Mass Effect Andromeda is finally here… and it’s received a mixed reception from just about everyone and for good reason. It’s not as good as the three games that came before it, but it’s also not as bad as everyone made it sound either…
I’m a huge Mass Effect fan. The first three games in the series are my favorite games of all time. We have never had a game, or pair of games, that told a story so well. Bioware had huge shoes to fill with this new game and it doesn’t surprise me at all that it, so far, hasn’t delivered to our expectations. Mass Effect 1-3 are all storytelling masterpieces and trying to outdo that isn’t easy. Especially when you consider that the people that worked on those games are no longer with the company. Think of Bioware like you would Bungie. The creative minds behind Halo are no longer making Halo games, but Halo is still around and trying to find it’s identity again. That is what this new Mass Effect game is to me.
The beginning of this game is a drag and will test the most hardcore Mass Effect fan. It doesn’t do a good job of hooking us right away, but it did have some brief moments. Even though I didn’t know my dad I thought it was awesome that he did what he did was awesome for my character. I have mixed feelings on the game so far, but I am enjoying it. What I do like about the game is the gameplay. It’s the best it’s ever been in the series, but also lacked the tactical feeling that previous games had. I can’t issue my squad members commands anymore like I could in previous games. This is a step in the wrong direction to me because I like telling my partners when to use their skills and on what enemy to use them on. Setting up combos is harder because of this. Another thing I really like is Ryder. I originally didn’t like Ryder very much, but I actually like how inexperienced he/she is. Ryder isn’t a badass like Shepard or their own father. They’re new to everything that’s happening around them and their dialogue reflects this.
The story is… a little underwhelming so far, but I am genuinely interested on finding out why the hell the kett want us dead before we could even say hello and introduce ourselves. I expect this to be explained, but it would have been nice to at least have some dialogue between our two species before a fire fight happened.
Here’s what I don’t like about the game.
My squad members are about as generic as they come right now. In Mass Effect 1 I immediately liked both Kaidan, and Ashley, but in this game I just don’t care about the two squad members that I have right now. They don’t have any life to them at all. Their voice actors aren’t very good and they don’t deliver their lines with any kind of emotion. You shouldn’t sound so calm during combat.
Another thing I don’t like is the lack of cutscenes. Dragon Age Inquisition had this problem too. There are still plenty of the classic Bioware cutscenes in the game so far, but I don’t like how they only appear for certain npcs.
It feels like Bioware had their B team develop this game while their A team did Dragon Age Inquisition. I’m only 4 hours in and I haven’t even set foot on my first planet outside of the prologue yet so I expect this to change, but I’m not used to having to wait for a Mass Effect game to get awesome. They all started off that way from the moment I started them. In the beginning of Mass Effect 2 we saw Shepard die. And part 3 we saw the Reapers invade Earth and wipe everything out. Andromeda’s beginning pales in comparison to any of that. What we have here actually reminds me of the first Mass Effect game and that’s not a bad thing. I’m still being introduced to this new world that this new Bioware team has built, but for now I’m enjoying myself. I’m not in love with the game, sadly, but hopefully I will be by the time I finish it.
The only thing I’ll write about the animations is that this entire situation about them was blown way out of proportion. Are they dated? Yes, but are they the worst animations ever? No.
What do you think of Mass Effect: Andromeda?