After being left out of Mass Effect 3, loyalty missions are making a return in next year's Mass Effect: Andromeda, BioWare has revealed.
This was confirmed during an interview with Game Informer. Loyalty missions were one the of best aspects of Mass Effect 2, as they let you take part in a missions designed to flesh out the backstory of your various squadmates, with each character getting their own.
"As a writer, one of the things I loved was the freedom to say, 'I know this character is coming along,' so they can carry a lot of the narrative," said creative director Mac Walters, who noted he loved them in Mass Effect 2. "That made my job easier, but it also made it more fun, because I could tell a more specific story in one of those missions."
But whereas loyalty missions in Mass Effect 2 played a role in determining how the ending sequence played out, here they'll be one of many side activities you can take part in, according to Walters. He also suggested that, as in past games, you'll be able to continue playing even after completing the main story.
"The big difference between this and ME2, where you did a loyalty mission and that all impacted the ending, is that they're much more optional in this case," Walters said. "If you don't want to engage with them, you don't have to. If you want engage with them after the critical path is done, you can do that."
Without going into specifics, Game Informer noted that loyalty missions afford BioWare the ability to "play with some non-standard gameplay elements."
BioWare today released a new trailer for Andromeda, and retailer listings revealed a number of other things, including box art, a deluxe edition, and a remote-controlled toy.