Mass Effect: Andromeda is a few days away—Origin Access subscribers can get in on Thursday and play for 10 hours before Andromeda launches on the 21st in North America and the 23rd in Europe. All our questions will soon be answered, but here's one I've taken on ahead of time: Can I make a custom Ryder I like?
Andromeda doesn't house an especially advanced character creator, but to be fair, it's full of animation and voice acting, whereas you hardly ever see your character in something like EVE Online. It's good enough that I could make Ryders I was satisfied with, both female and male, so it's definitely not a bust.
You start by picking a preset. I was surprised to find that, while you can nudge around and resize a preset's features, you can't mix and match different eye and nose shapes. Your character will always look kind of like one of those nine female and nine male defaults. But by adjusting things like chin height, the size of the nose, and the shape of the cheeks, I've made a few characters that feel like my own. And you can't judge the presets entirely on their first impression—I managed to tidy up even the goofiest-looking of them. The system does help generate somewhat more realistic-looking people than you'd get in Mass Effect 3, if with a bit less freedom.
A lot of personality comes from the hairstyle, as well, and there are some decent if familiar options—not a lot has changed since Mass Effect 3 on that front. And then you'll find some creative makeup choices, scars, and tattoos to finish it off. You can watch the whole process in the video above. And below are a few characters I customized.