This is Mass Effect Andromeda's female hero but expect a "more gender neutral" cover

Remember the woman at the end of the new Mass Effect: Andromeda video who seems relieved and genuinely surprised that her spaceship didn't blow up? She's the new protagonist, according to BioWare Edmonton general manager Aaryn Flynn. Or she's what your character will look like by default if you choose to play as a woman, anyway.

"I think what we’re saying right now is that she’s the female protagonist but we’re not giving her a name yet", Flynn told GR+ writer Dave Roberts in an interview last week. Note: Flynn's still playing it cool, but all signs point to the new heroic surname being Ryder.

The promotional material for the original Mass Effect trilogy games almost all heavily featured the default male Shepard protagonist (whose face was modeled after Dutch model Mark Vanderloo). While Bioware chose to lead with a female Ryder this time, I wouldn't expect her or any of her potential counterparts to directly appear on the cover.

"I like to think we'll continue what we did with Dragon Age: Inquisition, which was step away from that and be a little more gender neutral", Flynn said. "But also be more abstract and don’t worry too much about that when it comes to when you are playing the game."

This is the Dragon Age: Inquisition cover if you're not familiar. See how almost no skin is visible, and other potential indicators like the width of the shoulders and hips are obfuscated by the Inquisitor's pose? Chances are Andromeda will get something more like that than the "Hi! I'm the main character!" box art of the original trilogy.

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Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.