A second video of Mass Effect: Andromeda’s gameplay has arrived. Whereas last week’s video focused on combat and skills, this latest video focuses on your Pathfinder’s profiles, loadouts, and some squad commands.
Veterans of the series know there are six profiles, or classes, to choose from at the beginning of the game. These dictate your skill specialties in the game, whether it’s combat, tech, biotics, or a hybrid of two categories. However, this new game introduces a seventh class called the Explorer, which is a mixture of all three skills. The video further shows that the class you choose at the beginning doesn’t seem to have much effect, as you can freely switch between classes to use specific skills suitable for different situations.
This leads to multiple loadouts for your character. You have a total of four loadouts at your disposal, and each slot can have one profile and three skills. When you switch from one loadout to another, however, the new set of skills will still be in cooldown, so you’ll have to use your weapons and wait until your abilities are ready to use. Still, the fact that you can switch between classes and skills makes you more of a one-person army on a battlefield.
But you can still keep the experience traditional thanks to your teammates. On your journey throughout the new galaxy, you’ll have six teammates at your disposal. You can bring some of them into the fight with you, and they all have three active abilities and two passive skills they can use. Unlike your character, it seems that your comrades will stick to their main classes and the skills they provide. For example, the video showed that the human Cora Harper has a focus on Biotics, while the krogan Nakmor Drack has the abilities of a soldier, making him a formidable force. As usual, you can give your teammates commands in the field, such as moving to a specific location or taking out a marked enemy. There's also a new command available called Power Combos. One of these new moves allows you to “prime” an enemy with an ability. Then, you teammate rushes to the enemy’s location and “detonates” it, resulting in a one-two punch. You can also switch roles where one of your teammates primes their ability while you rush in for the kill.
These changes, especially regarding the mixture of skills and classes, will be interesting to see in the game, as they signal a major change in how you'll play. In past Mass Effect titles, your choice of class at the beginning of the game restricted you to specific skills, but Mass Effect: Andromeda seems to ditch that mechanic by opening up multiple avenues of gameplay regardless of your class. For now, you’ll have to wait to until its March 21 release date to see how it will affect your play style. The studio will release another gameplay video--this one focused on exploration--next week.