BioWare has dropped some gameplay footage on youtube this afternoon, finally showcasing an extended look into the combat gameplay of Mass Effect: Andromeda.
The over five-minute video is the first in a series of videos discussing combat and game mechanics before the RPG releases on March 22nd.
Most of the video is focused on load outs and abilities, as well as new improvements with combat maneuverability. BioWare showcased the jumpjet, which according to the video, allows for a fast-paced, fluid combat experience. The use of the jumpjet provides a larger range of movement, including vertical and horizontal planes, and we see Ryder in the trailer utilizing that movement to great effect against large groups of enemies to gain tactical advantages.
The first part of the video focuses on the weapons and load outs. The four major categories of weapons return with pistols, shotguns, rifles and sniper rifles being the main offering. A new category, melee weapons, is also added, adding hammers, shivs, swords and omni-blades into the mix for close range combat. Each category will have various weapons and unlocks to discover, and also have individual stats and statistics, and rarities attached to them.
While not directly stated in the video, several UI prompts in the screenshots give hints as to how the game will work with weapon loadouts. It seems that leveling up weapons makes a return from Mass Effect 3, as do the two-slot modifications which allow players to customize their weapons as they see fit, increasing damage, accuracy, clip size or even adding melee capabilities to them.
Weapons also come in three flavors, two of which will be familiar to Mass Effect fans. The first is the standard projectile weapons featured in Mass Effect 2 and 3, which use thermal clips and ammo capacity to shoot down enemies. The second are beam-style weapons that are a throwback to ammo-less style of the original Mass Effect, using a cooldown system for balance. Lastly are weapons found in the Helios Cluster- plasma based weapons that have a slower rate of fire but do more damage. Some of these weapons can also be charged up for a stronger attack.
The next part of the video focused on ability powers. Something that has been confirmed by BioWare, there are no character classes at the start of the game; players will have access to a multitude of abilities and perks to fully customize Ryder as they see fit. Andromeda takes it a step further by giving players a “loadout” of abilities to use in the field. The loadouts are three abilities a piece, but can be combined with any known abilities the player has invested in, effectively mixing and matching based on their playstyle.
One thing to note about these load outs is that players are not limited to just three choices at a time. BioWare introduced a new “favorites” system that allows players to create four separate loadouts, up to three powers a piece, which has been hinted at as being changeable on the fly. This will give players the potential of 12 different abilities at a time, which they can mix and match as they see fit. More information on the favorites system has been promised for in a future video.
Some of the abilities showcased and mentioned included Mass Effect standbys such as Throw, Singularity, Tactical Cloak and Overload. The level up system in Andromeda is also apparently pretty robust, following the model found in Mass Effect 3 and providing what looks to be over 12 passive and active abilities per skill set The level cap is also unlimited; the character of Ryder is shown as being level 70 in one point in the video, and we do see over 150 skill points available to level up your characters.
The video ended with a short combat scenario, and then promised future videos detailing the aforementioned favorites system, the character profile system, and squadmate skills and commands.
The video was a trove of new information regarding gameplay mechanics found in Mass Effect: Andromeda, which has been kept relatively quiet by BioWare and EA for months now, save for small snippets here and there found in other videos. It seems the entire series of videos are designed to show off more of the gameplay- and alleviate fans concerns, about the title before its big release in March.
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