There is a “layer of exploration” as per Bioware.
With all the talk of scale and such wide-ranging environments, you might have thought (and we certainly did) that Mass Effect: Andromeda was an open world game. According to producer Michael Gamble while speaking to OXM, the answer is closer to “sort of”.
“I definitely wouldn’t call Andromeda an open-world game. We like to use the term ‘exploration-based game’. You still have the concept of tight story deliverance and all the great things you come to expect with Mass Effect.
“The layer on top of that is a layer of exploration. Sometimes that happens in open spaces, but not always. You can cruise around some of these planets in the Nomad, but it’s not the traditional sandbox-type game.”
What this seems to indicate is that there won’t be the kind of sandbox freedoms associated with titles like Grand Theft Auto 5 or Watch Dogs 2. Regardless, it still sounds like a fun time with enough side-missions to keep you busy as you roam the world while taking part in story missions.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is out on March 21st for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.