Mass Effect: Andromeda Has Crafting, Updated New Game+; Story Described as "Different"
Andromeda tells a "different type of story."
More details about BioWare's Mass Effect: Andromeda have come to light. The December issue of Game Informer contains a huge feature on the upcoming RPG, in which BioWare talks about new features like crafting, the New Game+ mode, and how the overall story is "different."
For crafting, players can acquire blueprints throughout the campaign to build weapons and armor. Fans may recall that the original Mass Effect had some mods, but it sounds like Andromeda goes a lot further. "The narrative setting means that you have alien races with new tech, and I think it's compelling for players to craft new stuff," producer Fabrice Condominas said. "That's part of the roots of the RPG system."
Moving on, Andromeda's New Game+ mode will let you change your gender, an option that was not available in Mass Effect 3's New Game+. Another way to keep people playing is Andromeda's multiplayer, which will have what BioWare described as "prestige" mechanics that encourage players to try out different characters.
"There are several different types of characters in multiplayer, and each time you finish a match, you earn your regular XP, but you also earn prestige XP," lead designer Ian Frazier said. "That goes to every character in that type. All the tanky characters, for instance, might be a group that earn prestige XP together. And there's a different benefit for each type of character. Let's say you play these tanky characters--it could be three different ones--you earn enough prestige XP to level up. Now you get a health benefit to all of your characters--not just the ones of that type."
Despite this explanation, it's still not exactly clear how Andromeda's multiplayer XP system will work. With a multiplayer beta on the way, we should know more specifics in the not-too-distant future.
Andromeda's multiplayer takes place within the campaign's fiction. You play as a member of the Apex Force, tasked with defending against waves of increasingly difficult-to-defeat alien invaders alongside your squadmates. That's the same setup as Mass Effect 3's multiplayer, which was well-received, Frazier said, so BioWare used it as the core for Andromeda.
Similar to Mass Effect 3, players can unlock card packs for Andromeda's multiplayer with in-game credits or by spending real-world money. Frazier stressed that everything in the game can be earned through normal gameplay, so spending money is only a way to speed up the process.
Also in Game Informer's story, producer Michael Gamble was asked if Andromeda would have multiple endings, but he wouldn't confirm one way or the other.
"We want to leave the ending, and what we're doing with it, as a surprise," he said. "This is a different type of story, so it will be something different than the trilogy. We can't wait to hear what fans think."
There was some amount of controversy around Mass Effect 3's ending, as some criticized it for not bringing the game to a satisfying conclusion. Based on what Gamble had to say, it sounds like Andromeda's ending might be another much-discussed part of the game.
In other Andromeda news, BioWare has discussed the game's romance options, how it balances its shooter and RPG elements, potential DLC, and more. Additionally, BioWare has explained how Andromeda avoids dealing with Mass Effect 3's ending.
In addition to a new trailer and a separate video that revealed some key story details, we've also learned about Andromeda's deluxe edition and the fact that loyalty missions are coming back. Additionally, BioWare has confirmed that a multiplayer beta will be held before launch.