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Mass Effect Andromeda ditches character classes, but lets you respec

Squadmates! Swords! Turians confirmed!

Yesterday, Mass Effect's annual N7 Day brought us several dollops of new information on Mass Effect Andromeda.

Overnight, much more has been revealed of the game's individual systems, courtesy of Game Informer (and summarised via NeoGAF).

There are several big changes to Andromeda from previous Mass Effect games. Firstly, the series' class system has been removed, and replaced with a wider skill tree that Ryder can pick and choose from in order to specialise.

Specialising in a particular field unlocks bonuses for a particular play style, which is where you'll gain titles similar to the old classes of Adept and Vanguard. You'll also be able to reconfigure your setup at certain points in the game due to a "narrative reason" to allow you to test multiple play styles.

It'll be interesting to hear how this is explained away in the game's fiction - previously only certain characters were able to use biotic (space magic) attacks.

One other new feature is the ability to now wield melee items such as swords and hammers. Will these be physical items or new uses of your omni-tool?

Andromeda will use a dynamic cover system similar to The Last of Us, although you'll now be able to use the game's new jetpack ability to quick dash and hover above ground to target enemies behind cover.

Outside of battle, Mass Effect's trademark paragon/renegade dialogue system has been ditched for a wider range of options (heart, head, professional and casual - it all sounds very FIFA The Journey). There's no meter to tally your choices against now - so don't expect to look more evil if you push everyone out of windows.

Andromeda is described as having more romance options than any other BioWare game, which should please fans of that. BioWare is also focusing on broadening these relationships to be about more than sex. Some characters will want a long-term relationship. Others will not.

Overall, squadmate dialogue count has increased from previous games, although it's still unclear how many squadmates there will be. You'll also be able to check in with your sibling (the gender of Ryder you didn't choose) although they won't be joining you on your squad.

So far, two squadmates have been named: your asari teammate seen in various trailers is Peebee (a nickname). You also have a male human on your squad named Liam. Yes, Liam.

Previous leaks have pointed to two more squadmate names: Cora, which may be the female human squadmate we've seen in action, and Drack, a krogan.

As per previous leaks, the game's main antagonists are the Kett (previously known as the Khet). The main villain seemed pretty one-note in the trailer yesterday but BioWare has said we'll see a side of them you could empathise with.

You can explore planets in your Mako vehicle, now named the Nomad. Planets feature combat encounters, puzzles and stories to find. Some have bosses you'll need to return to later to beat (just like the dragons in Dragon Age: Inquisition).

You'll also be able to visit the Nexus, the equivalent of the Citadel, which made the journey to Andromeda first before the four arks for each major race (humans have one, we're guessing the other three are asari, salarian and turian). Turians are definitely in the game, although we haven't seen one yet. It remains to be seen whether Andromeda includes any other Milky Way races.

Arks are lead by Pathfinders, which is the role initially held by the Ryder twins' father and that you eventually take on (so it doesn't look great for him). The game's cover art shows a destroyed ark, and BioWare has said our arrival into Andromeda does not go smoothly.

That said, you can customise your sibling and father's looks at the beginning of the game, although not as extensively as yourself (presumably, your character model will then influence theirs). You can choose to play as the other Ryder sibling if you start a New Game Plus.

Finally, to multiplayer, described as an improved version of Mass Effect 3's enjoyable four-player horde mode. It uses a card-based item system and again lets you pay for more packs, although everything can be unlocked through normal progression. There will even be a system for picking specific individual cards, for a limited time, as well as events where you'll face specific maps and enemies for increased reward.

Multiplayer again ties into the main campaign, although not in a way that affects Andromeda's ending.

We have lots more Mass Effect Andromeda coverage from the past 24 hours if you need to catch up on everything that's been revealed:

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Mass Effect: Andromeda

PS4, Xbox One, PC

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Tom Phillips


Tom is Eurogamer's Editor-in-Chief. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon. Tom joined Eurogamer in 2010 following a stint running a Nintendo fansite, and still owns two GameCubes. He also still plays Pokémon Go every day.