Mass Effect Andromeda - Final Thoughts
The mass effect game series is one of the best trilogies of all time. It’s a playable space opera that allows you to fill the shoes and choose the path of Shepard, the hero of the Milky Way. It’s a fan favorite series that offers hundreds of hours of game play, awesome characters, Memorable battles, and a story about the survival of humanity and it’s alien neighbors and allies. The third game came out in 2012 and since then fans have been wondering what was next for the franchise. How can they continue the story after the epic finale of the third game (no spoilers but if you haven’t played this yet get on it?) In 2015 Bioware dropped the first announcement trailer at E3 for Mass Effect Andromeda. In the months that followed fans got a taste of the new galaxy that they would be able to explore. This is when the hype train took over and the countdown to the release date began.
Here’s a basic rundown of the story: Mass Effect: Andromeda begins in 2185, between the events of the second and third games in the original trilogy. The four Citadel Council races and the Quarians are planning to populate new home worlds in the Andromeda Galaxy as part of a strategy called the Andromeda Initiative. Each race sends 20,000 citizens on a one-way, 600-year journey to Andromeda aboard their own transportation vessel, called an Ark, and selects a leader, known as a Pathfinder. Once the races arrive, they help build the Nexus, a huge space station that serves as a center of government and diplomacy, a living area, as well as a base of operations for the Pathfinders. The protagonist of Mass Effect: Andromeda is, depending on player choice, either Scott or Sara Ryder (voiced by Tom Taylorson or Fryda Wolff, respectively). Both Ryder twins are inexperienced recruits who remain a part of the game's plot even if they are not selected as the main character. Their father, Alec Ryder (Clancy Brown), is humanity's Pathfinder, tasked with finding a new home for the species.
March 21st 2017, Mass Effect Andromeda was released to the public. I myself got the Deluxe edition and couldn’t wait to check it out. Right off the bat I could tell there were a few things that seemed a little off. Cinematics didn’t look that clean, textures wouldn’t load, frame rates would drop, and the glitches… oh the glitches. Within the first week of the games release it quickly became a social meme because of how awful the character models were done. The eyes are usually stationery and lifeless and the character movements seem buggy and unfinished. There were many other issues and the gaming community is still hoping for fixes for all of them. There were a few patches within the first few months that addressed many of these but the overall feeling from critics and fans alike was that the game was released broken and unfinished. Spend 30 minutes on youtube and you can find tons of compilation videos from gamers who have recorded and shared their experiences with these bugs. I posted one above from the Gamranx channel. Apart from bugs and glitches the game was panned for bad writing and lack-luster quests and story lines. In many of the games emotional and pivotal cut scenes the dialogue seems out of place, inhuman or just weird.
So, how was my experience with the game? After finishing my first run through the main game and spending some time with the multi player I’d say it’s a mixed bag. I enjoyed playing the game however I found my self skipping a lot of the dialogue and laughing through many of the cut scenes. I felt obligated but not entertained by most of the side quests and the new galaxy of Andromeda didn’t seem to offer too many new concepts. The main villain and the race of aliens you clash with seem like a million other bad guys you’ve faced before at times feeling all too similar to the collectors in the original series. The Angara, which is the local race you team up with, just feels like another Milky Way group and not too creative.
At the end of the game I was excited that I had finished it but not enthused about how it concluded. The ending was uplifting and hopeful but I don’t see myself playing it again. I have thoroughly been enjoying the multi player with my friends but I wouldn't say It’s any better than games like Battlefield or Destiny and worth the cost just for that feature. I’d say if you’re a fan of the originals it’s worth a play through although that opinion seems mixed where many gamers say it ruins the legacy of the original trilogy. Wait a few months for more patches and features to be added and then pick it up when it’s on sale. It’s a great exploration game with some good moments, fun combat, and lots, and lots, of errands to run. Save often and keep Cortana or your Share button at the ready for when those glitches happen.