The Mass Effect series has always focused heavily on the player's team and the relationships they have with those team members.
Part of what makes Bioware games so enjoyable is the incredible depth and versatility of those teammates. They are all so individual, with their own personalities, tastes and preferences. Whether you were shooting cans with Garrus or talking to Talizorah about the Quarian Flotilla, every team member had something relatable that drove them.
This is partly why we're so excited about Mass Effect: Andromeda. There is no "I" in team, after all, so here's the list of your new crew. Who will you buddy up with?
Scott and Sara Ryder
Scott and Sara are human Pathfinders of Mass Effect: Andromeda, and you can select one of the two twins to be your playable character. The twin you don't pick will later become a squad member on the Tempest, and, NO, your sibling is not a romanceable option.
As with starting up a new game in the original Mass Effect series, you can tweak these characters' appearances and back stories. The twins get their Pathfinder status from their father, Alec, who was tasked with finding humanity a new place to settle, though the pair of them both have different backgrounds. Scott is Alliance Military, while Sara spent her time researching the Protheans (responsible for all the nifty space travel tech back in Mass Effect). We don't fully understand why Alec passed the title down to his children yet.
Personality-wise, the Ryders could be anything you wanted them to be. While you could always be a jerk in Mass Effect, you were a firm but fair jerk who was essentially only ever doing it for the good of the galaxy. The Paragon/Renegade alignments have been replaced with more "nuanced" social interactions, reacting to discussion with one of four emotive tones: professional, casual, logical, or emotional. Ryder's personality will then settle into place, causing corresponding interactions to become available. Other characters will also pay attention to what you say and do, so don't expect to rain hell down on your teammates and for them to forget it in a hurry. Everything has larger consequences.
Vetra is a female Turian, so those with severe Garrus withdrawal may find themselves happy to settle for this assault-rifle wielding badass. After birth on Palaven, her bio on the Mass Effect website lists her as having lived "too many places to count." She's been through the mill, having survived the worlds of mercenaries and smugglers, but in the process developing skills to keep herself alive. Described thusly, "...she'll do anything for the people she considers friends and family," so it wouldn't be too far-fetched to assume Vetra is going to have one hell of a Loyalty Mission. But you're going to get one hugely indispensable squad member for your troubles. She favors Power Armor, which hardens and activates reinforced shields. Vetra can be romanced, or at least flirted with as a precursor to romance, and so far there is nothing to note whether you have to be one gender or another to successfully dock with her.
Pelessaria B'Sayle (Peebee)
Peebee is an Asari. (All Asari are the same sex but look like women and have maternal instincts). She seems to be quite different from the Asari we have known in Mass Effect in that she is a daredevil and a risk-taker, one who seems happy enough speaking her mind plainly. Described as having a "pathological independence," Peebee isn't about rules or "the method." She left the Milky Way in search of adventure, feeling like there was nothing left to discover there anymore, and is interested in alien technology. She is a gunslinging biotic, and one you can definitely romance regardless of which twin you are.
We've seen lots of Cora from the trailers, especially of the clip of her smooching Scott Ryder. (Romance option confirmed!) Cora is one of the earliest squad members you'll have access to, as she is on the Hyperion with the Ryders. She's second in command to Pathfinder Alec, so there is obviously some digging to be done to explain why the role goes to his children over his appointed successor. Acting as a ground operations specialist, Cora earned her grits in an elite Asari commando unit, as part of an interspecies integration scheme. Her biotic skills are honed into deadly weapons, and she's not too fussed on keeping the rule book straight, as long as the job gets done. Some people have noted that Cora shares her last name with the Illusive Man, who's real name was revealed in the Mass Effect Redemption comics. Should we read something into that?
Liam is the other squad member we meet early on with Cora. He is a human, born in London (yes, on Earth) and lived on the Citadel. Liam is pretty interesting, and he worked previously with a multispecies response team during a civilian crisis (we'd LOVE more details on that) before working with the Andromeda Initiative. He has a wide range of skills which apparently made him perfect for work with the Pathfinders. He favors dual omni-blades (with the assistance of a personal jump jet) for his own brand of butt slicing. Liam, like Vetra, has a flirt conversation option, but whether this leads to full blown engine room shenanigans remains to be seen.
One of three new species in Mass Effect: Andromeda, Jaal is an Angara but not much is known about him or his race at this time. Having seen the combat profiles video, Jaal is labeled a Resistance Fighter, but he's not exactly a confirmed squad member. Mass Effect Andromeda Producer Mike Gamble affirmed that Jaal can be kissed after he was asked by a fan, so Jaal is potentially the Andromedan team member we were promised.
Nakmor Drack (Drack)
Drack is old; he's seen it, done it and killed it. After more than 1,400 years of terrorizing the Milky Way, this battle-hardened Krogan probably has a gear or two to grind, having been a soldier, mercenary and even at times, a pirate. Will we see some tempers flare over the Mass Effect genophage storyline between Vetra and Drack? (The Turians infected the Krogans with a biological weapon developed by Salarians, making the Krogans mostly infertile or at risk of not completing pregnancy, putting their species in danger.) Drack has been around for a good long while, so it will certainly be interesting to see whether or not this has been overcome in Andromeda. He should provide great insight into the farther reaching consequences of a significant part of the original series.
Who's your favorite?
Which new team member is your favorite? Will you attempt to fire up a romance? Let us know in the comments below.