Arts & CultureVideo Games

Gaming Week In Review: ‘Mass Effect’ trailer, Steam storefront revamp, ‘Rust’ xp system replaced

Mass Effect: Andromeda has released a new trailer for fans to start gleaning information about the game.

Since the climatic (or anti-climatic depending on who you ask) ending of the Mass Effect trilogy, fans have been wondering what’s in store for the popular sci-fi action-RPG. Over the last few years, we’ve been drip-fed details on the next game in the franchise, Mass Effect: Andromeda. This week, Bioware released a new trailer along with varying details on the new game.

What we know so far is that the game will have little connection to the original trilogy and instead finds the player taking the role of a Pathfinder, a sort of scout sent to far-off planets to find new locations suitable for human colonization. From the newest cinematic trailer, we can garner that things don’t quite go as planned; the protagonist finds himself hurtling through space, confronting new alien species and even encountering some old enemies.

The game will feature open-world gameplay focused on exploration, but still keep many of the core features of the Mass Effect franchise, such as dialogue trees, relationship building with crew members, story choices and cooperative multiplayer.

Mass Effect: Andromeda was delayed from its original release date from some time in Q4 of 2016 to sometime in Q1 of 2017, according to an announcement made last March.

You can watch the trailer here:

The front page of the Steam store has received a new revamp dedicated to improving “discoverability” for customers.

Valve is always looking for ways to sell more games, whether it be an onslaught of holiday sales or simply increasing the chances customers will find something they like. Over the last few days, Valce made some revamps to the front page of its store to help with the latter.

Starting from the left, the genre tabs are far more prominent with a variety of new search options, such as games friends are playing, recently updated games and upcoming games. In the center of the page is a section of featured and recommended suggestions, with everything from popular sales, new releases and games recommended based on your library and search history. Below that are the current sales and special offers, followed by a set of browsing options and then a list of the most popular Steam Curators. Below that you have the standard setup from before, with tabs for new releases, top sellers, upcoming releases and special offers.

The front page also features softer and brighter colors with an overall sleek, less cluttered design. Though it’s still just a gimmick to drive up sales, customers will be sure to appreciate the new ease access.


FacePunch removes experience and leveling system in Rust due to it being contradictory to the game’s goals.

Rust is a game that has been in a perpetual state of early access development for the last few years. Throughout that time, many features have come and go, but the latest of said features was a rudimentary experience and leveling system, similar to what one might find in other survival games like Ark: Survival Evolved. 

One of the biggest parts of the initial version of the crafting-based survival game was unlocking new recipes via in-game blueprints that could be collected from around the world, often hidden in crates, containers or the odd barrel, but more often looted from the bodies of fellow players who had already done the legwork.

But eventually, the development team decided it was too random of a system and one that awarded senseless violence, so instead they took the route of creating an experience and leveling system to replace it. According to the latest update notes on the game’s official development blog, this too was ineffective as there was little incentive for max player characters to keep playing.

To replace the newly created progression void, the team has rolled out its new “component system.” Instead of leveling up or gathering pieces of blueprints, players now have to find components that drop randomly throughout the world, which they can use to unlock their choice of newly craftable technology.

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Mathew Brock

Mathew Brock