Mass Effect Andromeda is out March 21, but already the first mission and the multiplayer are available to play for anyone with an EA or Origin Access subscription on PC or Xbox One. After viewing the mission unfold and touring around our new ship, The Tempest, I am happy to say this game looks tremendous.
First off, the game is massive. The size and scope of the levels are leaps(pun intended) and bounds larger than previous missions, and all of it feels explorable with the new jump jet system. Everything is very polished, and some noticeable graphics updates that caught my eye right away was our character opening his Avenger assault rifle to insert a thermal clip.
Though the starting level design is fairly linear, that's what we've come to expect from an opening mission. The level still feels vast and explorable. The size pairs well with the nature of the game as it is very exploration based, you will want to find blueprints to craft new gear as well as learn more about the new galaxy you’ve found yourself in.
In that vain, Mass Effect Andromeda has come out with a new scanning feature. While the Omni Tool has done plenty for Shepard in the past games, this new Omni Tool has a scanning utility that allows us to find clues in our environment, think Scanning Visor from Metroid Prime. While what we’ve seen of this tool has been limited so far, it looks to be an exciting addition to the game.
Our new ship, the Tempest is a complete overhaul of what players were used to with the Normandy. The only real similarity I noticed was the drive core, which may or may not be the same model from the SR2.
The best news is that it has no elevators. Fans of the series will remember the elevators as a sneaky way to put in a loading screen while moving throughout your ship. The Tempest has none. No loading screens, no elevators. Equally impressive, the playable character can vault off the railing and hop down onto lower levels while inside the ship making this game just feel smoother than previous ones.
The new captain's quarters are actually on the bottom of the vessel, and all throughout the Tempest, you will notice large windows that display where your ship is in space. For instance, if you dock outside of the Hyperion (this game's version of the Citadel) you will see it outside of the ship’s windows.
Ultimately this game looks fantastic and feels like the developers were trying to give us something that we loved in the original trilogy but keeping it new at the same time. I am very excited for the newest chapter of Mass Effect.