For many, Mass Effect: Andromeda was and still is a bitter disappointment. The title launched back near the end of March, and it was met with largely lukewarm reviews and an absolute thrashing from gamers across the internet. Almost three months later and it's barely being talked about anymore. To put it bluntly, Andromeda has been nothing short of a disaster - but how did it actually end up like this? In a revealing report on the game's development, Kotaku sheds light on what went wrong - and boy, did a lot go wrong.
Speaking to members of BioWare's development team who wish to remain anonymous, the publication breaks down Andromeda's seriously troubled production cycle. One of the key points here is that the project went through numerous drastic overhauls before it was shaped into the game that we know today. Initially, the release had a lot in common with No Man's Sky - before No Man's Sky had even been announced. Procedurally generated planets and full space exploration were in the works, but according to the report, BioWare just couldn't find a way to make its gameplay systems "fun". It sounds like the studio couldn't quite squeeze an engaging narrative into the procedurally generated galaxy, either.
Supposedly, it took way too long for the developer to get a grip on the project. What's more, it really struggled with the Frostbite engine at times - an issue that was compounded by a lack of resources and understaffed teams. Basically, just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong, and the Andromeda that eventually shipped was slapped together within a relatively short space of time.
The report makes it seem like the project was never able to find stable ground, and we can certainly believe that based on our experiences with the finished release. It feels awkwardly glued together in places, and it definitely doesn't boast the kind of polish that you'd expect of a AAA title. We imagine that going through all of this must have been an absolute nightmare for many at BioWare Montreal.
Does any of this come as a surprise to you? What are your thoughts on Andromeda after reading the report? Ponder the future of Mass Effect in the comments section below.