Mass Effect: Andromeda's reviews are out, and while it's by no stretch a bad game, it's not the inspired action RPG that many fans may have been hoping for. We pointed out plenty of flaws in our hands on impressions piece – a full review will follow here on Push Square in due time – and it seems we aren't alone with our thoughts. Considering the series' history as a critical darling, these reviews (while not awful) are undeniably disappointing.
Push Square - Review Score Pending
There's clear evidence of a great Mass Effect title here: the much improved punchy combat, the intriguing alien worlds, the addictive process of unlocking cool new abilities for Ryder, and, of course, the tension that comes with making tough story decisions. Right now, we just need to see all of this good stuff shine through the game's disappointing exterior.
IGN - 7.7/10
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 customization, and major performance problems and bugs take their toll.
Polygon - 7.5/10
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.
Destructoid - 6.5/10
Mass Effect: Andromeda spends a lot of time not really feeling like a Mass Effect game. If anything, it feels like a spin-off -- the sort of thing created by another studio that's unsure about what direction to take it. Like in the game itself, there are problems with the atmosphere. But Andromeda is very clear that it doesn't aim to be like the other Mass Effects. New beginnings, not funerals -- for better and for worse.
GameSpot - 6/10
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.
USgamer - 3/5
Mass Effect Andromeda falls short of its predecessors, but it's still a competently executed open-world action RPG with an interesting world and tons of quests to complete. Its biggest shame is that it doesn't make better use of its setting, opting instead to go with more of the same. Hopefully BioWare will be more ambitious when it comes time for the inevitable sequel.
Eurogamer.net - No Score
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.
Have these reviews put you off BioWare's latest space opera, or will you be going into Mass Effect: Andromeda with your eyes open? Drop some awkward dialogue in the comments section below.