This is a review of the latest offering by Bioware namely Mass Effect: Andromeda, a game that has such a bad stigma at its current launch period. Is it all as bad as people have made out to be or is there any good within this latest Mass Effect title?
Mass Effect: Andromeda, making an impression, has developed a love-hate relationship with its fans. There are people who have complained about a lot of stuff in the game and called it a flawed Mass Effect while there are some who have absolutely fallen in love with the new installment. This game, in fact, serves as something gaming fans will discuss as to what went right and what went wrong in the future.
After spending 37+ hours with this game- the main story complete, many of the side missions done and dedicating 5 hours in the multiplayer, I can agree that there are a hell lot of mistakes and glitches. And they are not just related to the graphics or sound problem alone but are collectively present in different sections of the game.
So, without wasting any further time beating around the bush, let’s dive in.
Mass Effect: Andromeda Review
The game starts with new player characters- Scott and Sara Ryder are twins in their mid-20s. You inherit the title of Pathfinder from your father, Alec Ryder, who was given the responsibility to find planets suitable for colonization after a series of unfortunate disasters.
As the need of the hour, the responsibility is now on your shoulder to lead the Ark filled with human Interspace Explorers. After arriving at the Nexus (Andromeda’s version of Citadel), you find out that the three other Arks have gone missing and the Nexus which arrived before Ark, has suffered terrible setbacks such as food shortage and growing tensions leading to Civil War.
Now here’s the trick- What follows are a series of situations which puts Ryder in an uncomfortable position of power. The story requires you to handle the situations and put the Nexus back in order, growing your authority as an able leader.
Many people who might or might not have played this game yet, would criticize this whole drama of “you are the chosen one” too clichéd and that the story writers could have tried harder.
On the other hand, I had a conversation with some of my close friends and game bloggers who suggested that while it all did look like a cliché, they actually felt a sense of connection and accomplishment after completing some of the objectives.
Personally, during my gaming session, I was swinging between the “too cliché” and “accomplishment” positions, but at the end, it all felt too much and unnecessary.
Mass’ Effect: Andromeda actually has two set of main stories- One where Ryder leads a team in search of habitable planets and new alien races. The second and central story revolves around an evil alien race and their narcissist leader who pose as a greater threat than anything else in the game.
The problem here is that while both the stories might seem compelling at some point, the plot is too predictable and suffers a major blow from a delivery point of view.
Talking about the characters and characterization- I was highly disappointed. All the characters during conversations (including Ryder) felt mere puppets trying to lip-sync the background dialogues. With the lack of emotions from any of the characters even during the love-making scenes, I didn’t feel connected with any of them, though I must admit that Cora looked mind-blowing and PeeBee’s humor at some point was ‘good’.
The conversations with each player felt like a waste of time and I wished if I could skip it. All the dialogue choices were somewhat limited and irrespective of what option you chose, the end consequence didn’t seem to be greatly affected.
While Mass Effect’s plot and characterization were massive disappointments, its technical department wasn’t any good either. I faced several graphic glitches and audio inconsistencies during combats. Continuing the above point of characterization, the facial expressions or rather the lack of facial expression was a setback.
The combat sequence was very fulfilling and exciting to engage in. The shooting mechanism felt strong and decisive and I could do much more than just hiding and ducking behind covers in the earlier trilogy. The game progression lets you unlock several cool assault packs to play with and you can also shuffle your load out while in combat. And when it comes to fighting combats along with my teammates, they were useless. With only two commands at my disposal and lack of ways to equip them, I was pretty much fighting the combats alone.
Go far from combats and shooting through the Andromeda Galaxy- Bioware struck the right cord of exploring the galaxy and the new planets. With each planet having a new biodiversity and rich colors, it was refreshing to visit new planets. But what really got me was that many of the missions on these planets felt too long and repetitive. The biggest problem with all this was that after traveling several light years into a new galaxy, we only met two new alien species and of those two, only one joins our team.
The multiplayer was the most amazing part of the game. That was one part which I played again and again with.
So, concluding my utterly long review, I would say that Mass Effect: Andromeda missed a great opportunity, making an impression on fans. While traveling across the galaxy was an astounding experience, the combat and multiplayer portions felt highly engaging making me forget about the story part, Mass Effect’s characterization and side quests were a big letdown.
But this doesn’t mean you should stay away from Mass Effect: Andromeda. The fact is this game requires a level of patience that could forgive or neglect all the flaws in the game and enjoy the all-round package, i.e. Mass Effect: Andromeda.