Our first appointment at PAX was to sit down with Mass Effect Andromeda and play through a multi-player demo. Initial thoughts were that it would be a PvP battle, however it was more of a survival mode fight against waves of Raiders. You are teamed with three other players to join in and survive the attacks in a set battlefield. Different series of objectives appear throughout, but this scenario was all about firepower.
I chose the human warrior template which they already had set up for us. The design was simple for a standard over the shoulder shooter. I had my main blast weapon which fired very quickly. I could switch out to my pistol which could also be powered up for bigger shots. I had a set number of grenades and a huge blast weapon in my right glove.
In terms of movement and skill the game played extremely smooth. I could jump around with my jet pack and fire from the tops of crates and even rooftops. In the later waves, this worked out because a lot of Sharpshooters appeared all over the map. It felt like my main goal was to take down these attackers because they could do some serious damage to our team with their precision shots.
Our team had a few other options on it, but because it was a demo, most of us just jumped in and got ready to play. The first few waves were simple. Raiders and their doglike beasts would flood the map, but we had a good handle on the situation. The dogs were similar to Varren, but bigger and faster with a huge spine on their backs. In these early waves, it is good to note the new opponents warping onto the board. Sharpshooters were by far the most dangerous. As your shooting Raiders, it is always the shots you cannot see that take you down. Luckily, there was a revive function which brought you back up. Also, teammates can bring each other back as well. Cover is a big part of the game and the map had plenty of options.
Wave six was when everything went bad. Let me start by saying that each wave has a different objective. Some are just straight kill missions, then you also must spread out and explore the zone to find valuable information while the raid was coming in. Our team stayed together well for the most part. Wave six was tricky because Berserkers ported in on the front like and they took a lot of firepower to bring down. The real threat was the sharpshooters behind them which began picking off our team. We knew the waves would get harder, but the tier between wave five and six was a big leap, so be ready for it when you play.
Overall, we only got a short demo for Andromeda, the game does feel great and the weapon options were some of the best in a sci-fi shooter. Once you get the hang of it, BioWare does a great job of giving you options. It does feel like multiplayer is much more of a side aspect of the game. The real gems in Mass Effect will be the exploration and open universe, not to mention team members and story telling. After the demo, this felt like a fun sidebar to the main course which players can jump in and out of when you want a quick break. Now we just need a 4v4 PvP map...