Pew pew! Mass Effect Andromeda trailer details combat

How can you kill a man? I don’t mean, how can you manage to do it then live with it, with yourself and with what society thinks of you. More like, what cool weapons and special abilities can you use? A new trailer for Mass Effect Andromeda [official site] answers that question for BioWare’s upcoming shoot-o-RPG. Demonstrating with gameplay snippets, it goes over how weapons from different places use different tech, how you’re free to use every weapon and learn every skill, and how you can cower behind anything you please. Have a look:

I dig that! It seems to have the not-awful action of Mass Effect 3 with more of the build choices and freedom from the first game. Heck, the open skill trees seem more free.

BioWare have recently bopped up profiles of our future spacefriends, by the way. You can read all about Krogan brawler Nakmor Drack, Turian tank Vetra Nyx, Asari gunslinger Peebee, biotic human Cora Harper, and the jumpjetting Liam Kosta. You can meet ’em in this trailer too.

Mass Effect Andromeda is due March 21st in North America and and other places but whaaat we need to wait, even buying digitally? Origin lists a UK release time of 11pm on March 22nd. Boo to that. This is total bobbins, Ian Arts.

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49 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Nauallis says:

    Sweet. I am pleased to see that they’re including advanced movement options and incorporating that with the biotics and tech. And branching out from always-kinetic primary weapons into more-than-just-heavy weapons being energy based.

    Still…. I can’t help but hope / wish for some truly exotic and strange weapons, things more akin to Halo’s needler, Destiny’s hardlight or outbreak prime, or Gears of War 4’s buzzkill, weapons that all have secondary effects or environmental interactions, rather than specifically direct damage. It’s probably too much to expect the canon to support use of something like Ratchet & Clank’s sheepinator or groovitron, but I’d think that the lore would support the usage of a specialty weapon that subverts robotics or cybernetics.

    I’m still holding out for a gun that shoots flaming chainsaws.

  2. Unsheep says:

    I see they are taking after Mass Effect 2 and have continued on to make the franchise even more of an action game.

    • Pich says:

      IMO the shooting was one of the worst parts of ME 1, and i’m glad that they went “fuck it” and switched to a TPS. The writing on the other hand…

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        I liked the shooting in ME1, but I played a Soldier who could just activate his “unlimited shooting spree” ability and used the other party members for their tech/biotic powers.

        I also liked the combat in The Witcher 1 and Bloodlines, so maybe I’m just strange.

        • Don Reba says:

          I thought shooting in ME1 was fine, just the locations incredibly dull and repetitive. It was the same four rooms for all the side missions.

          Also, I want to say that I had an all-mage party, and we had so many stun and debuff spells among us as to be completely unapproachable.

          • malkav11 says:

            The side missions, sure, but they’re not a lot better in ME2 or even ME3. The story planets are much cooler and more interesting in design, partially because they don’t have to have immersion-breaking combat arenas full of waist-high cover everywhere.

      • nearly says:

        Well, I mean, it seems like they’re also following ME2 up on human supremacist themes by making the story about trying to colonize a place that doesn’t want to be colonized.

      • RavenGlenn says:

        I would GLADLY take the combat and RPG aspects of the Mass Effect’s gameplay if it meant we could have superb writing and amazing storytelling like the first game had. While it’s cool and all that the combat is more fluid and actiony…I miss the feelings I had playing through the first game. The quality of story has gotten consistently worse with each new game.

        • kament says:

          Come on. What they wrote in the first game is precisely where it all started to fall apart and was full of plotholes the size of the game to boot. Looking at that mess of a premise I never expected them to resolve it so gracefully (all things considered) as they did in ME3. Not to mention the quality of dialogue that improved markedly from game to game. Even though it was always somewhat cheesy, and it seems they keep it that way.

          • sosolidshoe says:

            It’s actually impressive that a person can be so, so wrong :P

            Seriously though, you are pretty wrong, go have a read of Shamus Young’s Mass Effect Retrospective series; it doesn’t shy away from criticising ME1 where deserved, but by the time you’re finished you’ll understand why, narratively speaking, it was the best of the trilogy and pretty damn good in its own right.

            And to clarify, I’m not talking about opinion, ie, whether you enjoyed it or not or if it was to your taste, I’m talking about the actual technicalities. I liked it because it was my kind of high-concept sci-fi story, but the reason it was the best in the trilogy was it was the most competently executed narrative.

          • kament says:

            (shrug): I tried reading what Young wrote. I have neither time nor energy to match him word for word, nor even to leaf through his, erm, analysis again to point out some glaring mistakes which made me stop reading altogether. But I played and replayed Mass Effect since 2008 and I suspect I just might know something about it without anyone telling me.

            So let’s just say that for me a game should stand on its own and no amount of reading about it can possibly change anything. Much less reading someone who’s obviously biased, with a disclaimer on top. I mean, the whole concept of mass-relays goes out the airlock the moment writers need to transport the player from Ilos to the Citadel, and Shamus doesn’t seem to notice. What a shame. :p

      • Premium User Badge

        alison says:

        To me the shooting experience took a major nosedive in ME2. I am quite baffled that so many found it better. Perhaps it’s because I played Mass Effect like an FPS – stay as far away as possible from your enemy and try to ping them with a headshot. The whole “cover shooting” mechanic turned combat into something far more repetitive and boring to me. Not to mention in ME2 they don’t give you any bullets for your guns, so you are forced to buy into the hokey space magic conceit instead. Way to kill my suspension of disbelief. For a game that is supposed to let you roleplay your character how you like, I felt ME2 killed any freedom and creativity I had in how to fight. Just crouch behind a thing, wait till they reload, pop out, shoot a magical fireball, repeat. Yawn.

  3. MooseMuffin says:

    This is cool, but for me Mass Effect will succeed or fail based on the story and characters. The gameplay was clunky and held the game back in 1, was more or less fine in 2, and was actually-kinda-good in 3. Any improvements beyond that are gravy, but not really why I’m playing.

    • Jane Doe says:

      Indeed. Most of the Aunt Sally shooty parts felt like an arbitrary extension to the game’s overall playtime.

    • malkav11 says:

      I would say the combat was more or less fine but not especially compelling in ME1, clunky and boring in 2, and actually kind of fun in 3, but that’s me. I agree that it’s not been the draw for me especially, although I did pootle around in 3’s multiplayer some.

  4. fray_bentos says:

    There appears to be no reason whatsoever for this game to have a third person perspective other than series nostalgia. Is there a 1st person viewpoint option that doesn’t block your view of the scene/action? 3rd person is only beneficial when there are strong elements of melee combat, or other forms of interacting with the environment that require precise positioning or awareness of what is around the character (more than just pushing a “use” button).

    • Premium User Badge

      Nauallis says:

      The biotic and tech abilities were originally based predominantly on crowd-control or battle-control and had longer cooldowns, all of which I think benefit from the added situational awareness of third-person.

      I’m sure there’s some legacy “this is just the style of our game” though, since ME and 2? allowed you to directly control other party members, which was made more obvious with TPS in case you mashed the wrong button.

      ME3 kept it, logically, with the added melee attack options, the ability to teleport or jetpack forward (vanguard), and the increased number of combatants in many battles.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I think continuity of style is the main answer, but the jetpack is an added justification. It looks like it will help with situational awareness when landing. In first person view, you usually don’t see much of your feet or the surrounding area below you.

      It’s like games where there is an element of parkour or platforming. I always do better with third person perspective in those games. I miss a lot of platform jumps when it’s first person.

    • Pich says:

      It’s a cover shooter, a first person camera wouldn’t work imo.

    • Arkayjiya says:

      Cover based shooter + teleportation + better views of the sideline, particularly useful when handling your allies (all doable in FPS don’t get me wrong, I mean I love playing Tracer, but TPS is superior in those regards): TPS is not inherently worse than FPS view no matter what you can think so there’s absolutely no reason to switch to FPS and annoy the fans pointlessly.

      There’s also the issue of the continuity of immersion, I’m watching Shepard (and now Ryder? Ryler? Whatever) from the exterior in cutscenes and I appreciate the continuity in game. In the same way, I like the cutscenes of my FPS to be in first person too. Mass Effect doesn’t let you create your hero, it historically gives you a pre-determined hero that you can influence but you can’t force to act OOC. Shepard is still shepard, paragon or renegade don’t change that.

      Finally, there is melee, and if it’s like ME2&3 it can be a predominant option. Vanguard certainly spent their time in close contact, charging on people was kind of how they survived and now that you can craft your own char, there might be even more viable melee builds.

  5. Zenicetus says:

    I like that they’re not restricting weapons to classes. That always felt artificial and gamey in the first series.

    I don’t like seeing all those humanoid, drone, and robot enemies. This is Andromeda, a whole other Galaxy. Why aren’t we seeing more unique alien-shaped enemies, alien architecture, alien-looking planets? Between the architecture and the humanoid enemies, it looks like they’re cutting corners by recycling old assets. These combat scenes could have taken place in the first ME series.

    • Von Uber says:

      People like human shaped things to talk too then shoot (or romance as it’s Bioware).

    • Frosty_2.0 says:

      Also they wanna recycle their humanoid rigs & animations ;)
      They’ve mentioned something about it before, regarding practicality of doing lots of separate rigs for exotic squad mates or chars.

      • Zenicetus says:

        Okay, fine… I can understand the argument for recycling expensive mo-cap animations. But architecture doesn’t move. Why are we seeing all that clean, rectilinear, futuristic architecture everywhere, like the Citadel and outpost styles from the first series?

        Most of what I’ve seen in the trailers for buildings and interiors looks like a few million Milky Wayans already colonized Andromeda and started building stuff there, before the player’s team even arrives. And that’s a waste of the concept.

        • Frosty_2.0 says:

          Well I wasn’t disagreeing, in fact I’ve made similar comments on early trailers a month or few back on RPS.

          I will say this is the first I’ve even seen of Remnant & Helius gear so they’ve held back on releasing media (esp. compared to the marketing deluge & overexposure ahead of ME3), so the marketing mostly being Milky Way / Nexus(ahead of the Arks) forward outposts and gear will, I expect, lead into more reveals soon (and hopefully not go overboard).

          We know of 2-3 other factions right now. Of them we’ve seen a Remnant(?) Vault & droids earlier (which do have some Prothean vibes); the Kett & recently revealed Angara. Clearly there will be more to see from them and their worlds.

  6. baud001 says:

    I am the only one to think that the lady we see on the skill selection screen is ugly as sin? She look like a potato covered by melted butter by a short-sighted eight-year old.

    On the other hand, this is bioware’s attempt to bring fem shepryder representation up to 50%. Make the female lead so hard on the eyes that you are compelled to play as her to customize it, especially that the other sibling also appear in the game.

    • Von Uber says:

      Yes, you are the only one.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      The face looks like a human, but the eyes are fucked. Makes it look like a person wearing a mask.

      She look like a potato covered by melted butter by a short-sighted eight-year old.

      I mean no, objectively it doesn’t look anything like that. I hate this kind of pointless colorful exaggeration; you may as well just say “bad”. It conveys the exact same meaning.

  7. tslog says:

    Having a jet back and seeing some of the abilities on show seems it will neutralise a lot of the aspects of the cover system.
    Which I’m fine with if it plays out in a variety of ways that will have positives and negative’s against different enemies.

    Just on the feedback of shooting a gun seems a bit underwhelming from what I’ve seen. More so on the projectile imagery which seems on the weak side.

    • Frosty_2.0 says:

      I was thinking about that a little also, but more generally in terms of map & combat design;
      I think for Mass Effect (ME3 Co-op in particular), being “cover-based” made combat more enjoyable – and not just formal sticky cover but ye olde strafing behind stuff & right hand advantage etc. – Because the stakes & feedback are higher when you are fighting in the open or taking hits.

      In ME3 Co-op, I’d often be firing powers while immediately dodging around cover & narrowly avoiding a missile impact.

      Combat where you sort of sponge damage or get vague damage-reduction from dodging/mobility wouldn’t be right for Mass Effect I feel.

  8. trollomat says:

    That creepy smile…

  9. Xzi says:

    Looks like they’ve improved combat for the player character without doing much of anything to improve enemy AI or enemy ability usage. In other words, this game seems like it’ll be laughably easy even on its higher difficulty settings.

    • thelastpointer says:

      Yeah, I noticed that the enemy barely even fires at the player during this whole trailer. Let’s hope it’s just the demo footage; they’re showcasing the player’s abilities, not the enemy, after all.

    • malkav11 says:

      Which would be in keeping with their last game (DA: Inquisition), to be sure. That game has a few hard fights but even then it’s less that they’re tactically challenging and more that they just kill you really fast and your party AI isn’t good enough to dodge dodgeable attacks.

  10. haldolium says:

    I fucking loathe that interface.

    Goes against every natural behaviour of the human eye while occluding visual space. What kind of person constantly makes those choice for the ME series? It was already horrible in the prior titles, but this easily tops it.

    Disgusting.

    • Menthalion says:

      Seconded. Also that consolized Favorites menu reminds me of the crap Skyrim interface (including SkyUI). Hotbars with a gear set support system have shown their superiority in flexability and usability on PC ages ago, and yet they stick to a format based on a console D-Pad out of pure laziness.

  11. kament says:

    It looks fun and all, but I just can’t get excited for some reason. I guess the reason is I just got old(-er).

  12. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Not my favorite kind of combat the “cooldown and cover”-style. But I guess it does its work like in ME 2/3. Hopefully the story and other gameplay mechanics like exploration will be fun.
    Note everything looks cramped and how the sticky grenade is thrown just outside melee range. Guess it’s hard to aim with the gamepad so everything needs to be really close. Sniper will probably use auto-aim.
    Combat is like oh this one is yellow so I’ll just use ability x he’s weak against limiting the options and every now and then I’ll jump over a cover instead of ducking and go in cover instead of smoothly running by.
    Cover is the bane of action games anyway.

    • Frosty_2.0 says:

      As a PC ME3 Co-op player, most of those were not problems; And that video very much looks like an evolution of ME3’s Co-op.
      The FOV, Interface and controls are annoyances (and net-code) though so I hope Andromeda has more config options there.

      The Most annoying thing for me in ME3 was the tanky sprinting/movement combined with the incredibly annoying “contextual” One-Button-Everything binding for Sprint/Cover/Interact… constantly getting you stuck on cover when you’re trying to sprint, switching cover when you’re trying to get out, getting stuck reviving someone or activating something when you actually need to GTFO of dodge – even worse with lag.
      Can’t really tell much on those points from this video though.

  13. tonicer says:

    Looks very boring a shift to first person could have helped but console normies can’t handle first person.

  14. kurkkutus says:

    I sure hope you can mod out the gun scopes cause that video shows people shooting from 1 meter away with sniper scope :D

  15. hey_tc says:

    Nice to see that the people in this Bioware game look like and move like people instead of man-sausage puppets.

    So long as the story isn’t one big Deus Ex Machina event and the characters seem believable, instead of a focus group of identity groups like in Dragon Age: Inquisition, then this could well be the Sci-Fi game I’ve been looking for since ME2, or perhaps 2/3 through ME3.

  16. kament says:

    wrong thread

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