Early on the year I wrote an article called Mass Effect Andromeda Hype, as a big fan of the original trilogy I was eagerly anticipating this game. After seeing initial reviews and fans feedback from early release access. My anticipation turned to disappointment before I had even started the game. It’s been a few weeks since then, and after playing through the game in all its glitchy and buggy glory, I can safely say the game is STILL worth playing, if you are big Mass Effect fan.
You always hype up things, and they turn out to be bad!
I will get the obvious thing out of the way first, yes the animations in this game are terrible, certain characters look creepy and the way they interact with one another especially during conversations is awkward to say the least. I will admit for a game like this, when you have these un sightly views when interacting with NPCs it can be very off putting, and it can be hard to really take the characters and the conversations you are having with them seriously. It also doesn’t help if the voice acting isn’t that great either, there are a number of stale characters in this game and some of the things they say. Makes you think were the writers making fun of the games bugs and poor animations? because it sure as hell felt like it at times.
Having said that though, there are a few gems in this new crew.Your new Asari and Krogan friend are actually fun to interact with and have interesting back story’s and also the new alien race you meet, for me personally are a nice addition to the Mass Effect universe. Furthermore you get the return of “Loyalty Missions” from Mass Effect 2, and they are up there with some of the best side quests in any RPG.
Many cite the disappointment of the story, saying it did not feel as epic as the original trilogy and you never get that sense of urgency with the plot either. But I never actually expected it to, how do you get a story more grander than the Reapers trying to wipe out all organic life in the universe?
Thats why I appreciated the new direction they took, and also conveniently finding a way to avoid the ending of number 3. There is an intriguing dynamic travelling to a whole new universe exploring new planets and finding safe habitable places to colonise.
I will admit though, that the enemies you face are bland and the whole ancient civilisation thing really didn’t need to be done over AGAIN. Furthermore could have definitely done with more new alien species. But the conclusion of this story does set itself nicely for a sequel and there is a lot of potential here in the Andromeda galaxy.
Still the story felt a bit flat, but the premise was interesting enough to keep me engaged!
Traveling around in these open worlds is also a lot fun, thanks a lot to the Nomad. Which you can upgrade and even give paint jobs too.
Finding side quests is easy and even though the whole ancient civilisation remnants isn’t that interesting. Their dungeons are fun to explore and you get that whole Path finder vibe from exploring these planets. Furthermore you have reasons to return to the planets to increase its habitability.
There are some nice change of pace with the use of Sudoku & platforming puzzles
The combat overall is an improvement, I was initially annoyed that I couldn’t fully control my squad mates or combine attacks with them. But the AI is very smart here, they are great in combat and their attacks actually make a difference on the field and they use their abilities well. Bioware decided to do away with the class system, which consequently gives you the chance to try out numerous abilities and even experiment with them. Its actually a lot of fun, when you combine your attacks and when you come across a neat combination it makes for some consequences for your foes and visually pleasing too.
You spend a less time in cover and dynamically moving around the battlefield, Ryder is a lot more nimble than Shepard and lets you really flex your muscles with his suit.
The combat and armour inventory of this game is also deep, very very deep. You research new equipment coming from different galaxies and species. Which you can then develop and attach attachments to make them more effective in combat. It makes up for the poor character customisation in the game and you can really make your pathfinder look they you want them to be and play them the way you want them to be.
One gripe I do have though, if you want to improve your new weapons you have to research them also, it would have made more sense to have the upgrades solely on the development side.
So yes, overall there is still a lot in this game for fans to sink into. I’m still not going to deny the overall disappointment, because I know the quality of games Bioware can create for this franchise. But I still had a good time playing it, I loved exploring different planets and experimenting in combat. There are a few new characters who are now on my list of favourites and honestly I am looking forward to a sequel. I just hope this time, bioware take proper care this time, make sure the game is ready to play on release. Hopefully they will also bring higher quality of writers as well as voice actors so we immerse ourself in the story as well, as this is what makes Mass Effect great.
Final note, Bioware have released a patch that do improve the poor animations. Not entirely but still an improvement!