BioWare’s Mike Gamble has decided to address exactly why there are no character classes in Mass Effect: Andromeda, justifying it as a move from the current class-based setup of the series to a more fluid kind of RPG. This had previously been announced several months ago via a number of screenshots.
In previous Mass Effect games, Shepard was confined to a single character class: Soldier, Infiltrator, Engineer, Adept, Vanguard, or Sentinel. Each of these had a variety of different abilities and mechanics, ranging from the ability to use every weapon as the Soldier or using tech abilities as the Engineer, or biotic powers as the Adept and Vanguard.
With no character classes in Andromeda, a large variety of different possibilities have opened up to players. With the ability to use any weapon or power now, players can tailor their chosen Ryder sibling to whatever playstyle they want to use, giving them biotic powers, technical skills, great weapon proficiency, or even all three.
Mike Gamble has said that the reason that there are no longer character classes in the game is because the classes that were previously restricting players were too specialized, and kept players from accessing every part of the game. While some classes could pass around obstacles faster than others, the other classes of previous Mass Effect games were unable to.
For instance, in the Omega DLC of Mass Effect 3 an Engineer could circumvent one of the game’s moral dilemmas extremely quickly (and could give players the satisfaction of shutting up the smarmy Cerberus general in the process).
Abilities that have been shown off now that there are no character classes in the game include such things as a flamethrower that comes out of your omni-tool or a scanner that can help you point out where various enemies and objects are.
Mass Effect: Andromeda will be coming to Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC on March 21 in North America and March 23 in Europe.