|This article is about the combat mechanics of Mass Effect Galaxy. For other uses, see Combat (disambiguation).|
Mass Effect Galaxy is a top-down shooter where the player assumes the role of former Alliance soldier Jacob Taylor. The main character is equipped with an assault rifle as well as a small variety of biotic and tech powers.
Mass Effect Galaxy controls
All controls of the game, including aiming, power selection and movement, are specifically designed for touch-screen devices. Movement is directed by the iOS device's accelerometer: the player maneuvers the character in the combat zones by tilting the device. The accelerometer automatically recalibrates at the beginning of each combat zone.
In order to give commands to Jacob, the player has the ability to pause the action via the power wheel on the left side of the screen. Resuming combat also recalibrates the accelerometer.
Each combat zone is a single-screen maze filled with several adversaries. During the missions, the player moves from one combat zone to another by eliminating every enemy he encounters.
The Heads Up Display, or HUD, shows all the vital information needed during combat. The HUD shows your player character with a green reticle while enemies are surrounded by a red reticule. A similar but thinner red reticule surround breakable objects like crate or tank canister. When you lock an enemy or an object, a red triangle targeting reticule will appear on the locked-on enemy. When a combat zone is over, a green reticule will move to the door leading to the next map.
The left side of the screen displays the "power wheel" which is transformed into the "dialogue wheel" during the conversations. Tap on the icons placed on the wheel to use its functionality.
Weapons and abilities
Weapon & Aiming
Jacob Taylor is equipped with a single Assault Rifle, the M-8 Avenger, and is not able to change his weapon nor to perform a melee attack. Unlike the classic assault rifle in the Mass Effect series, Jacob can fire his gun as much as he wants. In fact, this particular weapon has no thermal clip and never overheats.
The game will automatically lock on enemies for you but you can break a lock or select a new one by tapping an enemy on the screen. When a foe is locked, a red triangle reticule will appear on him. Stronger enemies have thicker red targeting reticule while weaker enemies have thinner ones. If an enemy is locked the game will automatically shoot at him when he is in sight. You will have to move your character in order to get a proper angle to shoot at your adversaries. In fact the player cannot aim by himself except by selecting the locked enemy.
As for the adversaries, tap on a crate to lock them and automatically fire at it. The crates and other objects can either be destroyed or exploded.
- Main article: Abilities (Mass Effect Galaxy)
The HUD displays a wheel on the right side of the screen in order to select and use your powers. You can tap on this Powers wheel in order to launch one of your abilities. During the game, each of those power can evolve after a main mission. The icons on the power wheel can appear in three different colors :
- Blue : There is no enemy in range and the power cannot be used.
- Orange : The power is available and an adversary is in range.
- Grey : The power is in cooldown and the wheel will also show the time needed to reuse this ability.
The power wheel will also permit you to pause the game. Doing so will automatically recalibrate your iOS device's accelerometer when you un-pause the combat.
Unlike other Mass Effect games of the series, the player is not able to get into cover to safely fire at his enemies. In Mass Effect Galaxy the enemies will fire at you when you are in range and there is no way to avoid that. However, you can quickly move out of the zone to avoid bullets before they reach your character.
In term of cover, you only can stay hidden behind a wall to avoid any damage. By acting like that you can easily stay in a safe position to replenish your shields or to reload your powers. However be advised that the crates surrounded by a red reticule can be destroyed by enemy fire and that enemies will often try to flank you when you stay behind a wall.
Health and Shields
The protection of the player incarnated by Jacob Taylor is compound of health and shields. These two elements are displayed on the screen via two bars, the red one for your health bar and the blue one for your shields. While your shield blue bar will automatically replenish after a short time, your health red bar will not. It is also possible to use the pick-ups lying on the floor to recharge your health bar or to replenish faster your shields.
When Jacob's shields are damaged, a blue sphere will appear to show that he is protected by its shields. When the health bar is depleted, the game is over and the player will have to restart at the beginning of the combat level.
All enemies are protected by health and shields also represented on the screen via two bars, the red one for the health and the blue one for the shields. Shields of enemies will automatically replenish after 1.5 second while their health bar will not. When their shields are hit, a blue sphere will appear around them to show that they are protected by theirs shields.
It is possible for Jacob to destroy the enemy shield entirely by the use of his tech power, shield overload. Note that unlike Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, your biotic power is effective even if the target is protected by shields.