course means no tiresome lifts à la the first Mass Effect, or time-consuming loading screens as per its sequel. Game Informer reports "seamless travel" between the vessel's areas—such as the bridge, garage, gallery, and cockpit—helps maintain a sophisticated sense of immersion, which is something BioWare's technical director Harold Chaput seems keen to perpetuate, both within and beyond the Tempest's bounds.
"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," Chaput says. "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."
Game Informer's report in full can be found this way.
Mass Effect Andromeda is due at some point in March, 2017, however expect to see more in-game footage at this year's Game Awards on December 1.
On December 1, you'll get a first look at Mass Effect: Andromeda gameplay at @thegameawards. pic.twitter.com/w8i4CKpvjXNovember 21, 2016