BioWare has unveiled a new Andromeda Initiative briefing video (embedded below) for its upcoming sci-fi epic Mass Effect: Andromeda, showing off the core characters that make up the Pathfinder team. The new mission briefing is the latest in a series of six videos that gives eager fans a more detailed glimpse of the game.
"Nobody knows for certain what awaits us in Andromeda," the video's narrator, in-game character Lieutenant Cora Harper, says. "Though our long-range scans have provided a map, there are no guarantees on a voyage that will take us 2.6 million light years away from home."
Harper, who is a human biotic and second in command on the human Pathfinder team, says: "It's our job to find and secure potential golden worlds, identify settlement sites and start the process of building our new home. We act under our own authority and represent the tip of the sphere in Andromeda."
Every Ark has its own team and every team has its own Pathfinder, senior mission officers as well as survival, diplomacy and combat experts, Harper explains.
The Ark Hyperion's Pathfinder is Alec Ryder, a skilled scientist and soldier with N7 ranking who was a member of the original task force that "took humanity's first steps across the galaxy".
He is also the father of the game's two protagonists, Sarah and Scott Ryder, who players will be able to choose between.
Liam Kosta is an operations specialist and "idealist" who "made a name for himself in the Milky Way as a security specialist with expertise in crisis response". Sara and Scott Ryder are former Alliance recruits who previously worked with the Arcturus Station Outpost.
Harper herself is a human biotic (which means she has special powers) and operations specialist in charge of ground missions who spent four years working alongside Asari commandos. The crew's artificial intelligence called Simulated Adapted Matrix, or SAM, was designed by Alec Ryder.
"From his node in the Ark, SAM receives a direct feed of the Pathfinder's sensory input via a neural implant. It sees and feels as Ryder does, providing him advanced situational awareness, problem-solving and even tactical enhancements," explains Harper. Every member of the Pathfinder team can communicate directly with SAM via implants.
While Liam and Cora signed up to join the Pathfinder team on the Ark Hyperion (one of several enormous ships inhabitants of the Solar System travelled to Andromeda in), while alien squad mates including Peebee, Vetra and Drack made their way to Andromeda long before the Pathfinder team did.
Vetra is a female Turian, the adventurous Asari Peebee is described as a "free spirit with a penchant for alien civilizations" and Drack is an "aged and grizzled" Krogan veteran, "even by Krogan standards", according to the developer.
"The individuals who make up this team are everything the Andromeda Initiative represents," Harper explains in the video. "A chance for the bravest and the brightest to come together for something bigger than ourselves. If you have what it takes to join us, we'll make sure there's a bunk on the Tempest with your name on it."
BioWare also released an exciting new cinematic trailer showing off a new world called Habitat 7, crew members Cora Harper and Salarian pilot Kallo Jath, teases the antagonistic Kett Archon, and introduces a new alien species called the Angara. It also features some fierce conflict and teases some new romantic encounters.
Previous Andromeda Initiative briefings included an Orientation video, a tour of the Ark and Nexus and, more recently, a look at the game's new vehicles - the Tempest and Nomad. Fans who watch all six briefing videos and complete the training can unlock an exclusive Pathfinder-Grade helmet to use in Andromeda.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is set to launch on 21 March in North America and 23 March in Europe for the PS4, Xbox One and PC.