Mass Effect Andromeda
Mass Effect: Andromeda's latest gameplay trailer shows off the 'heart of the game' - exploration BioWare

BioWare has released a brand gameplay new trailer for its much-anticipated RPG Mass Effect: Andromeda, delving into what it describes as "the heart" of the game — exploration. The video, titled Exploration and Discovery is the third in the developer's ongoing series of videos highlighting different aspects of the game ahead of its March release.

In the video (embedded below), BioWare explains that Andromeda's story will take place in the Heleus Cluster, which is filled with dozens of star systems that players can navigate using the Tempest's onboard Galaxy Map. Replacing the Mass Effect trilogy's Normandy, the Tempest is the new ship players will call home whilst exploring the new Andromeda galaxy.

As you navigate through the Heleus, players will also be able to see everything that exists outside the Tempest's main windows — from planets to starships — in real-time.

The Andromeda Galaxy is filled with over 100 planets, only a "handful" of which players will be able to land on and explore on foot. Each planet will feature its own story, characters and "challenges."

The five and a half minute video explores the world of Elaaden — a harsh, desert planet where the heat is deadly, water is scarce and ancient artifacts are peppered across its landscape and are guarded by its inhabitants.

"To make a life on Elaaden, you have to be desperate — or a krogan," the narrator says.

"While exploring, one of your objectives will be to discover locations where you can call down Forward Stations," BioWare explains. "Once found, each of these Forward Stations acts as a fast travel point, allowing you to change your loadout or call the Nomad if it gets lost or destroyed. It also allows you to resupply, while protecting your team from any environmental hazards."

To navigate across these planets' stunning, vast landscapes, players can use the Nomad all-terrain exploratory vehicle, which can be upgraded and customised. Exploring these worlds and completing specific tasks such as dealing with threats, allying with the locals and solving environmental problems will boost the planet's "viability."

This will allow players to build an outpost and upgrade the Nexus space station. As the Nexus continues to grow and expand, you will be able to wake up more colonists from cryo-sleep.

A massive network of ancient vaults is also spread out across the Andromeda galaxy.

"Simply figuring out how to access one of the vaults is a challenge in and of itself that can take you across an entire world," the narrator says. "Resolving the mystery of these vaults may just hold the key to survival in Andromeda."

Mass Effect: Andromeda is set to release on 21 March in North America and 23 March in Europe for PS4, Xbox One and PC.