Although there appears to be no new single-player content on the horizon, Electronic Arts and BioWare are keeping the multiplayer side of Mass Effect: Andromeda fresh. The companies are teasing a new “platinum” difficulty level for APEX multiplayer along with a new but familiar character: The Batarian.
If you’re not familiar with this race, they originate from the planet Khar’shan in the original Mass Effect trilogy. That means they are considered as “aliens” in the Andromeda galaxy. The Batarians are similar to Star Trek’s Ferengi in that they are out for profit and will resort to any means to do so.
The Batarian race will join the other former Milky Way residents in the game’s multiplayer component: Humans, Asari, Krogens, Turians, and Salarians. APEX missions are tied into the overall Mass Effect: Andromeda story, providing the game with additional, fresh gameplay even after the main story’s antagonist is defeated and all side missions are complete.
The multiplayer component currently consists of three match types, seven different maps, three difficulty levels (Bronze, Silver, and Gold), and three enemy types (Kett, Remnant, and Outlaws). There are 18 characters to play as well, each featuring a unique set of skills such as the Krogan Engineer, the Asari Sentinel, and the Salarian Infiltrator.
Adding to that, each week players will find a new mission in the overall battle against the Kett, such as “Don’t Go Looking for Trouble,” which wrapped up on June 26. The mission was to recapture a “lucrative” base called Firebase Aqua from the Kett, but to do that, team members had to face a new threat: 11 waves of enemies and a boss, the Kett commander.
That said, these missions complement to the overall story with their own tales, added lore, gear, maps, and classes. In turn for playing these missions, gamers are rewarded with Mission Funds to purchase additional equipment, weapons, and more. The “platinum” difficulty will presumably increase those rewards in addition to cranking up the intense gameplay seen in the “gold” difficulty setting.
Right now, APEX missions are the only way Mass Effect: Andromeda fans will receive new content. Due to the game’s rocky start and overall shaky approval rating with the critics, there is reportedly no single-player content in the works. Instead, BioWare and Electronics are supposedly putting Mass Effect single-player content on hold to focus on Star Wars Battlefront II and Anthem. However, patches and APEX missions will still continue to roll out.
As for the upcoming Batarian class, it could be a mere Trooper, a Shock Trooper, or a Rocket Soldier as seen in the Bring Down The Sky DLC for the original Mass Effect game. We won’t know its true potential until the character makes its appearance alongside the new “platinum” difficulty level arriving on Thursday.