At yesterday’s PlayStation press event, we got a good in-game look at Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s male character model for its protagonist, Ryder. Previously, a woman Ryder showed up in a promotional trailer at this summer’s E3. Developer BioWare has been vocal about using both character models in promoting the game, the better to communicate early and often that players can choose and customize their avatar, as is typical in the studio’s games. What we’ve only just learned, however, is that both Ryders will co-exist in the same timeline, as siblings.
“What a lot of people don’t know, little surprise here, is that these two are brother and sister,” says Mass Effect: Andromeda creative director Mac Walters, in an interview with PlayStation Access. “They both exist in the game world at the same time. So if you’re playing as the sister Ryder, female Ryder, your brother is somewhere in the universe.”
At least one of the siblings’ parents will purportedly play a role in Andromeda as well. Walters says that the anonymous character wearing a suit bearing an N7 insignia in the 2015 reveal trailer is actually the player character’s father.
“We’ve got the full Ryder family full — sort of — now revealed. We’ll do names and things in the future as well,” Walters adds.
In previous Mass Effect games, players could also choose between a male or female version of Commander Shepard, but in those cases there was only one of them (although depending on your chosen backstory, Shepard might get a phone call from their mom). In Dragon Age II — BioWare’s other major series — players will end up accompanied by one of two siblings, depending on which class the player selects at the start. It’s unknown at this point what the other Ryder sibling will be doing while the one selected by the player is off saving the universe.
You can listen to the entire interview with Mac Walters in the video clip below:
Mass Effect: Andromeda is due out for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC in 2017.