Part 2 of the “Official Gameplay Series” for Mass Effect Andromeda has been posted on the Mass Effect YouTube channel. In the new video, they discuss Combat Profiles, Favorites, and Squads and the flexibility that they impart on gameplay.
As was mentioned in the last video, there are tons of skills to unlock and upgrade in Mass Effect Andromeda. As you continue to unlock them, you’ll also unlock access to Profiles, of which there are 7 types. These profiles provide bonuses to different types of skills so that you can focus on what appeals most to you. You can then upgrade these Profiles to increase their bonuses by meeting certain requirements. For instance, as we see in the video, to increase the Adept Profile to rank 2, you need to invest 24 skill points in Biotics. Further, you’re able to swap Profiles at any time. This means that you have the flexibility to approach situations however you see fit. It also means that you can change your playstyle to keep things interesting – you’re not stuck playing a certain way for the entire game.
With all of the potential flexibility to be found in the game, BioWare needed to give you an easy way to take advantage of it. That’s where Favorites come in. The Favorites system allows you to take three skills and a profile and assign them to one of four slots. You could create a slot for close quarters combat, another one for long range sniping, or perhaps one based around defensive support abilities. Whenever you switch, all of the abilities that you’ve just switched to will have their cooldown timers activated to prevent taking advantage of switching back and forth repeatedly. All of these features seem to be geared around keeping you in the action, keeping you immersed, and maintaining a fluid experience. So long as you’ve setup a few favorites ahead of time, you won’t need to pause mid-battle, search through dozens of abilities and menus, assign them, un-pause and then hope that your setup works. No, you’ll be able to dial things in, setup your favorite combinations of skills and profiles, and switch between them on the fly.
Squads are another huge part of the Mass Effect Andromeda experience. You’ll be able to direct your squad mates to defend areas, attack targets, follow you, or even utilize them in powerful combo attacks. Each member of your squad has three active and two passive skills, and you’ll be able to level up and unlock new skills for them as you go. Being able to level up your squad mates and invest in different skills will allow players to further customize their experience, beyond just their individual character. It adds a layer of tactical thinking that elevates the game. It’s not just about you, it’s about your whole squad and how you’ll work with them to approach different situations.
The next installment of the “Official Gameplay Series” promises to talk about exploration in Mass Effect Andromeda.