The new Mass Effect game by BioWare and EA Games is out now. It’s called Mass Effect: Andromeda and raised a lot of controversies and bad reactions even before it was released.
For everybody who’s looking for just an honest opinion of someone, who has actually played the game, I have written this review. This article contains no spoilers on the story.
Words from Aaryn Flynn
“We’re very happy to welcome the fans back to the Mass Effect universe,” said Aaryn Flynn, VP, and GM of BioWare. “The team’s vision for this epic new chapter was to take what our fans love about Mass Effect – great characters and combat – and add more emphasis on exploration while telling a different type of story. We’re following a group of characters who are just starting their heroic journey, and we can’t wait for our fans to discover more about them and this new galaxy.”
What is Mass Effect: Andromeda not?
First up, I’d like to clean up some bad expectations and let you know about everything that Mass Effect: Andromeda is not.
This game is not another part of the previous Mass Effect trilogy. The story of the past games is not continued. There are references, but this is an entirely new game.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is not a better version of No Man’s Sky. The concept of exploring space and planets is certainly a similarity, but in this game, we only have a few planets to explore. Whether you’re a fan of No Man’s Sky or not, there was a vast amount of places to discover.
Both of these facts are only put out there to manage expectations. It is how it is, and that’s okay.
What’s the game like now? Truly?
The feeling of playing Mass Effect: Andromeda is quite familiar. It feels a bit like coming back to a well-known neighborhood. The races you know from earlier Mass Effect games, the references to locations that you still remember, the whole feeling of the game is quite positive. I’m a veteran of Mass Effect, but I am confident that even if you never played a Mass Effect title before, you’ll quickly grow to like it.
Mass Effect: Andromeda has everything that you loved about the previous games with more options to play the game. A bit like if someone added s sandbox mode into what you already like, to extend the fun and playtime without the feeling of stretching it out with trivial repetitive tasks.
Starting the game
At the first start, you create your own character or pick one of the pre-made ones. Even though Mass Effect: Andromeda should be an advocate for diversity, it’s only possible to play as an either female or male human, but not as another species in the story mode. In multiplayer mode you can also play as non-human characters though.
The introduction into the game is quite long and takes a few hours if you’re not rushing through. They take their time to teach you all the buttons and functions while they bring you through the beginning of the story. The story tries to put stress and a sense of urgency on you at this part of the game. I suggest you explore as much as you can at the beginning. You never know if you’ll be able to return to the start area or not. You’re an explorer in this game after all.
Combat and exploration
Combat is a lot of fun. The AI works well, and the selectable difficulty levels make sense. If you have a strong background in more or less round-based RPG, you might be missing a convenient way to pause the game and get an overview of where all your enemies and your allies are on the field and what you should order them to do. Mass Effect: Andromeda is a bit more action driven, and that’s ok.
Exploring planets is great fun, and you can use a ground vehicle as well for long distance travel on a planet. Hit the cruise mode and go fast or go for the off-road mode and get an advantage in “uneven” areas. It’s not a weird feeling to drive like with other games that might not have a focus on driving vehicles. The feeling is not off, it’s actually great fun.
What’s the deal with the animation complaints?
In plain English: The animations in this game are sometimes off. That sometimes happens during movements of characters, and it happens a little more often with facial expressions and characters trying to express emotions. This is mostly not a problem, but it might disturb some people in scripted scenes. If you’re seriously immersed into the game, this might throw you off. Personally, I found it very funny to see, and it’s sometimes creepy, but I am neither concerned nor bothered about it.
I don’t mind it being like that, but I expected more from the developers and the publisher. It’s not an Indie title. We are talking about a major release. People complained about that in early testing and still in late testing phases. I don’t know if they could improve it since the first people complained about that, but I just expected these people and these companies to do better.
If you can forgive animations that aren’t always perfect, Mass Effect: Andromeda is a solid investment to exchange some money for premium gaming entertainment. The game offers a great story that pulls you in right from the start it offers many hours of fun exploration of planets and space.
On top of that comes the really well implemented multiplayer mode that enriches the single player mode and doesn’t try to do something funny to offer a gaming experience that just doesn’t fit. If you’re into the strike team missions and everything it involves, you can also download the companion app on your smartphone to make sure your teams are never sitting around idle.
I’m having a lot of fun with this game. What about you? Are you already playing? Thinking about buying it? Share your thoughts below!
YouTube: MASS EFFECT™: ANDROMEDA – Official Launch Trailer
Photo credit: Electronic Arts / BioWare
Source: Jino Talens (EA)