In the most recent Mass Effect Andromeda trailer we saw the game's antagonistic kett race for the first time. We saw presumably the game's main baddie, back turned, approaching our heroes restrained before him. He had a high collar, bald head and a halo-shaped horn protruding from it. In a different clip he hovered. Cool!
Not sure it would have quite the same effect were he standing in the buff, naked as the day he was born, because, strange as it sounds, that idea apparently went "quite a way".
"How alien are these guys?" art director Joel MacMillan, talking to GameInformer, remembers asking himself. "We're used to seeing our Milky Way species all kitted up in armour and essentially functioning like people would. Taking the opportunity to go out to Andromeda, do we want that same kind of relationship to our new aliens?
"We took the perspective of 'maybe these guys are so alien we don't understand what they're doing visually'. Do they even wear clothes? Are they more carnal than our previous aliens?"
I say, steady on.
"Or are they more enlightened and clothing's a vanity thing and maybe it's not part of their culture? In the initial sketches we actually pushed that forward for quite a way."
He didn't share any of those sketches.
"[But] we definitely had to put clothing on these guys," MacMillan goes on, "we needed to dress them up, because as much as we wanted to make them look new or different or alien, you're always going to want to associate with them in some way. There's a really odd disconnect with trying to associate with an alien that's completely naked in front of you. You're standing there and 'hey I'm in clothes - why aren't you in clothes?' So it was definitely the right choice to make to clothe these guys."
Pity. I like it when BioWare makes very alien aliens, rather than races very similar to our own. It's more interesting. I romanced Garrus to see what would happen when he took his armour off - Garrus being a turian whose bony appearance isn't a million miles away from a kett's, actually. But instead of taking a punt at naked alien anatomy, BioWare's sex scene faded to black, chickens.
It sounds a bit like what was once a remit to go wild with design on Andromeda was gradually whittled into something a bit safer for a wider audience.
Listen to this: "With the whole kett race we wanted it to be foreboding but never to the point of it being ugly," MacMillan says a bit later on. "You still want to be able to empathise with these guys."
MacMillan shares some kett sketches but no new and revealing pictures besides. He also doesn't reveal any story points beyond what we know. And everything we do know about Mass Effect Andromeda we've combined in one article for handy reference.
Mass Effect Andromeda will be released on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in spring next year.