More changes from the ground up to the classic sci-fi franchise.
Mass Effect Andromeda looks to be a total overhaul of the classic science fiction franchise- and Bioware are using this opportunity to rethink all the mechanics and core conventions of the series, too. According to Game Informer (via NeoGAF), this will extend to how the game handles its ancillary mechanics, as well.
With the game following a group of humans exploring a brand new galaxy for the very first time, the development team wanted to try and convey the feeling of new alien worlds being discovered by pioneers for the very first time, as opposed to simply walking upon established worlds as was the case with the original trilogy. Entire planets will be explorable, instead of just the linear slices from the previous games. That said, there will still be critical paths making their return, should you want to ignore most of the planet’s surface, and just get on with the story. Loyalty missions will also be making their return.
Planets will be explored using the much improved Nomad, a new take on the Mako. The Nomad won’t have any weapons, is customizable in terms of appearance and speed, and is fast and maneuverable. The Nomad will take you across entire planets, which will not be repetitive- mineral nodes and combat outposts won’t just repeat ad nauseum like another game about space exploration that released earlier this year. Instead, there will be multiple combat zones, narrative beats, and so on, on each surface. In addition, planets will have multiple hazards, such as the environment and weather, that can kill you. They will also have at least one major enemy base. Taking a leaf from Souls, players may run into extremely high leveled bosses and enemies impossible to beat at first, encouraging them to take different paths and come back to try and beat those enemies later.
On planets, the priority will be to scout for drop zones for your crew that drop “forward stations,” which help establish a foothold for you. These stations will let you refuel, create fast travel points, let you change your loadouts, and more. In addition, players will encounter new relics, artifacts, and objects that when analyzed, will allow them to create, modify, and synthesize new weapons that could not have been possible in the Milky Way.
The main enemy in Andromeda will be the Kett. The Kett are not going to be evil, and the idea is to paint them as a foreboding and threatening species that you are encroaching upon, as opposed to the out and out evil that the Reapers were initially portrayed as.
Mass Effect Andromeda launches on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.