Mass Effect: Andromeda Gameplay Trailer Breakdown

Bioware told the world they would have gameplay to look forward to come December, and today they got it. Shown toward the end of the Game Adwards that happened today, the below has all of the everything you might need if you want to see how it will play.

Needless to say, if you want to maintain ignorance about the game going in, you should not watch the trailer, not read our breakdown.

0:02 – The ship (is it the Tempest) approaches a planet of blue, above the many small rocks that comprise its wide, flat ring.

0:13 – Sis Ryder and a companion are on a planet, presumably freshly emerged from a ship or other landing mechanism. They observe their surroundings and note that this isn’t home. Have they found themselves here by chance? Perhaps. Not their outfits, white and blue, bearing the insignia of the Andromeda Initiative.

0:18 – A character in an A.I. uniform observes a muted landscape, where bright, luminous plants curl yellow up close, while large rocky structures hover in groups from nearby through to the horizon.

0:19 – Clouds begin to cover an orange sky that grows misty as it approaches the horizon. In the foreground, the surface of the planet is a vibrant red in places, or dark and rocky. This rich crimson might be vegetation or growth. Buildings can also be seen in spots across the red, as can a large disc structure in closest of all.

0:21 – A hot planet, growing red and orange on the ground, and wafting plumes of purple colour the sky. The view moves in waves, as the heat from the surface distorts the image.

0:23 – A lightning storm brings flashes to a rainy night. The world is cold, wet and azure. Sorry that was crass. I mean it is blue.

0:25 – Space jacarandas bring red leaves to a desert environment, where weathered structures stand against the elements, and a blue sky touches a big moon and some buttes.

0:27 – Another dose of rain, this time on a world with dark, purple foliage and a red moon or planet visible through the translucent cloud cover.


0:28 – A settlement in a canyon, possibly in the light of a rising sun, or a rapidly encroaching sunset. Tethered balloons carry out some unknown function, and a spout or geyser erupts from the ground.

0:32 – A space tunneling effect leads to a map, similar to the galaxy maps of the previous games. The system shown is named Govorkam, and the planet selected is Kadara. We even get a mission name: “M4 Hunting the Archon.

The interface also shows the iconography of the Playstation controller. We’re seeing this on the Pro.

Against the system it shows progression to be zero, confirming we have the same indicators that were so useful in Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3. From here we can select: Show UI (X), Exit (Triangle), System View (Circle), and Activate Scanner (L1).


On selection of the planet, the approach begins.

0:49 – The Tempest lands on the planet Kadara. Landing platforms are built against the porous rock


0:58 – We have Ryder, Vetra (a female Turian), and Drack (a male Krogan) descending a ramp below the Tempest. From Drack we learn some background, that the inhabitants of Kadara were kicked off the station – this might be a settlement that formed after arrival in Andromeda, or may be referring to the Nexus. We’re guessing that it’s unlikely to be the Ark Hyperion, or the other species-based Arks.

Immediately this location stands out with bright neon signs drawing attention, and lending a personality to the place, and drawing attention away from the darker edges.

1:07 – While running around Kadara, Ryder asks a Sam for information about a character, Sloane Kelly. We learn some the character’s backstory, and see that instead of walking into a situation blind, Ryder does her homework. There are a number of characters standing around, particularly Krogans, and at 1:15, a pair of characters of an unknown species on the left. There are also Humans and Turians around.

1:26 – Ryder enters a shadowy room, where venetian blinds have made a comeback, nudged along by Krogan guards dressed in blue armor. Here she meets with Sloane, who acknowledges Ryder’s status of Pathfinder, and asks what she wants. Vehn Terev. This might be the Archon the mission is named for.

1:36 – A glimpse of the new dialogue wheel with four choices present. It’s a change in style, but presumably performs the same. At 1:43, we see an interrupt for R1, with Disarm shown as a label. It isn’t there long. This might mean that instead of interrupts being mostly unknowns, they’re telegraphed with an obvious outcome. Ryder disarms Sloane’s Turian guard, and turns the pistol on Sloane. Sloane draws a weapon, and the two reach an impasse. What happens next?

A fade to black.

1:53 – The focus shifts to another area, in control of the NOMAD – Andromeda’s MAKO upgrade. The NOMAD starts inside a garage (or at least undercover), before driving out.

The UI shows “Current Zone Strength: Out of Zone” (later as Depleted), a speed of 50 KM/H (which we see get to a max of 130 KM/H after a boost), and an option to toggle the mining computer with dpad-right. The NOMAD drives past acacia-like trees, water spouts, descending mists, and rocky surfaces.

Boost seems to be mapped to square, and Jump to X.


2:06 – Ryder enters a building, using an omnitool or equivalent to scan her surroundings. In this instance, footprints seem to show on the relevant display.  X will actively scan, and Circle will close the scanner. Something called a Roekaar/Rockar is mentioned by a character named Reyes, and Ryder drops mention of Angaran blood while scanning a dead Krogan.

2:28 – Back in the NOMAD. The Current Zone Strength shows as Rich, and a label on the top right of the UI says Settling Kadara. As the vehicle approaches the area, a dropship flies in and combat takes place soon after. The UI shows three abilities (mapped to L2, L2+R2, and R2), ammo (with a possible elemental/ammo type), and a spattering of red along the banded radar at the top.

We get a cool combo of a jetpack jump followed by a Vanguard’s biotic charge at 2:39, which looks great in execution. There’s some sort of animal called an Adhi accompanying an Anarchist, sharpshooters and other raiders arrayed against Ryder. It dies with a flippity flip.

2:57 – Brace for Hydra-Fall. Two big mechy-styled enemies drop from the sky, Ryder switches to Disrupter Ammo which adds electrical damage (particularly great for shields), and the firefighting continues. A small drone-like enemy called a Breacher also shows up, exploding in a mess. The player spots another Raider on a parapet above the central area, and another biotic charge brings her to the high ground. With the Raider down, a few potshots at the Hydras take place, but then it’s to close combat, a tech combo, and an explosion of smokey red goodness.

3:24 – A brief NOMAD drive, and then Ryder is back on her feet. A device or pod is summoned from above, and arrives with a dusty landing.

3:31 – Crafting, Crafting, Crafting! There’s a lot of info on this screen, but the standout is that armor is broken down into helmet, chest, legs and arms. Four types of chest are shown: Andromeda, Pathfinder Sentinel, Deep Space Armor, and Heleus Juggernaut. That might also be the official spelling of the Andromedan cluster the game takes place in, or a typo. Each of the chests listed have a roman numeral after it, suggesting a mix of Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect’s approach to gear.

3:33 – The screen shows the text [Placeholder] Chest Armor Description for the Pathfinder Sentinel. That’s a pretty poor spelling of Pathfinder. Really though, that just shows that this is still in motion. The armor effects for Tech Damage, Duration or other are there, but nothing should be taken as concrete evidence for that reason alone.

3:35 – Ryder walks and jumps around some steamy pools, with coralesque growth that looks a bit like red lyrium. The game refers to it as lithium instead, which is another obvious typo and should be lyrium. Ryder can gather this, and presumably use it as resources for construction or upgrades later on. Shortly after, a hostile animal called a Fiend approaches, and shooty-blam-blam ensues.


3:52 – A wild Adhi appears! It uses dying. It’s not very effective. Ryder uses grenades and assault turrets. They are decidely more so.

4:00 – The Settling Kadara objective gets an update – the one that reads Find Outpost Site is complete. Another two objectives can be seen, waiting to be fulfilled: Address the Rivalry between the Outcasts and the Collective, and Stabilize Kadara’s Environment.

4:04 – The fiend gets the upper hand. It then uses the upper hand to grab Ryder with its upper hand, and slams her down.

4:06 – A glimpse of Vetra’s loyalty mission, where Raiders get a face full of fire.

4:12 – Peebee’s Mysterious Remnant Signal, with flying Observer drones to shoot.

4:14 – The Tempest flies overhead on a planet with austere buildings that cast a forboding presence.

4:17 – More of Vetra’s loyalty mission, where a turret flames away at enemy raiders in the menagerie.

4:19 – Peebee’s mission again, prompting for the Remnant threat to be eliminated. The sky is purple and cloudy, and some stone-like structures have glowing blue runes at the top.

4:20 – Aayyy, back on that planet with the rocks getting high. Two figures in Andromeda uniforms.

4:21 – Approaching what seems to be a shipwreck surround by fire, on the planet with curly bright yellow plants.

4:22 – On the planet Elaaden, the desert world with the big moon/planet set across the blue sky. Ryder is trying to reach Paradise, and make contact with the Krogan. It’s a hot planet, and the UI tells us that there’s a heat hazard affecting life support. The player pops to invisible ala the Infiltrator class, and an Outcast sharpshooter is soon within sight of a scope.

4:25 – Peebee’s mission once more. A biotic whirlpool-ish power.

4:27 – More shooting Remnant observers.

4:28 – An enemy called an Anointed, looking kind of mech-ish.

4:29 – The Tempest flies past in a blur.

4:30 – A Remnant enemy called a Nullifier, with shields. Ryder smashes through them.

4:31 – On Elaaden again, fighting an enemy called a Pariah.

4:32 – Smashing an Anointed.

4:33 – Inside an environment with a distinct curved architecture, with an enemy Chosen. The player uses a weapon not unlike the Arc Projector from Mass Effect 2.

4:34 – Fighting an Anarchist with plenty of explosions, while a quest called A Future For Our People tied to the Krogan raises the spectre of the genophage again.

4:35 – Another pair of Hydra, one of which tries to squash Ryder with a big smashing gesture.

4:39 – Yay the Mass Effect Andromeda Title!

4:43 – The Tempest lifts off from the surface of a planet, and then soars toward distant clouds of orange, before beginning the ascent that will take it from the atmosphere and back into the greater galaxy of Andromeda.


That’s it! It’s over! What do you think? Did we wreck it for you? Anything we missed?

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