Developer BioWare is revealing more gameplay tidbits as the Mass Effect: Andromeda's launch date approaches the homestretch.
Speaking as a panel at PAX East 2017, the developers followed up its launch trailer with a 30-minute gameplay video, this time focusing on the Loyalty Mission of Liam Kosta, one of the Pathfinder companions. He is the security expert and crisis response specialist in the Pathfinder team led by twins Scott and Sara Ryder. The video also showed a panoramic view of the galaxy and exploration of one of the golden worlds.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is set for a March 21 launch for Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4.
Meet Liam Kosta
Liam Kosta is the Pathfinder team's expert in security and crisis response. An idealist human ready to take risks for the Initiative, Liam joined the Andromeda Initiative after his encounter with Alliance personnel. According to his bio, he possesses multi-disciplinary skills and for these, he was "hand-picked to support the Pathfinder team."
During the 30-minute gameplay reveal, fans were treated to more in-depth gameplay elements such as using objects to hide from enemy fire and firing while covering. One particular feature that was shown was the main character "dying", which delighted the fans watching it during the PAX East 2017 panel of developers and writers from BioWare. The death screen showed how fast the players can respawn and jump back into the action.
Speaking of jumping, the element of "Verticality" was also highlighted in the gameplay. Absent in previous Mass Effect titles, the verticality feature allows players to jump (using their jetpacks) to higher places to access new areas, as well as using it as tactical vantage points during combat and exploration.
Other features that were highlighted in the trailer was the seamless switching and combination of combat styles like Soldier to Vanguard as well as Dialogue Options to spur different conversations.
Loyalty Missions Are Back!
As confirmed earlier, Loyalty Missions are making a comeback in Andromeda. Strikingly absent during Mass Effect 3, Loyalty Missions were first introduced in Mass Effect 2 as a way to give companions more characterization. These narrative-based missions focus on one specific companion and players could get a glimpse into his or her backstory, motivations, as well as personality. In the Liam mission, players were treated to the comic side of Liam as well as his resolute and almost hard-headed will to risk his life to complete a mission.
Creative Director Mac Walters mentioned that while Mass Effect: Andromeda has plenty of lighthearted moments, there are serious moments to keep the story balanced. However, these Loyalty Missions won't affect the ending sequences of the story, as what happened in Mass Effect 2. In Andromeda, these missions will only be side activities and not affect the story arc.