Mass Effect: Andromeda's Exploration trailer highlights 'the heart' of the game

The new Mass Effect: Andromeda gameplay trailer dives "straight into the heart" of the game with an up-close look at exploration, from the bridge of the Tempest to the surface of unique and varied worlds. 

The Tempest will provide players with an expanded, real-time view of everything outside your ship, a view you just couldn't get on the Normandy, while the Kodiak-like all-terrain vehicle Nomad enables rapid travel across planetary surfaces. You'll be able to call down "forward stations" to key locations as you go, which will act as "fast travel points" and enable loadout changes, Nomad recall (if you forget where you parked), and provide resupply and protection from environmental hazards. 

Exploring worlds and accomplishing specific tasks, including pacifying threats and making nice with the locals, will help raise their "viability". That will eventually enable the creation of surface outposts and also upgrades to the Nexus, the Citadel-esque space station that serves as your home away from home. As the Nexus expands, you'll be able to awaken more colonists, who will enable new perks and advantages in different categories. 

And there will of course be many mysteries to solve, ranging from wreckage and other anomalies in space to the vast network of ancient vaults stretching across planetary surfaces. "Simply figuring out how to access one of the vaults is a challenge in and of itself that can take you across an entire world," the narrator states. "Resolving the mystery of these vaults may just hold the key to survival in Andromeda." 

Mass Effect: Andromeda comes out on March 21 in North America, and March 23 in Europe. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.