Mass Effect: Andromeda, the highly anticipated next chapter in BioWare’s science fiction series, is arriving sooner than we had anticipated. You’ll be able to get your hands on it for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on March 21.
The announcement comes just a few hours before BioWare and Nvidia plan to reveal all new gameplay and environments during the latter company’s CES keynote presentation. It will be available to watch live on the Nvidia blog at 9:30 p.m. ET.
BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn revealed that the game is currently in its “holiday build” state, which allows developers to play the game at their homes on PC and consoles — this means that the game is very close to a final, completed state, and shouldn’t suffer a delay of its now-finalized release date. Publisher Electronic Arts didn’t rule out the possibility of a substantial delay back in November, however, when CFO Blake Jorgensen stated that a delay of up to five months could be chosen to deliver the best possible experience.
Though Mass Effect: Andromeda was originally scheduled for a “winter 2016” release window, it was pushed back into 2017 last March. The decision was likely as much about development time as it was avoiding an overcrowded holiday season — in addition to Battlefield 1, the publisher also released the critically acclaimed Titanfall 2, which featured some science fiction elements that wouldn’t be out of place in the Mass Effect series.
Mass Effect: Andromeda takes players away from the story of Commander Shepard and into the distant Andromeda galaxy, where humanity is searching for a new, habitable home. Several races, including the Krogan, make their return from the original trilogy, and the game makes use of a less black-and-white morality system to allow for more natural narrative choices.