BioWare and Electronic Arts’ highly controversial Mass Effect: Andromeda has finally launched for PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The new game offers players the ability to venture around planets, completing side-quests and attempting to find a new home for humanity.
The start of the game will allow you to create your own character or choose to play as the default Scott or Sara Ryder, the offspring of Alec Ryder.
You’ll be able to choose your starting proficiency for your character, but it won’t lock you in or restrict you when it comes to utilizing weapons and skillsets. There are seven Pathfinder profile presets, including:
Each of the profiles can also be unlocked through the game even if you decide to start with a different profile. You will need a certain number of skill points invested into certain fields before you can access the other profiles throughout the game.
If you need help making a decent female Ryder (since it’s easier to make a decent male Ryder) there’s a guide to help you out.
Once you get done creating your character or choosing the defaults, you can then begin the game, where the early first hour of the game they will walk you through a tutorial to help familiarize you with the controls, combat mechanics, scanning system and dialogue trees. You can see how the basics are setup with the gameplay walkthrough below, courtesy of MKIceandFire.
After the dark energy Scourge disrupts the Nexus and the Ark, Ryder and the top officers head from the Ark to the Nexus. They discover that the Scourge has potentially put the entire group of humans on the Nexus at risk.
A Pathfinder is necessary to help guide the Nexus to a new home planet, and they need to start waking humans up before the power in the Nexus runs out.
After some dialogue sequences, you’ll be able to check out the Andromeda Initiative logs, learn about the Pathfinder’s role, various alien races, and other bits of information through the codex.
You can also modify your weapon loadout and check out your character stats and progression.
You can glean some information with Addison, and your next task will be to talk with Tann, Kesh and Kandros. Each of these are marked on the map.
If you meet with Kandros you are introduced to the Strike Team mechanic. You can use the console to deploy Strike Teams for multiplayer missions. Sending them on missions will allow you to earn rewards and items. There will be an option from the mission list to either send a Strike Team or do the mission yourself by playing it in multiplayer.
You’ll find the first supply station near Sergeant Aker. You’ll also pick up your first major side-quest to investigate a murder on Eos.
Before you can complete that side-quest you still have to meet with Director Tann to learn how to fix the issue with making planets hospitable for the Nexus inhabitants.
Tann will explain that in order to make the six planets potentially hospitable, you’ll need to increase the hospitality percentage by completing missions on the planet.
You’ll need to continue the “Getting to Know the Nexus” mission before you can start the planetary exploration.
Talk to Sam and Cora once again, and then you’ll eventually be able to get on the Tempest, the personal Pathfinder ship.
You’ll need to talk to some of the crew to get an idea of what the Tempest is capable of. When you’re ready to start the first mission you’ll need to head to the bridge and talk to Kallo.
You’ll be directed to the Eos planet through the Pytheas sector.
It will show the viability level, which starts at 0%.
There will also be other star systems and planets to discover as well, but Eos is the starting planet to help get you acquainted with the game’s exploration and ground-based travel system.
Your first two tasks are to search the main control building and to clear the radiation from the area.
You can scavenge the area for supplies around the outpost.
You’ll need to find the codes to access the buildings on the planet at the first outpost. Use the scanner to check out the area and examine the code lock key inside the only open building at the back of the habitat.
Use the code to access the one building on the nav market and then you’ll need to pick up the logs inside the building that will explain how to restore power through the antenna relay.
This will lead you to another nav point – taking you to the power relay station on the other side of the Tempest.
Activate the power pylons after the dialogue sequence with Clancy finishes. A Kett battle will ensue, which is basically just a survival wave gunfight.
Clear out the Kett, talk to Clancy – and you can buy stuff from him if you’re short on supplies – and then move to retrieve the Nomad.
In order to travel around the planets you’ll need to move beyond the radiation barriers, in order to do so you’ll need the Nomad. Upgrading the Nomad will also allow it to move further into the planet and deeper into the radiated zones.
You can examine the research facility to finally unlock the crafting component that will allow you to make new weapons and gear. You can use the research module to discover new weapons and the development module to build them.
The game will also introduce the Forward Stations, which work as checkpoints during your travels around the planet. You can use Forward Stations for fast travel, as well as calling the Nomad, modifying your equipment and resupplying.
After calling down the Forward Station this will also grant you access to the Nomad container so you can finally start driving around.
Head to the relay using the Nomad and interact with the control and there you’ll meet Peebee for the first time.
You’ll discover the Remnant and the various robot enemies protecting the old monoliths.
From there you can continue with the main mission or follow the nav markers to complete other side-quests.
You can move the main mission objective forward by visiting EOS site 2, as showcased on the mission map screen.
As you move through the areas, using forward stations and dampening the radiation fiels, you can continue to increase the stability and living conditions of EOS for the other Nexus sleepers.
Just beyond the second site is another monolith and mining facility, and you can investigate it. However, you will have to battle Kett before you can get inside.
You’ll have to battle a few Kett reinforcements and then disable the control panels to get inside the station. You’ll find a Krogan inside named Drack.
You’ll need to scan through the monolith’s glyphs to complete the next mission. You’ll find them around the the control area to connect the monoliths.
Head to the next habitat and get the site 2 project plans from within the research facility.
Head to the next monolith control site and scan for the glyphs, just like at the last site. You’ll need to kill the Halo Forerunner security drones – oops, I mean the Remnant Observers. And then once you find the glyphs you can activate the control panel.
For the Remnant decryption at the control panel, it operates on a few basic rules, including the same glyph can’t appear in the same row twice and can’t appear in the same column type. So you have to get experimental with how they’re positioned.
After you complete the puzzle some Kett will pop up. Lay waste to them and then move on to the next monolith station checkpoint, which triangulates toward an isle in the lake.
Head to the control panel and it will activate a pathway so you can meet up with Peebee.
Inside the Remnant’s Monolith a cinematic will play and then you’ll need to use the scanner to check the conduits that lead to the system processors.
Use the scanner to check out the areas and follow the large on-screen nav markers on the screen.
Some platforming segments will follow and some Remnant security will need to be taken out as you make your way deeper into the facility. Essentially you’ll shoot, scan, platform in that order or in different orders.
After killing the Remnant, activating the consoles and going to the lockdown console, another cinematic will play.
After the cinematic plays follow the nav marker and run and platform your way out of the facility before the toxic fart envelops you.
Once you help Drack during a fight outside of the Remnant facility he’ll join your team on the Tempest.
You can choose the first outpost for EOS, either a science or military outpost.
From there you can continue the missions on EOS and discover more Remnant facilities or venture to other planets and begin colonizing them in order to setup more outposts for the Nexus.
If you’re not at all interested in the actual gameplay, but more-so interested in the cut-scenes between the gameplay, YouTuber Gamer’s Little Playground cuts through all the nonsense and cut together a five hour long video featuring only the main cut-scenes for the main story. You can check that out below.
Once you finish the Eos first mission, you’ll nearly be 30% through the whole game if you only do the main missions and skip all the side-quests.
So technically, if you speed through the game you can get through it in just under 12 hours.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is available right now for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
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