After the mode got leaked earlier this month, details are starting to get out there about what Mass Effect: Andromeda's co-op will actually entail. While it will share much in common with the "Galaxy at War" mode in Mass Effect 3, there are some improvements in the works.
Joe Juba over at Game Informer spent some time with the hands-on time with the mode at BioWare Montreal's studio. The full article has some more details about what's in store for the new mode, but here's a quick highlight recap:
- No more sitting one spot and defending - there will be enemies that force you from cover, along with ones that force you into it, so you and your friends will have to be on the move more often
- Powers have individual cooldowns - in order to make things more "dynamic and fluid," and allow players to feel comfortable with venturing outside of their bunker, all powers now have their own cooldown timers instead of sharing one global cooldown
- You get a jetpack - this seems to be BioWare taking lessons from some modern shooters like Call of Duty and Titanfall, which have encouraged greater/quicker player mobility. The jetpack will let you boost up to new levels, burst from side-to-side, and even hover above foes
- There will be a separate in-game store for buying specific items - this one is pretty mixed. The blind card packs will return and you can buy them for either in-game or real world currency, however, there will also be a store that will sell a selection of specific assortment of loot. The loot that will be on sale will rotate and requires a different currency from the kind you use for the blind packs
- You will accrue "Prestige XP" in addition to character XP - the Prestige XP functions as a kind of "class level" experience system where playing a particular class, e.g., a tank or a support, contributes experience to that class' Prestige. When you earn enough of it, you'll acquire a bonus that applies to all characters/classes
I'm glad the co-op mode from Mass Effect 3 will be making a return with some improvements, but I'll be curious to see how exactly that specific item store and Prestige XP pan out. I'm also interested in how it's going to tie into the single-player campaign. From the article, it sounds like there will be connections, but it won't have as big of an impact as it did previously. The most interesting aspect is that certain side missions in the campaign can be completed cooperatively and you'll have the option to jump into the co-op mode directly from the single-player pause menu.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is slated for release sometime early next year.