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No Classes, Better Choices In Mass Effect Andromeda

BioWare bopped up a new trailer for Mass Effect Andromeda [official site] yesterday to celebrate their ‘N7 Day’ annual celebration but, in all the excitement, the big sillies forgot to say much of anything about the game. Thankfully, GameStop’s magazine Game Informer managed to briefly catch their attention for a huge cover story getting into details like making character classes more freeform, doing away with binary ‘Paragon vs. Renegade’ morality, exploring planets, and sitting in a tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g. Whew! BioWare would’ve felt mighty foolish if they’d gone the whole day without mentioning any of that.

Game Informer’s website will be burping up information and features and videos for weeks, but handily one of those NeoGAF scamps has pulled out what they think are the important details. To me, the best bits are:

The old Mass Effect class system is gone. Instead, you can learn abilities from all the classes as you please. It will have a touch of specialisation, with bonuses if you invest enough in a particular direction. And yorp, because Story Reasons you will be able to respec and reinvest your skillpoints if you want to try something different.

Combat is still cover-based shooty, though you get a teensy jetpack this time.

Choices and morality are no longer a straight ‘Paragon’ or ‘Renegade’. BioWare want conversations and decisions to be more nuanced and expressive, but I’d settle for being able to disagree with characters without my spacelady unexpectedly shouting something spaceracist. Supposedly Andromeda will have four main tones of response: heart, head, professional, or casual. Sure, fine, even RPGs which don’t explicitly tone their dialogue tend to go along those four routes anyway.

Yes, of course you get to pootle around in a spaceship again. And, as we’ve known for yonks, you have a new spacecar. It’s not the old Mako but the new, zippier Nomad.

Exploring planets sounds fun and more like the first Mass Effect. You’ll find enemy bases, things to fight, puzzles, environmental hazards, and even some super-tough bits you may need to return later to beat.

It’ll have more potential relationships than any other BioWare. Glory be, it sounds like some of these won’t lead to ha-ha-hilariously awkward cinematic sex scenes. Supposedly BioWare want more pleasant, familiar moments like shooting bottles with Garrus in Mass Effect 3. Good. That was good. I want more of that. Please don’t invade my beautiful virgin eyes with your eerie mannequin sex again.

Multiplayer is back for more ME3-y fun. I quite liked that, so good. It sounds like the process to unlock things involves more guff, but hey ho.

Humanity wasn’t the only species to send an Ark of sleepy colonists to galaxies new. Andromeda will focus on humanity’s Ark. After 600 years drifting through space, it has ended up in the wrong place. Oh dear!

Oh, and you play someone named Scott or Sara (by default) Ryder. You get to be the ‘Pathfinder’, which is a wanky tech startup job title meaning you’re in charge. Please someone mod it to be Rock Star Pathfinder Ninja Prophet.

This is all assuming the NeoGAF scamp isn’t telling porkie pies or summarising incorrectly. Anyway, they noted plenty more if you want all the details. I tried to buy Game Informer digitally to check this all out myself but oh my stars their app is a mess.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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