According to developer Bioware, Mass Effect: Andromeda boasts the largest universe ever seen in the Mass Effect series. And outside of the main quest and story line that players will pursue in Mass Effect: Andromeda, Bioware says the side activities available to fans are also bigger than ever before.
Bioware producer Mike Gamble says not only are these activities more vast, but also they should be more meaningful:
“This is the biggest we’ve ever gone, in terms of the number of pieces of content. Although we have a lot of different areas to go to, we want to make it so whenever you go to those areas, you remember them.”
In its coverage of the next Mass Effect, Game Informer points to six activities in the game that players should pursue. These are optional activities for players that are outside of the critical path of the game's main narrative and required quests.
First, there are Loyalty missions. These types of missions have always been a part of Mass Effect since the second game, allowing the player to interact with allies, learning more about them and their backgrounds. Those missions can lead to new places, and as Game Informer notes as an example, a Krogan Loyalty Mission not only led to new story points, but it also unlocked an explorable planet that would otherwise never been seen by the player unless that mission was completed.
Next, is planet exploration with Andromeda's version of the Mako, the Nomad. Bioware says that planets are even more diverse, expansive, and traversable. Some even include planetary hazards like magma flows that will require the use of the Nomad to traverse and protect the player. And before the bad memories of planet exploration in the original Mass Effect come to mind, Gamble says “the Nomad handles better, drives better, cascades better [and] has all the nimbleness that the original Mako did without any of the frustrations."
Andromeda looks to become less linear and offer more hubs and exploration, but that also means that players will want to be looking for Drop Zones, which will serve as a fast-travel point and allow the player to switch out their loadout, once discovered.
While out on planets players will also find more complex threats to deal with, from enemy bases to epic boss battles. Enemy bases are an optional objective to try to tackle and sometimes players may even stumble into an ongoing battle between two factions. There are also planetary beasts, giant monsters that players will be able to see from a distance, chase down and try to defeat.
Lastly, scanning still has a part in Mass Effect: Andromeda, and this time around it deliver resources that allow for better weapons and armor through the game's crafting system.
All this makes it apparent that Bioware is building a much more complex and rich universe than ever before in the franchise, and is another layer to Bioware's already massive sci-fi RPG.
Mass Effect: Andromeda launches early 2017 on PC, Xbox One, and PS4.
Source: Game Informer