Mass Effect Andromeda is just around the corner and EA was so kind to allow reviewers to sink their teeth into the game and give gamers a look at the game prior to the release.
As you will read, the impressions are, well, greatly varied. While almost all praise the combat, the amount of content, and visuals. On the other hand, they tend to criticize the game’s writing, a huge amount of bugs, and the overall weakly written companions.
You can play the game is subscribed to EA Access, and if not you’ll have to wait for tomorrow (if living in the US) or March 23 (if living in Europe). So, let’s see the impressions.
“Mass Effect Andromeda ultimately trades polish for ambition. It’s a big game crammed with data, lore and conversation that invites exploration, even though many of the features could do with some fine-tuning (or an overhaul). At its core, it gets that Mass Effect feeling right — weaving a compelling storyline around humanity’s place in the universe, then giving you the perfect ship full of misfits to take you through it.”
“The combat crackles and the worlds are lush, but mediocre writing and tepid quests add up to what is probably BioWare’s worst RPG yet.”
“It’s gripping stuff, and a reminder of the greatness of the Mass Effect trilogy – its intelligent reworkings of pulp sci-fi cliche, the taut splendour of its scenarios and aesthetic, the colour and dexterity of its writing. All that’s still in here somewhere, I think. But then you pop out the other end of the mission, back into Andromeda’s labyrinth of drudgery and obfuscation, and remember that you’re a long way from home.”
“In many ways, Andromeda feels like a vision half-fulfilled. It contains a dizzying amount of content, but the quality fluctuates wildly. Its worlds and combat shine, but its writing and missions falter–and the relative strength of the former is not enough to compensate for the inescapable weakness of the latter. As a Mass Effect game, Andromeda falls well short of the nuanced politics, morality, and storytelling of its predecessors. For me, the series has always been about compelling characters and harrowing choices, so to find such weak writing here is bitterly disappointing. Yet even after 65 hours, I still plan on completing a few more quests. The game can’t escape its shortcomings, but patient explorers can still find a few stars shining in the darkness.”
Mass Effect: Andromeda is an expansive action role-playing game with a few great moments that recapture the high points of the landmark trilogy that came before it, and energetic combat and fantastic sound effects contribute to a potent sci-fi atmosphere. Without consistently strong writing or a breakout star in its cast to carry it through the long hours and empty spaces, however, disappointments like a lack of new races, no companion customisation, and major performance problems and bugs take their toll.
With a little more focus, Andromeda could have been a great game. The premise of exploring a new frontier in space is exciting and original, and the cast of characters inhabiting this new world – be they the fresh races, or the people you’ve dragged with you from the Milky Way – are more interesting than not. Some of the worlds have a real beauty, and the main narrative itself is compelling enough to carry you happily to the end. But there’s too much quest padding. Too much technical jargon. Too much fighting for a game with a poor fighting system. Too many clever little animations and quest-steps in between the stuff that’s actually fun to do. Place the resulting experience next to infinitely more finessed open-world games like The Witcher 3, Horizon: Zero Dawn – or even the original trilogy – and Andromeda compares very poorly indeed. Not a disaster, but definitely not the fresh start this series needed, or the one fans have been waiting patiently for.
“After a number of complaints, it might seem odd to end on such a positive note. Let’s be clear: I’m conflicted about Mass Effect: Andromeda. There’s a lot of roughness throughout the game, and the technical issues, while not game-breaking, are often incredibly distracting.
“But it’s my time with the cast that I’m still thinking about, and the mysteries about the world that haven’t been answered that make me feel like I’m waiting once again for a new Mass Effect game. And if I’m judging a game by where it leaves me, Andromeda succeeds, even if it stumbled getting there.”
Rent or wait for a deep sale (on PC). ACG praises the combat and visuals, but he’s not so kind on the writing, the numerous bugs, and the overall funfactor. “Sure, it can offer 60 hours (of content) but I can flip my nuts for 60 hours but that doesn’t mean I want to.”