The release of Mass Effect: Andromeda is tantalisingly close and developer Bioware is starting to turn its marketing screws. By now, most fans know that the hotly-anticipated sequel is set 600 years after the events of the original Mass Effect trilogy, in the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. The game follows “The Pathfinder Team”, a group tasked with finding habitable planets in Andromeda in order to establish a new home for humankind.

A second cinematic trailer for the game was recently released (teasing the dangers of interstellar exploration in the game), while a section of the Mass Effect website has been set aside as an interactive look at the Andromeda Initiative. As if that wasn’t enough, Bioware has also been unveiling videos and briefings to highlight specific gameplay features.

Part 1 of a new gameplay series has been unveiled, featuring an in-depth look at the combat mechanics of Mass Effect: Andromeda. For more, take a look at the video, above.

Mass Effect Andromeda Pathfinder Crashed Shuttle Mass Effect: Andromedas Combat Gameplay is Much Faster

What’s most immediately notable is the speed and fluidity of the third-person combat. It’s fast-paced and offers “amazing freedom of movement”. The Pathfinder is shown using a jump-pack to evade, jump, and hover during combat, bringing a new level of verticality to the Mass Effect’s already celebrated combat. A new dynamic cover system has also been implemented to make shootouts as free-form and seamless as possible. The video goes on to outline the four overarching categories of gun in the game, along with a variety of melee weapons. These all fall under three “technology types” which outline where the weaponry comes from. Each type will have a distinct feel and visual look, but will also be limited by their background. Guns from the Milky War, for example, are “high impact“, but are among the only weapons to use projectile ammunition. There are no class restrictions on what type of player can utilise which weapon. This also applies to character skills, which fall into three main categories: combat; biotics; tech. These are “designed to facilitate a certain style of play“, but the focus with Mass Effect has always been on openness and player control, so won’t limit a player to a specific pathway.

There’s a lot to take in from the dynamic footage, with a sense that Bioware is betting big on the sequel to one of its most successful franchises ever. Every iteration of the Mass Effect trilogy has released to both commercial and critical success. This has made Andromeda one of the most anticipated video games of 2017, with a promising open-world, the return of traditional gameplay mechanics, and the stunning visuals offered by its brand new Frostbite game engine.

Some fans might be concerned about the core aspects of the game at this point, which have always been the immersive, character-driven storytelling. However, featuring the action first might simply be a way to protect certain elements of the story until closer to the day of release. Another video will likely explore the roleplaying elements of the game in the coming weeks.

Mass Effect: Andromeda releases for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox on March 21st.

Source: Mass Effect

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