The days of being locked into one class for an entire playthrough appear to be behind us. At least, in the Mass Effect universe. A new Mass Effect: Andromeda gameplay trailer made an appearance last night at Nvidia’s CES keynote. Let’s take a look.
The gameplay itself isn’t all that impressive. I get why devs want to slow it down to make sure everything can be seen clearly, but I want to see a seasoned player rip through the enemies using all the tools and cover at their disposal. The slow, meandering gameplay showing us the game looks good just doesn’t do it for me. I already know Mass Effect: Andromeda looks great. Show us how great the gameplay can be.
Anyways, the big reveal (for me at least) are the Profiles. We won’t be agonizing over which class to select when March 21 hits. Instead, it looks like we can change how our character plays on the fly. Before our hero starts blasting stuff, a menu pops open revealing Profiles. Here’s a look at Solider:
There are seven Profiles: Soldier, Engineer, Adept, Sentinel, Vanguard, Infiltrator and Explorer. And it looks like some of them are locked. Note how Solider, Engineer, Infiltrator and Explorer are highlighted blue while Adept, Sentinel and Vanguard are gray. Those are probably earned as we play.
Next, we get a brief glimpse of the skill system. With the class system blown wide open, the significant changes from moment to moment gameplay will revolve around the skills you use. Three skills can be equipped at a time. In the trailer, we see Overload, Flak Cannon and Flamethrower.
And then cut to 40 seconds of gameplay.
What I like about Profiles and don’t like
The pro for Profiles is obvious. More freedom. Tired of using Soldier? Switch to Adept. Or any of the other six Profiles. I won’t need multiple playthroughs to see how each class plays and how different the game plays out.
There is one, big potential drawback, though. What we gain in player freedom, we lose in uniqueness. I’m sure the folks at BioWare are mindful of making sure each Profile feels different, but when you have the option to use them all at will – I worry none of them are unique enough to stand out. Or, one or two are much more useful than the others.
I like the move to Profiles. And if BioWare can make each one feel unique enough in tandem with Skills, it’ll be a fantastic move on their part.
What we need is a Dev Diary diving into each Profile and how it can change the gameplay. We’ve seen a couple of pretty gameplay trailers, let’s get a deeper look at the gameplay systems that will keep us playing the game for dozens of hours.
We’ll see if the move to Profiles is a good one when Mass Effect: Andromeda hits PC, PS4 and Xbox One on March 21.