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Some important Mass Effect: Andromeda facts you probably missed, including Cerberus ties and new aliens

Did you know one of your first squad mates in Mass Effect: Andromeda is almost definitely a close relative of the Illusive Man, AKA one of the biggest bads from the original trilogy? Yep, Andromeda is still hiding plenty of secrets two months away from its release date. Read on for some more details you may have missed from the hype cycle.

There's more to Cora Harper, your hardcore biotic operative squad mate (and potential romantic interest) than we first thought. She shares her surname with Jack Harper, aka the Illusive Man. He was the leader of the human-first organization that - aside from a temporary alliance - Shepard fought in the original Mass Effect trilogy. There's no way her name is a coincidence, which makes the next question what it means for her character.

Is Cora a mole planted in the Andromeda Initiative to advance Cerberus' xenophobic agenda beyond the Milky Way? That would be a bit obvious, given the name, so does she actually hate what her father/uncle/second cousin twice removed became and want to make sure his ideals remain behind? Or did she flee to Andromeda to get away from his legacy all together?

Multiplayer has PvE and but no dedicated servers

Just like Mass Effect 3, there will be at least one multiplayer mode that's focused on PvE - teaming up with player-controlled teammates to fight computer-controlled enemies. And again like Mass Effect 3, it will all be done with peer-to-peer connections. Dedicated servers tend to be more stable since they don't rely on a single player's internet connection, but they're less essential with lower player counts.

That new alien is called Jaal

Enough with all these old Milky Way species, time to meet some Andromedans. The angarans appear to be a prominent species in the new-to-us galaxy and Jaal is the one we've seen the most of so far. We don't know whether he can join your squad yet, but him getting his own Funko Pop collectible figure is definitely a good sign.

You can keep playing after finishing the main campaign

The central story of Mass Effect: Andromeda doesn't conclude with a hard ending. BioWare won't even begin to indicate what kind of activities will be available after you Successfully Do The Thing and the credits roll, surprise surprise, but good to know that they're there.

You can customize how both Ryder twins look and dad will resemble them

Both Scott and Sara Ryder are putty in your hands in terms of visual tweaks, even though you can only play as one of them. Once you get them how you like them, their dear old dad Alec Ryder will automatically resemble the twins "to an extent". I'm already looking forward to people breaking the character creation system to make monstrous Ryder clans.

If you use the default first name, people will actually say it

 Commander Shepard has a customizable first name but everybody calls him or her Shepard all the time, thanks to obvious voice acting restrictions. You can pick a custom given name for your preferred Ryder as well, but there is some incentive to leaving it as the default: other people will actually say it! Not all the time, I'm sure, but now and then. Whichever character you don't pick will remain as Sara or Scott. 

Enemies get smarter on tougher difficulty, not just stronger

Don't you hate it when harder difficulty modes just turn the same dumb enemies into bullet sponges? That won't be the case in Mass Effect: Andromeda. The original trilogy allowed for everything from super forgiving to hellishly crushing difficulties so hopefully Andromeda follows suit.

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Connor has been doing news and feature things for GamesRadar+ since 2012, which is suddenly a long time ago. How on earth did that happen?