It's been a very interesting day for those who are keenly anticipating Bioware's Mass Effect Andromeda. The game was recently shown at a preview event, and this morning a slew of articles were posted across the web revealing nuggets of new information about the upcoming space epic. My take was very positive, and I particularly enjoyed its more action-oriented side, which feels dynamic and exciting.
However, I only experienced an early portion of the game's combat, which felt relatively conventional. In this video released by Bioware earlier today, a more advanced skirmish is showcased, along with details about the way that characters are developed. As I said in my preview, players are no longer locked into classes, and can instead pick and choose the combat, tech, and biotic skills that best suit their playstyle.
This enables a high degree of customization that can be further augmented by selecting one of seven profiles, which are unlocked as the player levels up and imbue your character's core skills with additional perks and buffs. These can then be saved as favorites, loadouts that can be used during combat to deliver different styles of tactical play, which is seen in the video as the player switches from a long-range build to one designed for short-range combat. It certainly adds an interesting veneer of sophistication to the action, and I'm really looking forward to seeing just how flexible and wide-ranging this system is. If it really is as deep as it looks, it should make combat really involving and engaging.
The video also gives a quick overview of your six squad mates, which have three active, and two passive skills. These characters can be leveled up, and lightly customized to be able to execute specific combos on the battlefield. When I played the game, I used the basic squad commands during a set piece firefight to direct my team to defend different parts of the battlefield, and they responded intelligently to my orders. However, my character wasn't advanced enough to try out the combos, and I'm very interested to see how they work.
Having had just a two-hour taste of Mass Effect Andromeda, this further insight into its action makes me feel even more positive about the game. What I've experienced so far was really enjoyable, but this looks even more compelling. Hopefully the game will deliver on its promises. We'll find out when it's released on March 21st.
Jaz spends two hours with Bioware's epic space opera, and goes hyperbolic.
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