Mass Effect: Andromeda Introduces a New Alien Race – The Kett
In very recent Mass Effect: Andromeda news, BioWare introduced two members of the team – PeeBee and Liam. Now, there is an exclusive look at a new alien race being introduced to the Andromeda galaxy called the Kett. Andromeda’s art director, Joel MacMillan takes Game Informer through a detailed look at the development process for their design.
The big question is: what is their backstory, and what are they like?
Establishing this idea solely by observing their design, it can only be assumed that they are hunters. They wear bones for armor. Perhaps this is to showcase their prey. Are they a war-centric race? Are the young inaugurated with the hunt of their first plates of armor? Contrarily, the bone armor looks to be fused with the body so that speculation may be trite.
The Kett have a relatively thick physical structure suggesting their combat style could associate to warriors, brutes or tanks. The color and textural contrast between their armor and skin is beautiful. The bones look hand-carved, and their skin sinewy yet thick. The use of the latter descriptor is due to the fact that their muscles are so exposed between the bone plates and other armor materials. This is speaking to the exposed shoulders and underarms. Their posture is domineering and authoritarian. Somehow, though, the faces say a different story. MacMillan emphasized their eyes – with that being the trait to stand out the most, but it later shifted to the need for one that represented a “soulless” and empty character.
A frequent question in the Mass Effect fandom would be, and one I personally wonder – why do aliens still look so human? As if answering that question, MacMillan mentions how the team went about designing the aliens in the Andromeda galaxy:
As much as we want wanted to make them look new, or different, or alien, you’re always gonna want to associate to them in some way. There’s a really odd disconnect with trying to associate with an alien that is completely naked in front of you. You know, you’re standing there ‘Hey, I’m in clothes. Why aren’t you wearing clothes?’
He adds that there are limitations to the design process. An influential part being the race’s ability to fit well into animations, especially how they can practically operate “rigs”.
MacMillan explains that the ability to relate to an alien species is a huge part of the Mass Effect franchise. MacMillan and his team does take a different step by moving from an “industrialized, “clean”, and “sleek” theme to a more “organic perspective” – bones, plants, leather, and rocks. Perhaps flesh-like textures as well. With the Kett race, the central aspect of their design was bone armor and a collar (for most), especially the bone carapace cradling their face and head. MacMillan explains:
These newer races would have slightly more organic armor, more organic shape play, more organic materials that they would use to construct not only their armors, but their structure and their architecture. It applies across anything you see in Andromeda.
So far, any ideas are speculation and their role is uncertain, aside from the keyword “antagonist”, but I am truly excited to see the Kett realized in Mass Effect: Andromeda.
What are your thoughts on the Kett? Are you more or less than impressed with the overall design? Does the race remind you of any others from the Mass Effect trilogy? Let us know in the comments below!
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Hoi is an elusive figure at DFTG, whose favorite past-times include chillin' in the Fade, reading manga, watching anime, collecting novelty items, and gaming.