As part of its N7 Day festivities, BioWare released a new trailer for Mass Effect Andromeda. Filled with tantalizing imagery that answers some questions and raise others, the trailer is bound to have fans speculating about what everything means. But you don’t need to resort to blind speculation; I’ve seen Mass Effect Andromeda in action, and can add some extra information and context to explain what you’re seeing as the scenes fly by.

In case you forgot, here’s the trailer again:

Now that you’ve refreshed your memory, here’s my breakdown of the notable moments, informed by the time we spent seeing the game at BioWare Montreal.


0:02 This is one of the "arks," the massive colony ships that are carrying thousands of individuals from the Milky Way to Andromeda. Also, the character speaking is Alec Ryder (voiced by Clancy Brown).


0:08 The human ark is called Hyperion. The arks for the other species (Salarian, Asari, Turian) have different names.


0:23 "Our dreams of peace were shattered." When the arks arrive, the Andromeda galaxy is not as ripe for colonization as the scans indicated.  


0:31 "Welcome back." This voice doesn't quite sound human. I don't know who it is exactly, but I know that Ryder is able to communicate with a mission computer, so it might be tied to that.


0:33 This is the Tempest, a ship that looks a little like the classic Normandy. However, the Tempest is smaller and better suited for scouting.


0:34 Like previous Mass Effect games, your squad consists of your hero and two companions.


0:35 BioWare is shy when it comes to talking about any sentient races you might encounter, but expect plenty of strange animal-like foes.


0:37 Exploration is a big part of Mass Effect Andromeda, and involves a mixture of on-foot segments and driving around in the Nomad (a.k.a. "the new Mako"). 


0:39 "You're the new Pathfinder." This phrase is significant because initially Alec Ryder is the Pathfinder. However, during the course of the story, that title (and its perks) pass to your character – either Scott or Sara Ryder.


0:40 This is the bridge of the Tempest. The new galaxy map is here, so you aren't traveling to the middle of the ship to navigate.


0:42 This is our first look at a new alien race, the Kett.


0:45 Ryder and the Pathfinder team (companions who aid the Pathfinder) interact with mysterious technology present on the planets in Andromeda.


0:45 This is Peebee, an asari ally. Based on what we've seen in trailers so far, she seems to have a very different personality from Liara.


0:49 I have no idea what this is all about, but it looks pretty cool.


0:52 This may look a little bit like a Reaper, but the odds of them being a threat is remote. The war with the Reapers has been over for 600 years when Mass Effect Andromeda begins.


0:54 The "AI" on the armor stands for "Andromeda Initiative." Not everyone can be an N7, though Alec Ryder has that elite distinction.


0:55 Another look at the Kett, but still no clear headshot.


0:58 Another bit of ancient technology, but the presence of the Kett here indicates that they are interested in it – and perhaps competing with the Pathfinder team for it.


1:02 Even though this game is later in the timeline, all of the technology is from the Mass Effect 2/3 era, so omni-tools are still vital.


1:08 These figures don't look like Kett, humans, or any other known species. However, that could be some sort of obscuring headgear, making it impossible to identify them.


1:11 Mass Effect Andromeda continues to increase the scope of the series, both in the enemies you face and the environments you explore. 


1:14 This won't be the only enormous foe you encounter while making your way across the various planets of the Heleus Cluster. 


1:19 Not all of your fighting is done at range. You have expanded melee options (including new weapons), and some enemies have special attacks they can use at close range.


1:22 Those are totally Salarians, so you must encounter them at some point.


1:29 This Kett seems different from the others...an antagonist, perhaps? Or maybe just something more than a grunt soldier?

That's about all I can say from the trailer specifically, but that's not the end of our Mass Effect Andromeda coverage. We’ve got an entire month of features planned, and you can access the hub by clicking on the banner below!