Nvidia and BioWare delivered on their promise of new gameplay footage for Mass Effect: Andromeda during the CES 2017 opening keynote speech. The trailer is only two minutes long and opens with a look at the new ship weaving through the crowded asteroid field like a bladder-broken Stephen Curry hurrying through a crowded concourse attempting to feint his way into a bathroom stall.
The trailer highlights the Tempest – the new space vessel that players will use to scout new planets in their attempt to find a home for humans – before moving on to showcase a desert planet.
As promised, the trailer spends an ample amount of time showcasing environments, just like BioWare said. You can check it out below, courtesy of Punish.
Before disembarking from the Tempest to explore the planet, we get a look at the stat screen and GUI. We find out that the ugly Asari used in most of the promo footage and imagery is named Peebee. A fitting name.
You can choose to modify the stats, equipment and abilities of your squad mates or choose who you want to take with you on your journey. You can also manually edit your team or have them auto leveled like in previous games.
The voice actor for male Ryder sounds like Nolan North.
We then get a look at the stats of Ryder and the player’s option to choose various profiles on the fly, suited for their play-style. It’s also possible to modify and check out the stats during the middle of a mission instead of doing all of that stuff in the personal quarters on the Tempest, your new scout ship.
We also get to see that weapons can be upgraded, such as the new flamethrower. You can increase the recharge speed, the spread and the damage. The flamethrower appears to be BioWare borrowing rather liberally from Disney’s Boba Fett.
Unlike Boba Fett, though, players will literally spray the flamethrower out of their hands like they’re using the force. It’s not like a wrist device.
We get to see the flamethrower in action against a robot and it doesn’t appear to do much damage at all. The combat is still a bullet-sponge orgy. You’ll have to numerically drain your opponents just like in previous games. If you’re expecting emergent, procedural AI interactions and reactions, it’s not there.
Sadly, the demonstration fell kind of short of being much of a showcase of next-gen gaming and basically fits in line with current-gen gaming. If you thought maybe you could use the flames to put things on fire and force them to have to use internal ventilators to exhaust the flames, think again. If you were expecting to be able to shoot the legs out of a mech, causing it to stumble and have to regain its footing, think again. And if you were thinking that electrical damage would short out mechanical enemies… well, you would be right.
Overall, it’s a minor step up from what you likely played from Mass Effect 3, but there’s nothing really groundbreaking there as far as actual gameplay is concerned. If Mass Effect: Andromeda is going to really move copies it’s going to have to basically come from having a really well told story with compelling characters, or due to an expansive array of diverse planets and locations to visit.
You can look for Mass Effect: Andromeda to launch on March 21st, 2017 for the PC, PS4, PS4 Pro and Xbox One. Some gamers have already resolved to forfeit buying the game due to one of BioWare’s game designers being actively racist against a large portion of the gaming community.