Mass Effect Andromeda will soon add an unexpected new race to its multiplayer mode - batarians.
A familiar race from the Mass Effect trilogy, batarians are completely new to Andromeda. They don't appear in the game's single-player campaign and lore-wise this is the first suggestion they even made it over from the Milky Way to the Andromeda galaxy.
Mass Effect's multiplayer mode is closely tied to the universe's overall canon. So - to date - we've only seen the Milky Way races that journeyed to Andromeda in the game's multiplayer mode: human, asari, krogan, turian and salarian.
Another ark filled with hanar, elcor, drell and volus is teased within the game's campaign (and set up as a potential future topic for single-player DLC or a sequel).
Batarians do not factor into this at all - so it will be interesting to see the explanation for their presence. Perhaps a few travelled with the Nexus and have now been awoken from cryo-sleep? That would seem to be the easiest explanation.
The race is not known for its co-operation with other Milky Way species, although some individuals have been friendly. First introduced as antagonists in Mass Effect 1's Bring Down the Sky DLC, batarians played a much larger role in Mass Effect 2 and its Arrival add-on, before occupying a more tragic role in Mass Effect 3 after being decimated by the Reapers.
Whatever the case, producer Fernando Melo has confirmed via Twitter batarians will only feature in multiplayer - "so no Ryder high fives :/".
Take your skills to the next level. Platinum Difficulty is coming to APEX Multiplayer. pic.twitter.com/RbqH0PrQjo— Mass Effect (@masseffect) July 4, 2017
Lore secrets (until the update)— Fernando Melo (@DiscoBabaloo) July 4, 2017
Previous Andromeda DLC updates have come with accompanying storylines and snippets of lore, published on BioWare's blog. New maps, character classes and weapons have been added. Apart from Andromeda's single-player patches, it seems to be all Mass Effect fans have to currently look forward to.
The past week has seen the Mass Effect fandom rocked by a hoax which claimed single-player DLC had been cancelled. But while the report was a fake, it was followed by a Kotaku report which stated the same - no single-player DLC is in production. A source close to BioWare has told me similar - no single-player DLC is planned at this time.
Over the last few days, concerned Mass Effect fans from the game's reddit and unofficial forums have rallied support for single-player DLC with a #savethequarians hashtag on Twitter.
BioWare is yet to comment on the fan campaign - or its plans for the single-player side of the game.
At least with batarians coming to multiplayer and new lore there, there's something new for Andromeda - and that's better than nothing.