M ass Effect : And romeda
GETTING TO GRIPS WITH BIOWARE’S RADICAL RPG IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR (FAR) AWAY
WWe’re deep in the Andromeda galaxy, getting a chance to sample the returning multiplayer mode for BioWare’s incoming epic sequel. Unfortunately, it’s not going well in the slightest. Stuck crouching down behind cover as a wave of alien nasties come charging at us, there’s no time to admire the view of this oppressive space factory. You see, our foes are as smart as they are aggressive and it’ll take some new toys to even these odds.
Fortunately, our new space suit is particularly handy for getting out of trouble, as the jetpack that’s built into the back allows for eye-wateringly quick movement. We dash out of cover, leap up high and then squeeze the Left Trigger mid-air. This lets us hover off the ground for a few glorious seconds, which is just enough time to pump the onrushing horde full of intergalactic lead. Now that’s what we call a close encounter.
Although BioWare’s changes to its legendary series sound pretty comprehensive, it’s surprising how smoothly they fit. This is still Mass Effect, but a leaner and meaner version. By improving our options for movement, the combat gives us a thrilling rush from taking the fight to these aggressors rather than letting them come towards us.
This chance to sample the returning multiplayer mode also allows us to test out some of the games’ new powers. We’re the cautious type, so we plump for one that allows us to spawn a handy barrier in front of us. Now we can at least stem some of the flow from one side, with our teammates protecting the flank. Considering how fast combat can be – punishment for mistakes is mercilessly swift – how you utilise these powers provides a more dynamic tactical edge. While the multiplayer will be much quicker and more accessible by design, the already impressive combat is stronger than any other entry in the series. This bodes well for the singleplayer journey into the depths of this brand new universe. Let’s not forget the main meat of any game from BioWare comes from the story. While the quest for a new home on Andromeda is our priority, there’ll be plenty of worlds to discover that’ll have their own stories to tell and these should prove to be just as memorable. Take the one where you have to solve the murder of a Krogan. Prowling the crime scene, you use a Effective detective scanning tool to discover footprints, alongside other evidence. A bit like a multi-purpose Swiss Army Knife, the scanner also allows you to discover information about your new home, but we like how its many uses could possibly enhance quests.
As you rightly expect, there are plenty of open spaces to poke around in and explore – just don’t think the locals will take too kindly to your presence. One towering monster we spy Ryder fighting picks our new hero up, uses them like a chew toy and thrashes them back into the ground. It’s a brutal moment where the camera gets up close so you can see the damage and underscores just how dangerous this exotic universe really is. Well, if the dead Krogan you’re investigating wasn’t a big hint.
Marrying the depth of the original trilogy to blisteringly fast action makes Mass Effect: Andromeda feel as new as the galaxy you’re venturing through. But don’t worry, BioWare won’t forget what makes the series special to begin with, and this confident mix should put this right at the very top of your 2017 wish list.
“This is still Mass Effect, but it’s a much leaner and meaner version”
right There are two new companions in the form of Krogan Drack and female Turian Vetra.
above There’s a deeper mystery at the heart of this galaxy that we can’t wait to investigate.