Mass Effect: Andromeda drops class and morality systems, adds jetpacks and swords, plus lots of other game intel


So, yesterday’s Mass Effect: Andromeda trailer launch was a big bang, but over on Game Informer, there’s a lot more hard data incoming. You don’t even need a magazine subscription, though, because accredited industry know-it-all shinobi602 has dropped a synopsis of, like, everything on NeoGAF already, including loads of story and gameplay details.

Obviously, some minor spoilers ahead, Commander.

One of the more interesting things is that Mass Effect: Andromeda is swapping out the class system of previous games with one of those Oh Be, Like, You Know, Whatever You Want systems instead, with high level specialisations and bonuses. You’ll also be able to re-spec your character stats because of some otherwise nebulous “narrative reason”, which should presumably also explain why everybody can now use biotic abilities. Presumably.

The Paragon / Renegade morality system is out, and replaced with dialogue options featuring “more nuance and subtlety and giving the player more opportunity to express themselves”.

Also, jetpacks and melee weapons. JETPACKS AND MELEE WEAPONS! According to shinobi602, you can use the jetpack to hover and “hit enemies seeking cover or survey your surroundings” and “new melee options like swords and hammers” (maybe alternate configurations for the omni-tool?) will be added to the game’s loadout list.

Intriguingly, the info-dump also reveals that the game’s antagonists are not the Reapers – even though they look sort of the same in the trailer – but a “new alien species” called the Kett. As part of the Andromeda Initiative, “a civilian, multi-species project created to send scientists, explorers and colonists on a one-way trip to settle in the Andromeda Galaxy”, the events of the preceding two games transpired while you’ve been in hypersleep onboard the Hyperion, one of the Initiative’s “ark” ships. At some point, the Hyperion floated off course and landed in the wrong place, losing contact with the other arks and the forward command base, Nexus at the same time.

Mass Effect: Andromeda will apparently also have “more relationships in the game than any other Bioware game”, if that’s your thing. But it’s everybody’s thing, isn’t it? Even if you don’t want to admit it.

There’s a lot more through the link up top, but perhaps the most important part is that Bioware has promised that the ending will be “different” than the trilogy’s, um, controversial conclusion. Shapes instead of colours? You read it here first.