The Mass Effect series has had a storied history with side quests. In the first game, you had the standards the usual side quests with a side order of planet exploration. In Mass Effect 2, planet exploration was supplanted with planet probing where you were tasked with collected resources to upgrading your ship. Then in the third game you just pinged the galaxy map looking for mission items. So overall, side activities became less and less interactive as time when on, but Mass Effect: Andromeda aims to change it.
Game Informer wrote an article detailing six activities on offer and boy do they sound interesting.
Loyalty missions are obviously back except this time they will be completely optional, but you can and should take on the quests if you want to know the character better. Aside from character development the loyalty missions also give you the chance to go to planets that you wouldn’t visit in the main game.
Remember back in the first Mass Effect where you had that sweet car to drive when on planets, well, it’s back in Mass Effect: Andromeda. It’s called the Nomad and it acts much like the original Mako. Players can drive around, boost and jump your way to hidden areas. The original Mako wasn’t the greatest in the world to drive but Bioware made fixing that a priority fro Andromeda says producer Mike Gamble.
A big focus for us is making sure that the Nomad handles better, drives better, cascades better – that it has all the nimbleness that the original Mako did without any of the frustrations.
You can also track down drop points while in the Nomad or on foot. These drop points give you access to fast-travel points and the ability to change your loadout while on-planet. Not everything is peaches and cream on planets, players will also come across enemy bases and epic boss fights to deal with during their exploration. Be wary before you jump into either of these fights as both the bases and bosses can be lengthy ordeals that test your skills.
Lastly, scanning. Yes, scanning is back. When you enter a new galaxy you have to catalogue the local flora and fauna to make sure it won’t kill you. Scanning things on the planet will grant you information on the object unlocking various crafting options for the object.
Mass Effect: Andromeda doesn’t currently have a release date but it is slated for a March release. A few weeks ago, Dark Horse posted an ad for the Mass Effect: Andromeda art book saying that it would release alongside the game and added that the artbook would be out on March 21st. The game will be out for Xbox One, all versions of the PS4 and PC.