In development for years and forever cast in the shadow of what remains one of the worst endings in gaming history with Mass Effect 3, Andromeda's slate-wiping attempt to breathe new life into the franchise has been watched with trepidation at all times.
Fans especially remember the time when the Mass Effect name was gaming royalty, and part of restoring that reputation means Bioware have had to play a very specific hand, keeping their cards close to their chest and only revealing exactly what was necessary, when it was necessary.
That means tiny glimpses of the new story, a ton of mass market-pleasing combat, new characters that'll attempt to usurp the likes of Garrus and Liara in our collective headspace - essentially, they need one giant reset button that washes away the taste of ME3, reminds you of the good ol' days and allows us to thunder forward, all at once.
No pressure, then.
Thankfully, this IS Bioware we're talking about, and they've finally let a handful of people play a sizeable chunk of what will become the final game. Mass Effect Andromeda has thus 'gone gold' (meaning it'll be printed for retail), and everything within this article comes from the myriad of hands-on impressions that are currently flooding the internet.