Earlier today, BioWare revealed a new 30 second trailer for Mass Effect 5 on the occasion of N7 Day, leading fans to once again don their detective hats as they comb the new footage for fresh info.
The biggest revelation is that the long-awaited sequel will indeed tie into Mass Effect: Andromeda in some way. There had been questions about whether BioWare would quietly drop any references to its ill-fated spin-off, but it seems like it’s still fully part of the canon.
Fan speculation that Mass Effect 5 would incorporate Andromeda somehow was seemingly confirmed by the following code.
////ACCESS CODE: EPSILON
/////ACCESS CODE ACCEPTED
/////SECONDARY ENCRYPTION DETECTED
/////ANDROMEDA DISTRESS SIGNAL DETECTED
/////YEAR SENT: [REDACTED]
/////AUDIO TRANSCRIPT: ALTHOUGH THEY SHOULD KNOW BY NOW NOT TO UNDERESTIMATE HUMAN [REDACTED]
The subsequent reveal of the OCULON-2819-DEFIANCE code appears to be another nod to Andromeda, and implies that Mass Effect 5 will be set long after the events of the original trilogy. In Andromemda’s lore, 2819 is the year that the alliance arrives in the Andromeda Galaxy.
Fans remain mixed on Andromeda, rife as it was with technical problems and aimless design.
Still, it remains beloved among a certain segment of dedicated Mass Effect fans. We wrote in our 2017 review, “Mass Effect: Andromeda is an expansive action role-playing game with a few great moments that recapture the high points of the landmark trilogy that came before it, and energetic combat and fantastic sound effects contribute to a potent sci-fi atmosphere. Without consistently strong writing or a breakout star in its cast to carry it through the long hours and empty spaces, however, disappointments like a lack of new races, no companion customization, and major performance problems and bugs take their toll.”
Many have always known that Andromeda would not simply be brushed past or ignored.
And so it has come to be. 😊
/////ANDROMEDA DISTRESS SIGNAL DETECTEDhttps://t.co/LwijBtKpmD
— BSN BioWare forums (@BSNforums) November 7, 2023
In the meantime, there are plenty of other questions about the 30-second trailer released during N7 Day, including who exactly is wearing that stylish new N7 armor. Some fans speculate that it’s Liara T’Soni, one of the major heroes of the original Mass Effect. As long-lived asari, Liara could theoretically live to see the events of Andromeda.
Liara’s inclusion was teased in last year’s reveal, in which she can be heard saying, “The Council will be furious! Although, they should know by now not to underestimate human defiance!”
Others speculate that the character striding purposefully down the corridor before turning and briefly facing the camera is a revived Shepard, or even a new protagonist entirely. One fan joked that the main character is actually just Daft Punk based on their look of their helmet.
WHOSE LEGS ARE THEY. RYDER’S? LIARA’S? SHEP’S??? HOW ARE THE LATTER 2 GETTING TO ANDROMEDA IF ALL THE RELAYS ARE BUSTED??? WHAT IS HAPPENING
— 𝙗𝙚𝙚 (@sailorbeeee) November 7, 2023
N7 Day teases have become an annual tradition among Mass Effect fans, who have little else to go on while they await the return of their favorite series. With BioWare focused on finishing up Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, Mass Effect 5 is rumored to still be very early in production. BioWare is also still grappling with the layoffs that have affected many longtime employees, some of which marked N7 Day by protesting outside of BioWare HQ.
One way or another, Mass Effect fans will have to keep speculating for a while longer as they wait to see where BioWare takes the series next.
Kat Bailey is IGN’s News Director as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.