The Mass Effect series returns with its latest title, Mass Effect Andromeda. It has separated itself from the Shepherd trilogy and whilst it does take place in the same universe and there is the occasional reminder of previous games, new players won’t feel lost as it doesn’t intertwine with the original story in any meaningful way.
Let’s start with what this game has become about. Its character animations. To say they are derpy is an understatement and to put it bluntly, they aren’t good enough for a game of this sheer size and budget. Other than the characters however, the rest of the galaxy is visually stunning. The scenes between planet scans are pleasing enough on the eye for anyone and the individual planets themselves, while often vastly empty, feel alive and as planets should feel.
Another small gripe that I have is that it takes place in a different galaxy, yet there are only 2 new species of aliens. I thought they should have added more to be completely honest. Especially as they were trying their hardest to separate it from the previous Mass Effect games.
Mass Effect starts to regain a little credibility with its gameplay. Player movement is massively improved from previous games thanks to the introduction of Ryder’s small jetpack bursts. The movement feels a lot more fluid and well thought out than it previously has. I was a little hesitant about the auto-cover system but I haven’t had any real issues with it despite the many hours I’ve already put into the game.
As with all Mass Effect games, players do get a lot of options throughout the course of the game. However, unlike the older games it often feels like your choices are either one bad thing or another. No matter which option you take there will always be dire consequences but I guess that might be what interacting with alien life is like.
When the first reveal trailers and gameplay videos were released my expectations rose. However, in the week leading up to its release, my expectations fell drastically. This was due to all the videos around terrible animations and lots of reviews trashing the game but personally I think this helped the game. Going into it with low expectations meant that I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. There will be a lot of people trashing the game and saying it is a stain on the Mass Effect legacy but I say that’s where they’re wrong. Bioware have tried to separate it from the trilogy so it’s only fair to go into it imagining that it’s original content. If you can do that then you will enjoy it as it is a thoroughly enjoyable experience.