EA and Bioware have released another informative video for Mass Effect: Andromeda, this time showcasing the exploration within the game. Bioware has seemingly taken the on-planet examinations from the first game in the series and merged it with the campaign narrative to make investigating planets a more engaging experience for the player.
Instead of having a plethora of planets to explore, Andromeda will have “over a hundred” planets, moons, and space wreckage. These locations will be visible from the bridge of the player’s ship and have their own story, resources, and challenges. How a player progresses through each location will largely be determined by how he interacts with the local populace, who sometimes will initially be distrustful of the player. All planets have localized environmental hazards that the player will have to overcome to explore the planet and can use their Nomad vehicle as a life support system within those hazards. These planets feature a full set of quests that tie into the story and are aimed at enhancing the main campaign.
Players will have to use their Nomad to quickly travel around the map and avoid taking damage from certain hazards. The Nomad may be upgraded with resources and allows the player to access forge points on the map. Creating forge points on the map allows the player access to fast travel points, resupply, and provide additional spawn points for the Nomad.
Completing quests, creating relationships with the local populace, and solving environmental problems increases the “viability” of each planet. Increasing planet viability allows for Nexus upgrade, which aid the player through their journey. Upgrading the Nexus allows the player to wake up crew members from cryo sleep, with different members providing different bonuses; waking a scientist offers development upgrades, waking a merchant aids the player’s trading, waking military personnel aids the player in combat.
Additionally, Andromeda’s planets feature a series of dungeons known as “Vaults”. A vast network of ancient ruins, the player will sometimes have to travel across the whole planet to even figure out how to access one before entering and using all his skills to complete.
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