The lack of objectivity I have with regard to Mass Effect: Andromeda is comical at this point. I’m pretty sure the promo department could do a video detailing the load screens at this point, and they’d have my rapt attention.

Luckily, the latest video–the first in a series entitled “Gameplay”– is the most dynamic part of any game, the combat. While I freely admit that my interest as a gamer lies mostly in character interactions, shaping the arc of the story with my choices, and finding random treasures while I explore; I can’t pretend that a satisfying win on the battlefield isn’t an adrenaline pumping good time.

Andromeda‘s combat is a bit intimidated to look at, at first glance. For one thing Ryder is a wee bit more spry than Shepard. She’s zipping around the combat area like a wind sprite using her jump jet. No longer will players run into a room and have strategically stacked crates to crouch behind. We have to assess the field of battle and make our own path. This time out, we can even use our vehicle as cover. Though, I hope it won’t lead to our opponents decimating the Nomad while we hide behind it and take pot shots.

It’s interesting that so much of the combat we’ve seen thus far takes place outside. It makes the game seems a lot more outdoorsy than the previous trilogy, with its space stations and planetary prefabs.

The biggest change that I noted was the assortment of melee weapons. No longer are you confined to using the omni-blade when bad guys get a bit too close for comfort. Melee weapons come in quick and jabby or slow and wolloppy.

Another nice touch is the classification of guns and ammo types. Some guns use clips with finite ammo, while other guns have unlimited ammo but overheat. Then, there is a third kind that’s based on charging then releasing. Ryder can change ‘class’ on the fly so we really can have a bit of fun with every type of weapon and play style there is.

Nice.

I like being the Infiltrator, a mighty tech warrior. And now that you can fling out a little floating turret to join combat with you, it seems unlikely I’ll stray from that path for too long. But biotics look like so much FUN this time out, I can pick a person up and throw them at another person!!! That’s… *sniff* that’s just beautiful.

In the end I’m sure I’ll do plenty of mixing and matching on the battlefield because not even the universe is the limit.

Mass Effect: Andromeda hits North America on March 21st | Europe March 23rd

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