Getting To Know The Tempest: Mass Effect's New Normandy

Joe Juba

When you’re exploring the far reaches of space, it helps to have a home away from home. In the Mass Effect series, your ship serves a variety of purposes. It can be a military base, where you plot your next tactical move; it can be a clubhouse, where you hang out with companions and get to know them better; and it can be a command center, where you make decisions about your character’s progression. In the Mass Effect trilogy, players had the Normandy, which became almost as iconic as Commander Shepard.

In Mass Effect Andromeda, you have the Tempest, a ship that functions like the Normandy in some ways, but also stands out with its own distinguishing features and innovations. Since players will spend a lot of time aboard this vessel exploring its corridors and interacting with its crew, we’re taking a closer look at what you can expect from the Tempest and how it helps in your mission to find a new home in Andromeda. Areas of Interest During our trip to BioWare’s Montreal studio, we got a limited virtual tour of the Tempest. The team wasn’t ready to show off every corner of the ship, but we saw some of the major areas, like the bridge, the galley, the garage, and the Pathfinder’s quarters.

You can seamlessly travel between these locations, with no loading screens or painfully slow elevators to hold you back. The bridge will be a more regular destination than it was aboard the Normandy. You still can drop by to talk to the pilot (a salarian), but handling navigation is your most common task there. Instead of going to a galaxy map in the middle of the ship, you stand on the bridge and stare out at the stars in front of you as you select your destinations.

After passing through an elliptical corridor (similar to one seen on the Normandy), you are in the galley. This area has more of an atrium-like feel, with windows offering a nice view and stairs leading up to a seating area on a second level. One of the most conspicuous objects in the galley is a holographic interface that allows Ryder to modify skill-point distribution, which is how you change your abilities between missions. Farther back is the garage, which is where the Nomad (your Mako-like vehicle) is parked.

Any visual customizations that you’ve made to the vehicle, like its paint job, are visible as you look down on it from the upper part of this tiered area. The Pathfinder’s quarters is Ryder’s personal space. BioWare tells us that players…

Read full article