Mass Effect: Andromeda is due to release next month, so Bioware is giving us a nice little gameplay series showing off different aspects of the game, much like they have with previous titles. The first video in the series, released last week, gave us a breakdown of the new combat weapons and skills systems. Today, we got the second video, focusing on combat profiles and squads. So let’s take a look at the overall combat of Mass Effect: Andromeda.
In previous titles in the series, we have seen two different kinds of weapons. We’ve seen battery-based weapons that use an overheat system as well as conventional weapons that use regular ammunition. In Mass Effect: Andromeda, we’ll have the option to use both kinds of weapons, as well as newly introduced plasma and charge weapons. They’ve even added in actual melee weapons this time around. You’re not going to get a complaint out of me here. Everyone loves weapon variety so it’s great that you’ll be able to use whatever kinds of weapons you like.
The skills system is what really has me excited for combat in Mass Effect: Andromeda. In previous games, the skills you had access to were based on the class that you selected at the beginning of the game. In Mass Effect: Andromeda, you’ll have access to any skills you want regardless of what class you select. We saw little bits of this in Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 but not anywhere near this extent. If you want to load out on tech abilities and mix in a biotic ability, you’ll have full access to do that without hampering your strength with either skill.
The class system has been completely overhauled in Mass Effect: Andromeda as well. In previous titles, you selected your class at the beginning of the game and it determined what your different skills and abilities would be. Well what’s great about Mass Effect: Andromeda is that your class only determines what bonuses you receive and you can change it at any time. So for example, if you want to focus more on biotics, you can select the Adept combat profile to improve the strength of your biotics. Then say you’re about halfway through the game and you decide that you want to use your tech abilities more, well you can then shift to the Engineer combat profile and increase the strength of your tech abilities. Mass Effect: Andromeda is giving players complete control over how their character is built and that is a phenomenal change to the Mass Effect series.
As for the squad bit, it’s pretty much exactly what you would expect if you’ve played previous games in the series. You can command your squad to do whatever you need them to do like usual. It was mentioned in the video that you can develop their skills to either be the primer or the igniter of skill combos, which is pretty cool. One of my favorite things to do in Mass Effect is to effectively litter the field with gasoline and then just let my squad mates set off the fireworks.
Basically what we’re talking about here is a fully customizable player character that you can mold whichever way you want as well as completely change on the fly if you feel like mixing it up. Then you can compliment your squad around how it is that you want to play. I can’t even begin to describe how much I love this. I’ve always hated that your abilities were really limited in Mass Effect based on your class and I think it’s perfect that you can now do pretty much whatever you want with your character.
Obviously the main driver of the Mass Effect series in the story but the combat is still important. If you take a look back at the combat in Mass Effect and compare it to how it looks in Mass Effect: Andromeda, it’s one hell of an improvement. The improved combat really helped Mass Effect 3 and I’m expecting it to help Mass Effect: Andromeda even more. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this combat system plays out because it looks really promising. Next week’s video will be about exploration, which should be a real driving force in this game.
Side note, Natalie Dormer is voicing the Asari doctor on board the Tempest and I am 1000% a-ok with that.