Mass Effect Andromeda multiplayer detailed, expect changes from Mass Effect 3

BioWare has confirmed that the multiplayer mode for Mass Effect Andromeda has received more than a few tweaks in comparison to the previous game’s online component.

Speaking to Game Informer, the developer confirmed that map traversal is overall a more intuitive affair, thanks largely to the presence of a jetpack allowing you to boost your way up to higher area and mix things up in combat. Meanwhile, abilities each have their own cooldown period, as opposed to them being linked to as single recharge.

Mass Effect Andromeda multiplayer is going to shake things up

It’s not a permanent rocket that you use to fly around,” said producer Fabrice Condominas. “There is a beginning and end to them – a momentum curve – based on when you do your input.

You can dump everything at once if you want to, or strategise and hold off until the right situation,” added lead designer Ian Frazier. “So you can do a lot more interesting combinations.”

Elsewhere, the team confirmed that enemies will employ varied attack patterns so you won’t be able to just duck behind cover in one place to fend them off. As such, players will need to adopt new tactics on the fly to cope with the more aggressive AI. Blind card packs make a return and can be purchased with in-game currency or microtransactions. 

The first thing everyone will notice is how dynamic it is. Everything is more fluid, fast-paced, there’s a lot of action going on,” said Condominas. “The controls are also more responsive. All of that is on purpose; we really wanted to increase the dynamism and how accessible it is while retaining the depth and going more into layers.”

If you don’t want to be at the mercy of the random number generator for the cards, you’re still at the mercy of what’s in the store right now, but it’s like, ‘Oh, that’s the Black Widow and I really want it!’” said Frazier. “You can buy them with real-world money if you want to, but again, nothing requires that.”

BioWare is also introducing Prestige XP in a bid to keep players engaged for the long haul. This type of experience is earned alongside regular XP, and is spread across your character class as opposed to being limited to a single character, and comes equipped with its own bonuses and rewards. 

As for how the multiplayer will links to the single-player campaign, BioWare has something up its sleeves: “You will have possibilities to send teams to complete kind of side missions, or to do it yourself in multiplayer. That’s the idea.”

Mass Effect Andromeda is due out on PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One in spring 2017. BioWare previously revealed that not all races from the original trilogy will be present in the game, although has confirmed we’ll be treated to Mass Effect Andromed gameplay this week at The Game Awards.