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Mass Effect Andromeda’s antagonists designed to be more ‘organic’

Mass Effect Andromeda day — or, as it was officially known, “N7 Day” — came and went with a flurry of details about Bioware’s upcoming epic. There’s a stack of new information out there, from the type of romances players will engage with, to Andromeda‘s place among the Mass Effect series, and how Bioware intends to change the Paragon-Renegade system.

The information just keeps on piling out, and by way of Game Informer, we now know about one of the game’s new alien races: the Kett.

Art director, Joel MacMillen, spoke briefly about the race’s design, and of course their purpose in the broader Andromeda world and experience.

Unsurprisingly, the background lore of the Kett is as deep as just about everything else in the Mass Effect series. I’ve started playing back through the original trilogy, and I’ve spent more time in the first game reading up about the Geth and the Keepers than I have actually, you know, playing the game!

Okay, so here’s what we know about the Kett so far. The Kett’s design came from an internal desire to offer more organic alien races. The original trilogy had a host of synthetic and organic-synthetic hybrid races, so Bioware seems to be doing away with that industrial focus for Andromeda.



The process behind creating the Kett was in many ways inspired by the series’ natural transition away from the Milky Way and towards the Andromeda galaxy. The organic design that they wanted can be seen even in the race’s armour and architecture across Andromeda’s many worlds.

The challenge for Bioware, according to MacMillen, was creating a race that looks equally antagonistic as it does intriguing: they wanted to leave room for empathetic story moments. The balancing act with the eyes was to find a middle ground between humanity and evil darkness: eventually, Bioware chose to darken this aspect of the race to make them seem more sinister.

From a clothing aesthetic point of view, there is a connection between the boney nature of the alien’s body structure, and their armour design: their clothing appears to seamlessly integrate into what will appear as one body, while still offering a clear distinction between armor and torso.

It’s a fairly fascinating insight into the creation of a major antagonist. I can’t wait to hear more!

Mass Effect Andromeda is due for release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC in March 2017.

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