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Mass Effect: Andromeda trailer scanned and analysed

N7! Krogan! The Mako! More!

Last week, EA finally revealed the full name and release window for Mass Effect 4 - which we'll now have to remember is actually named Mass Effect: Andromeda.

It's due out "holiday 2016" for unnamed platforms, but we'll take a guess and say that means November next year on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

EA opened its E3 2015 press conference with this in-engine look at Andromeda, which showcases some of the locations, characters, aliens and gameplay mechanics that you'll be exploring/meeting/shooting in just less than 18 months time. Take a look:

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The trailer opens on a deliberately ambiguous scene that could very well be on Earth - or, with that lens flare, a JJ Abrams filmset. The scenery and the music that accompanies it depict a Western atmosphere.

This may seem odd for a game set in space, but BioWare has talked previously about Andromeda being about exploration, stepping foot into new lands for the first time and conquering the wilderness. The series has also harboured a love of Firefly for some time.

Next we visit several other locations in quick succession - and it's clear we're not on Earth any more. From a frozen planet with neon looking ice caves...

... to a sulphurous swamp with bubbling pools and coral, these quick shots show off the variety of environments that BioWare can play with. It's something of a relief after Dragon Age: Inquisition, which featured generic snow/sand/forest fantasy areas that ended up feeling a little tired.

Note that all of these environments seem to have scan points. It's unclear if you'll be able to peer into and scan areas from back aboard your ship or whether you'll need to venture out on foot, but either way it signifies that there will be more to these environments than them just being pretty scenary.

This shot of an asteroid suggests we'll be examining things once again for resources - hopefully in a more interesting way than ME2's resource probe mini-game.

BioWare's move over to DICE's Frostbite engine following Mass Effect 3 meant that Dragon Age: Inquisition featured sprawling open maps, something which it looks like Andromeda will also feature. It should give the game more of an open-world feel, similar to the planets you could land on back in ME1, rather than more corridor-based sections in ME2 and ME3.

Even from these quick shots we can see a greater level of detail in the environments, too. An airborne creature can be seen flying in the distance of the image just above, and detailed magma tornados are billowing the image below that.

It would be great if Andromeda featured more wildlife, making its worlds feel less empty. The original Mass Effect trilogy featured the dog-like varren and monkey-like pyjaks, but battles against local fauna such as Tuchanka's Thresher Maw were limited to set-piece moments or cut-scenes.

This quick look at the interface for travelling between words suggests a web-like interface of planets and systems. It's an upgraded version of the Galaxy Map of old, and notes that you will travel between systems by some kind of faster-than-light drive.

You've been able to navigate within solar systems using FTL travel previously, but this suggests a more advanced FTL travel that is possible between systems without the use of Mass Relays - which would make sense in a new galaxy without Reapers.

But perhaps humanity has now reverse-engineered the Mass Relay technology following the Reapers' defeat? Some of ME3's endings certainly showed the devices being repaired. This might also explain how Milky Way races have got to the Andromeda Galaxy in the first place.

BioWare has said previously that the N7 programme for elite marines will still be in place. Note the lovely new fabric scarf.

This shot of the character standing in front of the planet and then walking towards the camera is a direct reference to Shepard doing the same thing while standing in front of Earth in an early Mass Effect 3 trailer.

The revamped Mako, now with the version number M-40. The older M-35 Mako featured in Mass Effect 1. Curiously, the new vehicle's version number is lower than Mass Effect 2's M-44 Hammerhead.

Players can now jump up surfaces with the aid of a jetpack. This should make traversing the area far easier than in Dragon Age: Inquisition, where players could only make short jumps.

Alien technology rises from beneath the desert planet. It is reminiscent of the geth technology on Ilos in Mass Effect 1. Information from other leaks suggests that this will be one of the two new races in Andromeda - the ancient Remnant or violent Khet.

Battle armour is similar to that of Shepard's in the original trilogy, with space for several weapons to be strapped onto your character's back. BioWare has said that this character is not the main protagonist of the game, however.

This shot seems to imply that fireteams of three will return. In the background you can see a human female character and a male krogan charging into battle. We saw a krogan in the target footage released back at E3 2014 - they are so far the only species confirmed to have made the leap to the Andromeda galaxy alongside humanity - but there will likely be many more.

The last leak of Andromeda information detailed a krogan squadmate in the game named Drack. This may be our first look at him.

Finally, the trailer's main character faces off against the alien threat (we're guessing the antagonistic Khet race). Omni-blade face punching looks also to have returned.

For more on that last leak - including details on the game's races, gameplay and storyline, catch-up with our video from before E3 below:

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