Mass Effect Andromeda throws a massive challenge at you, and we're not talking about that boss fight.
After following Mass Effect Andromeda's critical mission path for long enough to clear the radiation on Eos, you can wander back to the starting planet to pick up a stack of side quests withut fear of being fried to a crisp by radiation.
The most notable quest on Eos is Making an Impression, which not only presents you with a decision point but introduces a new kind of enemy for a boss confrontation.
This quest has you investigating unusual seismic activity on behalf of the new settlers of the Andromeda Initiative. Head to the settlement of Prodromos to collect the quest from some of your colonist scientists, then follow your waypoint to a location in the Sawtooth Plateau. Place your seismic hammer and battle the Remnant it attracts.
This is the pattern for a little while, so with one hammer placed, head southwest to the next waypoint location to drop the second one. Again, you'll have to battle a bunch of Remnant. So far so good, right?
Water or Gas? Making an Impression's big story choice
As you head for the third waypoint you should spot a tent and some camping gear, and Ryder or a squad mate will comment on it. The objective changes to "investigate the strangers".
Unfortunately this bit of the game is bugged, and the NPCs don't always appear. If there's nobody at the waypoint, fast travel away and then drive back, which should make them respawn. If necessary, leave Eos altogether and come back to the surface; that should make them show up. Reloading a save sometimes helps, too.
After speaking to the strangers, you'll see there are now two waypoints right next to each other amongst some Remnant ruins. You have a choice here:
- Place the drill to mine gas, which you can trade to the exiles for water, while harming the environment.
- Drill for water and potentially destroy the exile settlement downstream.
The good news is: this choice doesn't matter at all. Absolutely nothing seems to change in the game no matter what you do. The choice might be saved for a sequel or DLC, however, so keep that in mind; it seems weird that we find out there's a whole other settlement on Eos we've never heard of, or hear of again, right?
In either case, head to the next waypoint, but be ready for a big fight before you drop the fifth seismic hammer. Make sure you have a mid to long range weapon with you if you normally use a shotgun or melee. You can change your loadout at the nearby forward station (and you can use it to replenish your shields if things get nasty in a moment).
Architect boss battle: tips for killing the giant remnant
This big three-legged thing is called an Architect, and it is here to teach you two valuable lessons. One, Mass Effect Andromeda is not a cover shooter. Two, you probably should buy every Cobra RPG consumable you see, as they speed up these battles considerably.
Once you know what you're doing, this battle isn't difficult - just tiresome, because the Architect is a bullet sponge. Assuming you want to 100% Andromeda, you'll need to fight about half a dozen of these guys, so we'd better talk about how to do it.
The Architect has three major attacks:
- The first attack is a standard automatic gun which fires a brief but powerful barrage at you. The projectiles don't penetrate cover, but they're so slow moving that you can avoid them just by using your jumpjets to strafe around the Architect. That means you can keep firing the whole time; don't bother hunkering down behind cover.
- The second attack is a small cluster of bombs, which detonate after a short fuse tick down. The Architect can easily lob these behind cover, so hiding won't help you here, either.
- The third attack is a huge beam of energy that hits hard and leaves a briefly persistent area of effect on the ground. This attack penetrates cover so your only escape is to get out of the way. Before the beam fires, its area of effect is lit up in a red glow.
Architect battles loop through multiple phases:
The Architect may fire at you but cannot be harmed in any way. Usually only occurs just after moving or at the start of a battle.
- Leg conductors exposed
Vents open on the Architect's legs. Shoot them.
- Head conductors exposed
After you do enough damage to an Architect's legs, it opens its mouth. Shoot it in the mouth.
- Add phase
After enough damage or time passes in a leg or head phase, the Architect will lean over and appear to vomit. It cannot be damaged during this phase. This summons Remnant adds. You must clear all the adds, while dodging the Architect's continued attacks, before another damage phase will commence.
After you destroy a leg, or perhaps when the total Architect damage reaches a certain threshold, it will move. It doesn't go very far. Follow it, but also use the time to restock your ammo if there are crates handy.
Once the Architect's legs and head conductors have been destroyed, it falls to the ground. Ryder must rush up and interface with it to end the battle for good.
The easiest way we found to battle the Architect was just to fire at it with an assault rifle while bouncing from left to right and back again, shooting off damaging powers when possible. This allows you to dodge its attacks with ease, and when the mouth opens, you can lob in a cobra RPG to quickly end that phase. Defeat the adds as soon as possible; their tendency to distract you from dodging the Architect's attacks are the real danger in the battle.
Vanguards should be careful about using Biotic Charge on the Architect to set off combos; while it's safe enough on the legs if you're quick at getting back into cover, going for the mouth is a poor idea; you can end up smacked with a massive attack in mid-air.
After you win, scan the architect's body for research data, loot the reward chest nearby, and don't forget to check in on it in orbit next time you visit the planet via the Galaxy Map. You can nab the research points on the Galaxy Map if you miss them the first time, too.
To complete Making an Impression, return to Prodromos and hand in the quest. Keep an eye out for Architects on other landable planets; there's one in each of the major locations, as well as - well, that would be spoiling.