Mass Effect: Andromeda is less than a month away from it’s March 21st release date, and EA and Bioware are revealing more details as the date grows nearer. The first two videos in the Gameplay Series highlights the revamped battle system. Not only do these videos give us the chance to see this gorgeous game in action, but they also show us the versatility of Mass Effect’s combat systems. Mechanics that Bioware has refined and perfected over three previous games. After the combat reels, EA and Bioware reveal how Commander Shepard will impact the story for Andromeda.
Mass Effect: Andromeda – Weapons, Skills, and a Jet Pack
The first in the Gameplay Series gives us a closer look at the tools we’ll be using to dispatch our enemies and other alien wildlife. As the “Pathfinder” you’ll have access to a plethora of weapons and Biotics to compliment your style of play. Whether you’re a shotty to the face type, or a pick ’em off from a distance player, you’ll be able to find the arsenal to match your method.
The jump-jet is a new feature to Mass Effect: Andromeda, and it changes the way you approach battles drastically. Now flanking or finding the high ground is easier than ever. With the added maneuverability of the jump-jet, combat now has a faster pace and makes it so you don’t just pop in and out of cover during all the fights, a problem that many third-person shooters suffer.
The video above is a quick introduction to the combat system of Mass Effect: Andromeda. It’s a brief showcase of the surface abilities. The next in the Gameplay Series will delve deeper and show you just how versatile this new system is.
What Kind of Pathfinder Will You Be?
Bioware is working to give Mass Effect: Andromeda the most robust skill and leveling system in the series to date. With various combat profiles and squad commands no battle will play out the same. Gone are the days of hiding behind crates and waiting for an enemy to peek their heads out. With combat profiles, the options at your disposal at any given minute are nearly limitless.
As you level up you will be able to pick any skill from any of three areas: Combat, Tech, and Biotics. You aren’t constricted to following on specific path either. You can learn any skill when you level up, then refine those skills even more with a reported 300+ upgrades for those skills. As you learn these skills you’ll unlock “Combat Profiles”. These profiles give the Pathfinder stat bonuses and more dependent on what skills you have learned and how you level them up. You’ll also be able to set up a wheel of favorite profiles allowing you to switch between four on the fly. You can see all this in practice in the video below.
The feature also talks about your squad that will be accompanying you on your journey through the stars. As in previous games, you’ll be able to issue commands and combine attacks in a display of teamwork. Also returning to Mass Effect: Andromeda are the “loyalty missions”. These missions will strengthen the bond between the Pathfinder and his/her crew. Long time players know how important these ties can be and how, at times, it’s the difference between life and permadeath for a squad mate. If you’re like me, you’ll want to keep as many of your crew alive as possible.
Commander Shepard’s Role in Andromeda
Some members of the press were given hands-on time with Mass Effect: Andromeda recently. During the demo, EA and Bioware revealed some intriguing news about exactly how Commander Shepard will factor into the latest game. According to Game Informer, at the beginning of the game, players will be able to choose Shepard’s gender. Picking male or female will allegedly affect the story in some way. No real details as to how the story will be altered, but it will certainly be interesting to find out.
The next video in the Gameplay Series will focus on exploration, and exactly how we’ll go about gathering resources and intel from other planets. According to Bioware, there are dozens of massive planets; Some optional, others mainline to the story. They are planning on making this the biggest ME yet as you could allegedly spend hours on an individual planet and still not see everything. Sounds good to me!
March 21st can’t come soon enough. This series is one of my favorites from Bioware, and Mass Effect: Andromeda is shaping up to be the best yet. What do you geeks think? What are some of your favorite skills from the videos or series? Let us know in the comments below! My favorite skill is being able to use the enemy as a weapon.