For more details about Andromeda direct from Bioware, check out our article on all the Mass Effect Andromeda news we know so far.
The first Mass Effect: Andromeda gameplay footage was shown today in the guise of a 'tech demo' for Sony's new 4K-capable PS4—but who cares more about a 4K console than what the next Mass Effect will be like? We've broken down the important bits of information from the trailer—eg, butt straps and plant scanning—and none of it involves resolution or high dynamic range.
Please note that you're not allowed to watch the video on anything less than a 4K display. BioWare forbids it and will arrest you.
We already saw jetpacks in the first trailer, but there’s hardly just one type of jetpack, so that didn’t tell us a whole lot. What we see here, finally, is a jetpack of the boost jump variety: no sustained hovering or flying, just a bit of spring to your step to leap over gaps (it’s-a-me, Ryder). Precarious leaps don’t look especially important to the level, though, so it’d be a bit premature to say that Andromeda is incorporating Tomb Raider-like platforming. In a game where we expect to spend a lot of time walking while people talk in our ears, anything to elevate the walking part is welcome—though those jerky landing animations aren’t very appealing.
What are the two distracting straps on Ryder’s butt for? What could he need to strap his butt to? A chair, possibly. We don’t have all the answers.
Ryder scans a plant to acquire information, which is then presented in a codex entry, which Ryder then summarizes out loud. Classic Ryder.
These monsters don’t attack unless you get up in their grills—they look like robots, presumably ancient ones, and are reminiscent of the Citadel’s Keepers. That’s no surprise: ancient alien technology is one of Mass Effect’s favorite things, and that old survey leak is being validated with each new trailer—it describes the Remnant as “a once powerful and mysterious alien race.” If it holds true, we'll be racing to explore their ruins and discover "the source of their forgotten technology." It ain’t exactly fresh, though the best bits of the other Mass Effects had little to do with the Geth, Reapers, or Protheans.
Ancient aliens are bad architects
This subterranean building might work fine from a level design perspective, but since we’re being critical—what idiot alien architect thought this worked? Why build a bridge that magically forms under you as you walk and not just put a bridge there? Seems like a lot of wasted energy for nothing. Did they think this little trick would confuse and deter alien visitors who are capable of the interstellar travel required to get there? “We’ve encountered a small gap. Everyone, back to the spaceship.”
This structure is apparently a ‘vault’—no Claptrap in sight, thankfully—and there are others scattered throughout the Helius cluster. If that sounds familiar, it’s because the ‘Helius cluster’ was also mentioned in the survey leak, which claimed it contains hundreds of star systems. Previously, Mass Effect games contained multiple ‘clusters’ which represented a few star systems each—looks like it could just be one big, seamless chunk of space this time.
Again, none of that is confirmed, but getting proper nouns right over a year ago lends a lot of credibility to the leak.
“Power readings are off the chart”
Get a bigger chart already—this is the future, and chart technology should allow for really, really big charts. This is an extremely bad sci-fi line and we are petitioning BioWare to replace it with Tim Allen grunts.
Everyone runs away
Ryder turns off the alien energy faucet, and then an unclear bad thing happens. As they flee, our asari friend says, “Uwaah, it’s right on our heels!”—it being a bunch of smoke. It’s just one line, but her character is seeming more and more distinct from the sober, almost Vulcan delivery of Liara T’Soni.
We can’t judge the characters based on standard no-nonsense mission chatter and panicked exclamations, or say why two characters in the final cutscene don’t speak at all, so instead we’ll express more strap-related concerns. Here we’ve got arm straps, leg straps, a waist strap (some would call it a ‘belt,’ but the point stands), and a strap-ey holster. It’s too many straps. Can you imagine taking all those straps off before bed? Rolling them up and placing them in your—do you need a special strap box, if you wear that many straps on a regular basis? Seems like you’d have something.
The next trailer
It’s coming November 7 (N7, get it?). See you then for more strap talk.
Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.