BioWare has always had a knack for creating memorable characters, and the Mass Effect series has continually provided plentiful personalities to grow attached to. From the ultimate best friend Garrus to Mordin, the singing salarian seeking redemption, Mass Effect has allowed us to build a camaraderie with our squadmates through one-on-one chats and party banter. Mass Effect Andromeda starts a new chapter for the franchise and with it comes a younger, less experienced cast trying to find their way as outsiders in a new galaxy. “I think [the younger cast] provides a new energy and allows you to have a slightly lighter tone,” says creative director Mac Walters. 

While characters are more likely to joke and play around, it doesn’t mean the journey isn’t full of epic moments and intense decisions. After all, these characters are bold enough to take this 600 year one-way to journey to Andromeda. Things are bound to get serious and chaotic at certain points, but Walters says having a cast with a more of a “leap before you think” mindset made the most sense for a story like this. As with past games, expect tension between characters as they all have different perspectives and goals. During our cover story visit to BioWare’s offices, we were introduced to two unique personalities joining your crew: Liam and Peebee. While BioWare wants to keep details under wraps about the characters' reasons for getting involved with the Andromeda initiative, we were able to get an idea of their personalities and skills. Here’s what what they bring to the table.

Liam 

Liam is a former police officer who arrives in Andromeda aboard the Hyperion. He’s part of the Pathfinder team and helps with security. “Liam is the youthful, enthusiastic, and in some cases, the idealistic follower that you get,” Walter says. While he takes his duties seriously, he tends to have a lighter tone. He may try to add levity to situations by being upbeat, he also wears his heart on his sleeve and gets fired up easily. For instance, in an introduction scene we saw during our visit, he’s quick to show his anger and react when things go south while the team is out exploring. That doesn’t mean he’s not there for Ryder though and doesn’t support the decisions that must be made by Ryder in these dire moments. “He’s got Ryder’s back,” Walters says. Liam is also very hopeful for the new future of humanity. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens if other characters challenge him on that.

Peebee

Peebee, an asari, is a lone wolf and adventurer at heart. She came to Andromeda aboard the Nexus, but true to her character, quickly went off adventuring on her own. She doesn’t come as part of the Pathfinder team like Liam. “You find her in the course of your adventures,” Walters says. Peebee is particularly interested in all of the alien technology and things that can be found in Andromeda, constantly looking for clues and things she can study. “

While she’s super smart, she isn’t so keen on formalities or social niceties, which can make her come off as very blunt and forward. “Her mind goes quickly as does her mouth,” Walters says laughing. “It’s hard keeping up with her.” In fact when she meets you, she just goes up and tackles Ryder. Just because she’s an asari don’t expect her to be anything like Liara. “She’s very bubbly; Liara was very serious,” Walters says. “Peebee will buck the norm at any given time. She’s not about rules or culture or anything like that. She’s not even about teams or teamwork.” We’re guessing that’s going to lead to some conflicts among the party. So what drives her to join Ryder? She sees you as someone who can lead her to finding out more about the galaxy’s mysteries. “Her role in this is helping you find out more about this alien technology,” Walters says. 

As with all the cast members, BioWare wanted to make sure everyone felt fresh and unique from past characters. The team even cut a squadmate later in development because they felt too much of a cross between past favorites. “Sometimes writers focus on the quirks or specific nuances of the character [thinking] that’s what’s going to make this character interesting,” Walters says. “Honestly, it’s a combination of a whole bunch of things, and what I say is rather than trying to make a really unique or memorable character through your writing, take a character who’s relatable and put them in a really unique situation and see how they react. That’s actually how I think you get the most interesting character development happening.” 

What are you most hoping for from the cast of Andromeda? Let us know in the comments below. 

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