Game Informer's latest issue, featuring Mass Effect: Andromeda, is now out in the wild. Naturally, this means that people all over the 'net are pulling all the information that they can from the cover story, letting us know what we can expect from the sci-fi sequel. It's probably for the best, because BioWare clearly isn't keen on showing off its latest project, even though it's supposed to be launching in spring 2017.
As is often the case, the folks over at NeoGAF have dumped all the juicy details into one forum thread. It'd take us hours to go over and explain every scrap of information, so we're just going to pick out the highlights and write about them here.
First off, Mass Effect 2-style loyalty missions are returning. You'll be able to learn more about your squad members by joining them on specific quests, strengthening your relationship with them in the process. If there's one thing that BioWare almost always gets right, it's interesting party members, so we're especially looking forward to bonding with our crew.
It's not just your space buddies that have personalities, though. As you'd expect, you'll be able to forge your hero's character through dialogue, but your choices are no longer limited by the Paragon and Renegade system of the previous games. Instead, Andromeda will apparently adopt a more traditional role-playing stance, allowing you to choose from a number of different reactions in any given situation. Dialogue options supposedly include head, heart, professional, and casual responses. Sounds like an improvement to us.
Moving into the action side of things, it comes as no surprise to hear that Andromeda is still a third person shooter at its gameplay core. However, there's apparently more of a focus on mobility this time around - because that's what all the cool kids are doing these days - so be prepared to hop around the battlefield using your jetpack now and again. Oh, and the cover system is dynamic, so here's hoping that it doesn't screw us over when we're dangerously low on health.
Tying into the reworked combat is a tweaked class system. Instead of just picking a class at the start of the game and being stuck with it, you'll be able to mix and match abilities and perks from multiple skill trees, allowing you to build your own style of play. That said, old class titles like Solider and Vanguard will make an appearance if you focus your efforts on a specific set of skills. Everyone likes a bit of experimentation, right?
That's most of the meaty stuff out of the way, but there are other titbits worth pointing out. Melee weapons seem to be an option, with mentions of swords and hammers being particularly exciting. New Game + makes a return, but allows you to change Ryder's gender for a fresh playthrough, if you wish. And, of course, when it comes to Mass Effect, endings have to be a part of the conversation. BioWare won't say much on this front, but the developer has stated that Andromeda will be different to how the original trilogy ended. We assume this means that it won't be a bit naff.
What do you make of all this? Are there any details that you particularly like the sound of? Reach for the stars in the comments section below.