MEA – Liam Kosta Hosts New Weapons & Biotic Training Video

Featured

The Mass Effect Andromeda Initiative site has a new training video up for Pathfinders and this time the topic is weapons and mobility Liam Kosta is hosting it. Because that’s not distracting at all with a cute voice like Gary Carr‘s!

 

liam-kosta

There’s not a lot of new info here but the video is quite pretty and well worth watching. Don’t forget to sign in on the site to get that neat helmet once we complete all the training vids!

Here’s a quick overview of what Liam touches on in the video and some interjected speculation of my own:

weapons-and-biotics-training-01

Ranged Weapons

Arms and armor are designed to be customized multiple times in the field.

As mentioned before in the first Combat Trailer I’ve discussed here there are four main types of guns: Pistols, Shotguns, Assault rifles and Sniper rifles. Also as a reminder from the link above, SMGs are sorted under the category of pistols.

 

weapons-and-biotics-training-02

We’ve had specialized ammo as one way to customize a weapon in Mass Effect before but this time we are hearing about laser shells for shotguns, grenade augmentation for pistols (reminiscent of the Scorpion in ME3?) and electrical conduits which appear to add an electrical beam to the weapon, (presumably as an alt-fire ability?).

Melee Weapons

You’ll need finesse to wield an Asari sword or strength to wield a Krogan hammer.There’s a quick overview of biotics and tech skills, which we have a deeper look at in the Profiles and Favorites training video from yesterday. The imagery here is much sharper than yesterday’s trailer.

weapons-and-biotics-training-03

Jump Jets

We’re shown the hover and side ways dodge augmented by a jump jet. Remember that if you go the route of Adept, your Jump Jet is replaced by a Biotic lift skill.

Go to the official Andromeda Initiative site to watch the Weapons & Biotics Training Video.

Or you can watch it right here, courtesy of Bhageera_Fr who was quickest off the mark to get the video uploaded to youtube.

Combat Profiles & Squads – Mass Effect Andromeda Combat Trailer 02

BioWare released a new combat trailer today with the promised look at Combat Profiles and squad abilities in Mass Effect Andromeda.

Profiles

Your profiles are your class and playstyle combined. Rather than simply picking a class like before you can cherry pick abilities from the Biotic, Combat and/or Tech trees or you can focus on one or two of these. As with most other games the more you focus on one particular skill set the more powerful skills you unlock.

06-explorer-profile

But it is interesting that the Pathfinder profile is only unlocked if you pick skills from all three skill types, however. Hopefully, that means that a Jack-of-all-traits build won’t be unviable to play in the long run.

Favorites

Favorites are a way to quickly access a set of three skills that you have previously grouped. So say your first Favorite grouping is all long range DPS. Sniper rifle, long range stunning or cloaking. You’d want something melee heavy on one of the other favorites.

08-favorites

When you switch between them, the skills in the set go on cooldown so it won’t be something that can be stance-danced with impunity in or out of multiplayer. Nevertheless, that means you can bring up to 12 different skills with you into a fight. Presumably, Profiles will have to be switched out of combat.

Note that if you go with a Biotics profile your jump jet is replaced by a Biotic lift! Neat little detail there!

biotics-dont-use-jumpjet

Combos

Combos are back in Mass Effect Andromeda but now we’ll know when we pull one off. It’s a bit hard to tell in the screen cap below, but a message denoting a type Combo, here a Cryo Combo, flashes on the screen when it’s been achieved. A small addition to Mass Effect gameplay perhaps but one I’ve certainly wanted. I may even give a damn about power combos in MEA.

10-combos-on-screen

Backlash

One interesting new ability they showed off was Backlash. It is a Biotic ability that lets you shield yourself from enemy fire and project that fire back at the enemy!

11-backlash

And it looks A LOT like an invisible Captain America shield! Alright a really big one but still!

Cover

We’ll have destroyable cover in MEA though not the clearly marked incongruously placed frail boxes we saw in ME2 and 3. This orange glass or plast cover looks like any other part of the environment but is clearly destroyed during the fight:

12-cover-before

13-cover-after

Squad

The squad selection screen is looking mighty slick. Now it appears much more like you are contacting them on screen rather than the static lineups we’ve had in previous games:

14-squad-screen

It doesn’t look like we’ll be able to fit many more team members on it, though? Perhaps the list scrolls down in two columns? Or perhaps these are all we get? The latter is unlikely, however, as there has to be space for some DLC teammates at the very least.

Each team member has two active and three passive skills. Below in the case of Cora Harper, Charge and Nova are her actives and Shield Boost, Asari Commando, Defensive Training are her passives.

15-squad-abilities

Squad mates can be leveled to be better at either setting up (priming) or detonating combos depending on your playstyle. It’s likely then that if you set your teammates to detonate your combos you or at least I might not even have to worry about it too much. The combos will just go off on their own!

 

The next video will be about exploration in Andromeda which should mean a really pretty video and I’m looking forward to it. Not that this one didn’t have its own brief glimpses of cool places:

16-notooine-perhaps

Possibly Notooine?

It also looks like planet probing is back though. /sigh. Have a look at the video itself:
MASS EFFECT: ANDROMEDA | Combat Profiles & Squads | Official Gameplay Series – Part 2

What grabbed your attention in this trailer? Share below in the comments!

Meet Natalie Dormer’s Lexi T’Perro From Mass Effect Andromeda

Natalie Dorner has been revealed as the voice behind Doctor Lexi T’Perro the Asari medical expert on the Hyperion. Below you will find a few different interviews with the well-known Game of Thrones actress who is stepping into a world of BioWare nerds for the first time. Please be gentle with her guys!

natalie-dormer-mea-03

Natalie describes Lexi as having a gruff and dry humor which she thinks makes sense to put to a British voice. And explains that Lexi is imperative to the player as the physician and psychologist of the crew she’s in charge Ryder’s well-being.

Lexi T'Parro

Lexi T’Perro

Lexi is academic in the way she thinks – she has a great interest in alien anatomy and she’s sort of omnipresent on Ryder’s journey through the game, to advise in this calm way.

Natalie Dormer to Wired

Creative Director Mac Walters explains about the character that:

“From a player’s perspective, the fact that you can go to her and get opinions on how you’re playing, how people are reacting to the decisions you’re making is a nice nod to some of the choices the player is making in the game.”

So Lexi is going to be a whole lot more for the player than Doctor Chakwas or Yeoman Chambers were. Yes, Chambers did comment on the squad and on Shepard’s actions but this sounds like much more and much deeper. He goes on to point out that:

“One thing that we really wanted to push on Andromeda is great characters who seem to be going on with their lives even when the player wasn’t around”

For example, Lexi has a rivalry with PeeBee and apparently a bit of a crush on Drack.

PeeBee Riding Ryder? I'm down with that!

PeeBee Riding Ryder? I’m down with that!

Here’s the video BioWare released on Natalie and Lexi. Big kudos to Caroline Livingstone, Performance & Voice Over Producer, who is the wizard behind the unique VO technology BioWare uses. I doubt you can find a heap of praises big enough to cover her contributions to voice acting or the impact her work has had on our gaming experience with BioWare games through the years.

 

Here’s another more informal interview with Natalie this time by WhatCulture. It’s always a bit odd to listen to two people talking about something you’ve been into for over a decade and they’ve just discovered but hey, I’m one of those weird 40-year-old women who plays Mass Effect, I think you’ll find there’s a lot of us, Ms. Dormer. Welcome to BioWare fanfiction btw /wave!

Wired also has an interview with Natalie from which the above-mentioned quote was borrowed.

ME3 Screenie Of The Day – Eve And The Krogan

I consider Urdnot Bakara or Eve as Mordin names her, to be the diva of Mass Effect 3. Both because of her rich costume and interesting jewelry but also because of her poise and confident bearing. She is a queen long before circumstances make her one.

Thankfully she is no longer the only female Krogan we know of. Nexus Superintendent, Nakmor Kesh clan sister to Andromeda team member Nakmor Drack and the Nakmor Ambassador encountered in ME2 on Tuchanka, will be joining us in Mass Effect Andromeda and will be one of the rare Krogan scientists Mordin scoffed at in ME2.

She is part of the core team of station engineers who built the Nexus and her duties include station upkeep and making sure that everything works. In other words, she’ll be calibrating a lot more than just the guns!

Leaders Pop-up at 02.11 in Arks & Nexus training video

Leaders Pop-up at 02.11 in Arks & Nexus training video

Watch BioFan’s commentary of the Andromeda Initiative introduction video Arks & Nexus.

Getting back to Eve, however, the pinnacle of her performance has to be her rousing speech to the Krogan. We’ve heard countless of them before, it seems we can barely make it through any hero story without one but hers is pretty damn good even to a cynic’s ears:

 

Eve, ME3, Tuchanka

Eve, ME3, Tuchanka

Eve, ME3, Tuchanka

Eve, ME3, Tuchanka

Eve, ME3, Tuchanka

Eve, ME3, Tuchanka

Mass Effect Andromeda News – A Look At The Combat Trailer

Featured

Today, to much fan fanfare, BioWare released the first in a series of videos that gives us a look at the combat through gameplay videos. It’s linked below so you can scroll right down to it, but here is the run-down of what it has to say about Weapons, Tech and Biotic skills in Mass Effect Andromeda and my thoughts on the matter.

Unsticky Cover

First of all the new dynamic cover system in ME:A will allow you to use anything for cover. Simply press against it and you’re in cover. We’ve heard last year that the cover system wouldn’t be Continue reading

FanArt Five – Mass Effect Andromeda

Here’s a quick fly-by of some amazing fan art talent on Tumblr who share my anticipation for what hands down will be the most important game release of 2017. Please visit, drop likes and follows. We’re all a big community who share a love for a massive and ever-growing fictional universe.

First, we have a wickedly sultry Peebee by Italian artist Ellieraptor. There’s a Tshirt design if ever I saw one.

Waiting For the Night to Come by Ellieraptor (click image to visit original)

Waiting For the Night to Come by Ellieraptor (click image to visit original)

As if I wasn’t already head over heels for PeeBee! Ukranian artist Kapuzin has drawn her Continue reading

ME2 Screenie a Day – Jacob Taylor

In the interest of completionism, which is something I know I share with a lot of you gamers out there, here’s Jacob. Possibly the dullest character in the BioWare gallery of characters and I’m including Avina, the Citadel guide VI in that lineup.

Jacob Taylore, Lazarus Project, Mass Effect 2

Jacob Taylor, Lazarus Project, Mass Effect 2

Apart from having some seriously strange facial movements, Jacob Taylor is, in terms of class lineup, your in-betweener who can do Pull, Incendiary ammo and can learn Barriers. But Jack or Miranda’s biotics are better or more useful, Grunt is a better tank and Urz the Varren has more personality.

It’s a bit of a kick in the quad that the only character we’re bringing over from the Shepard storyline in the new Mass Effect Andromeda is Avina. I mean Avina? Seriously? I hope Sarah Ryder has a bootleg Shepard VI tucked away in her cabin or something.

It just always bummed me out. We finally get a person of color on the team and he might as well be a cardboard cutout. Damn. I’ve got a lot of expectations riding on Liam Kosta for Mass Effect Andromeda, although just looks and voice-wise he’s already miles ahead in the personality department.

His loyalty mission, on the other hand, is worth doing. It’s got an old-fashioned hardcore sci-fi feel to that leaves you a little nauseous with its implications and the dark mirror it holds up to humanity. Lord of the Flies meets a Handmaid’s Tale in a condensed half hour game story. The MSV Hugo Gernsback, Ronald Taylor’s ship that crashed on the planet Aeia, is named after the founder of the first science fiction magazine.

How did you deal with Jacob’s dad at the end?

Not everyone hates the guy. Kasumi Goto. the master thief in the Mass Effect 2 DLC Stolen Memory, quickly developed a mighty if shallow crush for our Jacob’s toned shoulders anyways and Mass Effect Galaxy, a Mass Effect spin-off developed for IOS, was originally titled “Jacob’s Story”.

Why are you so mad, Tayla?

Why are you so mad, Tayla?

Know your meme.