About half an hour into our Mass Effect: Andromeda playthrough, squadmate and cocky Londoner Liam snapped into a t-pose – arms in the air as if he was being crucified – and refused to come out of it until we reloaded our game. We had heard that BioWare's latest was buggy, but we couldn't have imagined just how buggy it actually is. To be frank, the sci-fi release is currently a bit of mess on PlayStation 4.
Andromeda doesn't make the greatest of first impressions. A far cry from Mass Effect 2's harrowing opening in which Commander Shepard is unapologetically killed and then rebuilt in a suspicious laboratory, the first hour or so of this new entry sees you crash land on the surface of an alien world as the game dishes out brief tutorials on its mechanics and systems. It also has you make first contact with an entirely new intergalactic race known as the kett – and this encounter immediately sets a somewhat disappointing tone. There are no weighty dialogue choices here – right off the bat, it's shoot them before they shoot you.
By and large, it feels like the subtlety of past Mass Effect games has been lost. Shepard's trilogy had an underlying grittiness to it that kept it grounded, despite the fact that much of it was cheesy as heck. Andromeda, meanwhile, wears its cheesiness on its sleeve like a badge of pride. Terrible one-liners are abundant, as if someone sat down with the script and decided that they needed to add an offhand joke after every second line of dialogue. It's no longer about a bunch of space soldiers hellbent on saving the galaxy – it's about a plucky team of explorers who gleefully exclaim "speedbump!" when they drive over an enemy. It's Mass Effect for all the family.
But then, Andromeda is very much a fresh start from a mostly new studio, so you can forgive its crystal clear desire to differentiate itself from its predecessors. As its name suggests, the game takes place in the Andromeda galaxy, where the Reaper threat doesn't exist and we can just pretend like the original trilogy never happened. Conveniently waking up from cryosleep 624 years after leaving the Milky Way, you assume the role of Ryder, who's quickly tasked with finding humanity a new home in this uncharted stretch of space. Much like Shepard, Ryder can be male or female, and you're free to customise his or her face and hair. Unfortunately, the character creation system is a bitter disappointment. The presets available to you all look like dodgy waxworks; there are hardly any interesting options to tinker with, and it takes a good chunk of time to sculpt a mug that looks remotely attractive.
Even if you do manage to create a passable Ryder, Andromeda does its best to make him or her look like a freak right from the very first cutscene. Facial animations, particularly of the human variety, are embarrassingly bad – and that's not ideal when the act of engaging in conversation is a fundamental part of the game. Everyone looks like they have to make an effort to blink, eyes shift from side to side in a creepily unrealistic way, and mouths flap and pucker like they're constantly trying to escape. We daresay that you eventually get used to it, but when you're not even in the same league as the janky Dragon Age: Inquisition or the rubbery Fallout 4, you know something's gone horribly wrong.
The bottom line is that Mass Effect: Andromeda is an easy target: you could play this game for hours and pick out nothing but flaws with a suitably cynical eye. With that in mind, we could quite easily spend this whole review tearing the game to shreds – but our predicament is that underneath all of the crap, there's a genuinely good Mass Effect title here. It may have a different tone and its writing certainly isn't as strong as it should be, but despite its obvious flaws, Andromeda gets a lot of things right.
Let's start with the characters. A key component of any BioWare game, the cast has to carry the experience – at least to some extent. Their tales are the reason you return to your ship after a long day of shooting aliens, and as you progress, you gradually learn more and more about what makes your crew tick. Initially, those aboard the Tempest – your slick spaceship and de facto hub area - come off as either bland or one dimensional. However, as things start to pick up pace and you unlock more conversations with them, your ragtag group of allies do begin to blossom. We're not quite sure any of them measure up to the likes of Garrus or Wrex, but they're an endearing bunch – you just need to make sure that you lend them an ear or two.
Of course, your buddies are also keen to prove their worth on the battlefield, and perhaps surprisingly, this is actually an area where Andromeda shines. Combat is light years ahead of the clunky cover-based shooting that the trilogy offered. Guns have way more punch to them, and the sound design is spot on. Movement has seen a significant overhaul, too. Since every shooter under the sun apparently has to have some form of increased mobility, Andromeda goes for good old fashioned jump jets. Your boosters add verticality and speed to firefights – master this newfound agility and you'll appreciate how dynamic even the most standard of skirmishes can become.
Meanwhile, powers make a return and add that extra kick. From simple grenades to gravity-defying biotics – essentially space magic – powers open up a wealth of possibilities during battle, and unleashing them feels snappy and intuitive. The twist here is that Ryder isn't stuck with one specific fighting style – you can branch out into as many different skills as you want, provided you have enough skill points to do so. What's more, the favourites system allows you to save a particular skill set – you can only have three skills equipped at any one time – and switch to it on the fly. As you'd expect, this introduces some strategic depth, as you're able to change your approach depending on the kind of enemies that you're up against. Transforming Ryder into a force to be reckoned with is a very rewarding process.
Not so rewarding is the crafting system, which is needlessly time consuming. Handled across four separate steps, it acts as a layer of fluff that Andromeda doesn't really need. Indeed, we got by rather comfortably using weapons and armour that we either found as loot or bought with credits. Plus, carefully scanning the surfaces of planets for materials is just another tedious job that no one really wants to do.
And yes, Andromeda is stuffed with tedious jobs. Your quest journal is broken down into different folders, and the one titled 'tasks' may as well just be called 'open world guff'. The game features multiple planets that you're free to explore – providing the environmental hazards don't kill you too quickly – and although most of them are pleasant to look at and hide plenty of interesting secrets, driving from one side of the map to the other, regularly stopping to investigate big orange objective markers, can seriously sap away any sense of adventure. Proceedings can all too easily devolve into checking off a list of fetch quests, and that just isn't what Mass Effect should be about.
Fortunately, the main story missions fare much better – and for the most part, you can simply ignore the filler and follow the critical path. In fact, if you're looking for a more traditional Mass Effect experience – tightly designed missions bookended by lengthy stints of dialogue – we'd highly recommend skipping as much of the optional stuff as you can. Stumble into an objective marker rabbit hole and you'll soon find that the main story becomes increasingly disjointed.
Speaking of tampering with tried and tested formulas, Andromeda's conversation system has been largely reworked. Paragon and Renegade persuasions are gone, replaced with a slightly more nuanced, natural range of dialogue choices that represent Ryder's personality. You can be casual, logical, comedic, or professional with your responses, and on paper, it works out nicely. In practice, however, Ryder will – ninety-nine per cent of the time – have to make do with just two options that range from easygoing to emotionless. For example, if asked whether they want to have steamy alien sex, Ryder will either say "hell yes!" or "I wouldn't mind". It's the same response, just coloured differently – and this is what the vast majority of dialogue amounts to throughout the game. Admittedly, it's not that different to what Shepard had to work with, but it would have been nice to see a little more depth.
Again, though, you can look past many of these relatively minor issues when you've just taken part in an exciting main story mission or you've just had a lovely chat with your favourite character. In that sense, we'd be tempted to say that Andromeda is, at its core, a good game, but there's one thing that we can't ignore, and that's technical performance. On a standard PlayStation 4, it loves to drop frames, dipping during big fights and when you're navigating detailed environments – even cutscenes can chug wildly, which rips you out of the moment. The kicker is that the game doesn't even look that great – aside from some sprawling vistas and some attractive art design, it's all pretty standard stuff.
Mass Effect deserves better than Andromeda. The series has stumbled into a new generation, weighed down by tedious open world tropes and a catalogue of performance issues on the PS4. That said, it's not quite the disaster that some would have you believe. There really is a good Mass Effect game here, complete with endearing characters and great combat, but it's buried beneath a mountain of unnecessary clutter. In time, patches may sort many of its problems out, but until then, we can only recommend Andromeda to the BioWare faithful.
As a gigantic Mass Effect fan, this was a very difficult review to write. If anyone has an questions about either the game or the review, just ask and I'll try to answer.
guess that's what happens when none of the team that worked on the original trilogy worked on this
i'm sure they will be able to fix it given time but the damage is already done and this wont be anywhere near as highly ranked as the original 3 were
@ShogunRok I am the biggest Mass Effect fan around, I even cosplayed as commander shepard in high school! However, I'm very nervous about this game. Do you think it's worth full price? I'm nervous because I'm honestly more excited for the combat at this point. But with all of the other stellar games coming out, do you think I should just wait a couple months for the game to hit 40 dollars?
I plan on buying Andromeda when it drops below $30. Hopefully they'll have many of the significant problems addressed through patches by then.
Love the trilogy, but I'll wait on this game.
@ShogunRok want a hug? Seriously though, I explained all the negative points of the game to a friend's who is a huge fan and he cancelled his preorder. The killer was that to u can not fully control your team!
As a big fan of the series, I almost didn't buy this game due to the bad reviews. Well, I am happy that I didn't let them persuade me into passing on this game because for all the technical problems, and animations I still enjoy it. Personally I don't think the story is that bad, yes it's a little cliche but honestly what game isn't? This won't be winning any game of the year awards, but as a fan of the series I've been waiting so damn long for this game that even with it's present flaws it's still a fun game and the combat to me is a lot better than it was in the trilogy.
@ZeD my friend once told me that captain morgan was just as good as 2000 vintage diplomatico, friends don't always know what the hell they are talking about
@Roc I agree, I'm having a ton of fun with it. The combat is really fast paced & most of all exciting, the story is decent & there's lots of optional stuff to do if you want. There's that key word again, "optional" quests if you don't want to do them you don't have to but if you enjoy exploring & milking every inch out of a $60 game then it's there for you.
As far as technical issues, I'm playing on PS4 Pro & have had very few framerate issues so far.
@Dreamcaster-X I'm one of those people that get ocd if I don't complete every optional quest, and unfortunately squadmate Greer took one for the team so I'm gonna have to restart tonight. People forget how bad the witcher was technically when it first released on ps4, they will patch it and it will get better. The animations we are stuck with, but to me they're funny as hell and don't take anything away from the game
@Roc ok.... The need for that? I just stated I passed on what I read from other reviews. I see you like it which is great. I'm not too concerned about the game atm as I need to finish 3! XD
I'm disappointed to see how this game seems to have turned out. I'm sure it will get patched but I'm really glad I didn't Pre-order this. Future purchase but in a deal only.
@ShogunRok What's the co-op like in the game? Is it story based or just all Multiplayer?
Shame, but sounds about what I expected lately. EA games drop in price pretty quick these days, so hopefully it won't be too long until it's about half price (which seems fair). Who knows, maybe by then they will have replaced the interns who did the animations.
@ZeD I really didn't mean anything nasty by it, but if that's how you feel I suggest maybe a snickers bar
@Roc I did come a cross like that (basically friends talk sh*t) but hey no worries man. Enjoy your game.
Can we ease off the swearing please, folks? Thanks!
I've been watching streams of this on PS Live and I think it looks a clustered mess. I can forgive the awkward postures and walking animations but the faces during conversations is so off putting. Everybody is just so expressionless and their eyes either just stare into nothing or zip about like there's a fly around. On top of this is the often cringeworthy dialogue that make it look like a Spiders developed game. Personally, I don't even like the look of the combat. It looks frantic and much too fast paced not to mention the automatic cover system looks extremely awkward.
BioWare has just given this Mass Effect fan a kick in the quad.
I wonder how you score the games. Sincerly man come on. A six !!!!! By time when they address it this will be top notch like dragon age. Maybe just maybe because im forty years old and am an avid collector im used to more sh#tty games.
@lixei32 You're right, we should have scored it 9/10 and written in the conclusion: "Well the game's a massive disappointment but we're sure it's going to get patched over the next six months so it's actually bloody brilliant and you should spend £45 on it right now."
The whole issue with the Kett was a big red flag for me and sounds like it spoils the immersion from the off. Not to mention when you're following the likes of Horizon and Zelda it's just plain embarrassing launching in this state and it's not like we're talking about small developer on a new IP either. This may be one for the future when they fix it for the story alone
@get2sammyb you did for Street Fighter V 😂😂😂
@carlos82 And we're still (rightly) getting called on it over a year later.
Thia game will be top notch in a matter of no time just like dragon age. Being a 40 year old gamer and having played all my life in my free time mind you im used to more crappy games. Mass effect is fine today all releases gets a rocky start. We are in what patch number by now????? Just dont buy it or dont play it month one. It will be fine after that.
In all seriousness I really want to play this but it's gunna be a when it's patched/cheaper purchase. For those getting it day 1, I salute you, you're a braver man than I, and I'm sure there is a cool game in there somewhere
@lixei32 Dragon Age? Inquisition? Top notch? We on the same planet?
@kyleforrester87 I was thinking the same, also didn't Horizon work straight away?
It all down to taste i dont want to offend anyone. Those who like the genre will love it as always. Yeah for me dragon age was top notch. I loved it.
@ShogunRok just got on the ship and am talking with everyone. Is it bad to do the optional quests? I'm sort of used to the fetching from DAI and Witcher 😀
Just my opinion but buying games 50 euro new is pretty cheap these days giving the amount of content they have. Dont get me wrong but publishers are relying on patches these days to improve performance and fix bugs. Its a new way of early access on consoles.
@carlos82 Without derailing the thread Gorilla have nailed the release of Horizon. Not just on a technical level but the release strategy - no held back DLC, micro transactions, huge day one patches. It's the perfect response to so much moaning on forums like this about the state of game development that not supporting it should result in a jail sentence. I'm going to start a petition.
@lixei32 not offended and fair play buddy can't say it did it for me though. Hope you enjoy Mass Effect too.
@kyleforrester87 I'll agree with this one. Horizon had a great launch. The fact it had no microtranstions was amazing, especially in 2017!
@kyleforrester87 I've played both some and they are both fun.
Thanks for the decent in depth review.Being a huge Mass Effect fan myself this is really disappointing but not really surprising news to see the game only receive a 6.
To be honest before all this facial animations hate start kicking off I thought it looked a bit naff compared to the trilogy when we only saw a few pics,looked too cartoony and strange but was still hoping it would be great.
I will no doubt be getting this at some point in the future when it's reduced by half or more and hopefully once it's been fully patched it may seem a better game for it.
@get2sammyb LMAO! Maybe a caveat if patched properly game subject for improvement! Well played!
A good honest unbiased review.
I don't see how a rubbish game can be any better if you buy it cheaper!? I'd rather pay full price for a good game any day of the week.
I thought dragon age inquisition was terrible so andromeda was never on my radar.
It has a metacritic score of 89 so i dont know i mean dragon age because i just checked😁😁😁 Whats your favourite game???
meh, I'm still enjoying it.
That s my whole piont.
Bad animations can be annoying but the worst they do is take you out of the experience, what is more of an issue is the writing, crafting and filler quests which probably leaves the whole thing needlessly bloated.
What disappoints me most is that it's a half hearted attempt to to take the franchise forward because they fall back on too much from the trilogy. Lack of new races so humans, Asaris, Turians, Krogans etc take centre stage again. Not too mention you play as another soon to be legendary human character again because Bioware think it should be a power fantasy. Disappointing but not surprising judging by the build up to it's launch for the past year.
My favourite game is ocarina of time, I love elder scrolls, bioshock, uncharted. I've always loved rpgs since doomdarks revenge on zx spectrum!! I love fantasy games and so does my wife (she watches, I play). I really tried with dragon age because it's a game we should both like, and I put about 30 hrs into it. Once I got out of the hinterlands it just didn't go anywhere for me. Like I said, I gave it my best shot. If you enjoyed it then fair play!
A little disappointed then. I was thinking of getting it, but i think i'm going to get Prey instead, at least for now. I'm not suprised though due to the lacklustre build to launch over the last few years, such as the lack of footage, poor marketing and lack of promotion. Perhaps EA and Bioware didn't feel they had enough confidence in their product? It's a shame!
I think what gripes me most about this is that the stuff that's improved from the trilogy is stuff that I don't care about. Better combat is great I suppose, but they could have removed the combat entirely and I wouldn't really be bothered. And exploration? Open world wandering? Get in the sea. Pointless fluff getting in the way and artificially lengthening the game.
The only thing I care about is the story and the characters and the banter and the adventure.
On the plus side, I am encouraged by something you put in the review. Do you miss anything terribly important by sticking to the main quests? Like is it a situation where you can get a horrible ending by not doing X amount of side quests? If you can skip all the padding I probably won't care about the other flaws.
Either way we'll see. I'm still buying it. Either it'll be good, or it'll give me something to be furious about for a week or two.
I'm glad I waited one year to spend € 50 for TW3 definitive edition instead of spending € 70 for its bugged and glitchy version released on Day One. Dishonered 2 and Deus Ex are two other games badly released. Time will tell how Andromeda will end.
All games you mentioned are masterpieces. I said dragon age was top notch. My wife used to see me play tomb raider the blocky one 😀and final fantasy 7. Other times. No no one watches me trying to get on diablo 3 on hardcore mainly because i always fail circa lvl 40 and have to start again. 😂😂
Fair enough mate
My 'wife won't watch game' is dark souls 3..she hates it though to be fair I don't get much enjoyment out of it myself!!
I've just got the plat on horizon and we're starting breath of the wild tomorrow cos we're off work and gonna have a beer.
Next PS4 game is gonna be persona 5. Just cannot wait for that!
I kinda understand what you're getting at but I waited 3 years for witcher 3 and no way was I waiting 1 more! I played it from day one and loved it. I wouldn't think your experience was any different than mine in terms of how much we enjoyed it, regardless of when we played it.
@CFDennett Getting old I ignore the hype train always more. I still have to buy Horizon and I've just read about a new patch improving humans and machines AI.
The industry keeps telling me "preorder the game as it is!" but all I hear is "just wait and get its best version ".
@NinjaWaddleDee Hmmm, it's a tough one. If you've got other games to play, there's no harm in waiting a while and picking it up cheaper. If you really want some more Mass Effect though, I think you'll still get some enjoyment out of this. I mean, I'm still playing it after writing the review and I spent around 50-60 hours with it, so it does get enough right.
@Bigkopman The co-op kind of ties into the single player because Ryder sends out 'strike teams' to help settle worlds. If you liked Mass Effect 3's co-op, you'll like this.
Hopefully if I get the time, I'll write up a feature with my thoughts later this week.
@smythelove Nothing wrong with doing the optional content if you enjoy it - I just found it very repetitive and wanted to play the game more like a traditional Mass Effect title. If you can stomach it, go for it!
To be fair giving all the dlc and definite editions these days i can hardly fault someone who waits. The only exception are the collectors edition the ones with the statues and everything i mean.
@ShogunRok Hmm. The problem I'm having is that Persona 5 comes out soon as well. But I spent more time with ME3's multiplayer than any other multiplayer game, and MEA's multiplayer looks REAL good to me. I just don't know if that warrants 60 bucks.
@NinjaWaddleDee From what I've played the co-op is solid - it's basically Mass Effect 3's multiplayer with added verticality.
Each to their own buddy:)
Although I'm glad I played the 'inferior' version of horizon day one
@lixei32 'By time when they address it this will be top notch like dragon age.'
Top notch? More like first out the blocks throwaway garbage.
I'm getting MEA tomorrow (Hopefully) and the write ups enough for me..... Just.
@andreoni79 Exactly, wait a week for the review. This is my last ever pre-order, too much of a gamble and loads of great games have already been patched. I fortunately loved every pre-order I've ever bought, but mea is touch and go.
But man spoilers are everywhere these days!!!
How could you wait a year for a 'game of the year' edition and manage to go into it blind??
I know I couldn't!
Plus, I was big into destiny year 1 and 2. I'd have to have waited almost 3 years for the 'best' version.
ive gone a bit off topic! Sorry!!
Anybody who buys mass effect I hope you enjoy it!! Quite a few people on my friends list are playing it.
@themcnoisy Hmmm dunno, the writing was on the wall with this one for a while. It's not too hard to make a sound judgement over whether a game is worth preordering or not I reckon.
Yeah i dont watch them to be fair bit how to get the ultimate weapon in ....how to find in .....topics i dont know but who reads them what enjoyment do they have??. I come on a daily basis just for reviews and announcements which i must say this site is one of the best. Still enjoy a copy of gamesmaster in my hand though everymonth. Have a good one mate.
I don't purposely look for spoilers but if I'm drunk watching YouTube who knows where I'll end up!!
Take it easy pal good talking to you.
I forgot to thank @ShogunRok for the long, detailed review. I complained once about reviews for being too short or lacking in depth but this one is perfect!
@ShogunRok very cool I do think I'm skipping the planet scanning! Lol except the anomalies right because those are more like mini quest?
@ShogunRok Great review once again. I really like how the article is concerned with answering all the questions I (and probably many others) had about the game. Also impressed how you managed to take a step back emotionally in assessing the game.
@andreoni79 Glad you enjoyed reading it!
@smythelove Yeah, the planet scanning is about as optional as you can get this time around - most planets don't even have anything to show. Anomalies are usually just pockets of resources and stuff like that.
@Kidfried Thanks for the kind words!
Thank you @shogunrok for the excellent write up. And also for the push square teams warnings over the past month, which led me to buy horizon instead ☺ I am sure I will pick this up down the road mind. Thinking of my game collection this gen, I am amazed how few EA games I have bought. They have disappointed for a few years (with a few notable exceptions of course).
Most importantly its only 2 weeks till the game of the year is released in persona 5 😊
@ShogunRok ok awesome thank you!
@Rob_230 Thanks for giving it a read - I wish it could have been a more positive review. Hopefully it gets good patch support over the next few months and ends up being a better game for when you pick it up.
@kyleforrester87 i spent an hour and a half hunting wild life earlier. you know a game is awesome when you don't mind doing that, for that length of time.
I'll definitely check out ME:A at some point though.
Wait a year when it's on sale and patched. Do this with all games, it leads to a much cheaper, happier experience.
@kyleforrester87 - i've 100%-ed horizon, but after about 3hrs of andromeda, i'm considering re-playing horizon again from the beginning on my dutch psn account. from my experience so far, i don't think andromeda will be saveable with patches. it would need a wholesale overhaul - re-edited script/dialogue, remove the guff, characters re-animated, and a million bugs fixed. most reviews suggest it improves later on, but my enthusiam to get there has disappeared fast. the combat is decent, but i actually find horizon's to be better and more slick. i played through 56 hours of that without a single crash/bug/glitch.
To all those thinking the issues will be patched, your going on the wild assumption that this development team are of that mindset. CD Projekt Red were making changes a long way down the line & provided two fantastic expansions, because they cared about their product.
Dont assume Bio/EA are under any obligations..
@get2sammyb It's retorts like this that keep me on this site.
@Rob_230 Really excited for Persona 5...looks like they've incorporated being able to recruit all the enemies you fight into your team is you want, which is something I enjoy about Shin Megami Tensei, I don't remember that being an option in previous Persona games.
@HarrisonMode it looks just perfect doesnt it the soundtrack sounds ace and the visuals are so cool. I cant wait to get lost in Tokyo
@ShogunRok Good solid review! I still picked it up and I'm sure I'll enjoy the "Mass Effect" feel you mentioned.
@lixei32 I did enjoy DA:I but there wasn't much to play when it came out. Then The Witcher 3 came out and I never went back to DA:I lol
@ShogunRok I can only begin to imagine how disappointing it must have been to give this a 6. They had years to get this right!
@ShogunRok Do the characters have any dialogues in the multiplayer mode much like the Uncharted games?
I want grittiness, I want dialogue that matters and isn't bland. I don't care about the animations or for that matter the action, will probably play story mode. I'll still pick it up but it sounds quite frankly a pile of steaming brown. I heard the cover mechanics are pretty wonky and the tag along dudes are dull as hell, I do hope the convos pick up quickly.
@THRILLHOU They had years to get it wrong too
This review sums up the majority of other reviews I have read. I had the game on preorder and it's downloaded and ready to play (unfortunately I can't get time to play on it until probably at least Sunday though!!!) I'm pretty tolerant on most open world games, they all have their ups and downs and in the whole, I enjoy them. I think I can get past the negatives in the reviews and still enjoy the game
Great review @ShogunRok
@JoeBlogs definitely agree that reviewing Street Fighter 5 is wildly different from Andromeda. SFV is focused on replayabiltiy and released under the moniker of 'expect great future content'. Mass Effect Andromeda, on the other hand, most players probably will never play again after finishing the game (even if patches are released) and the game was released and presented as a 'complete package'.
Had to restart the game three times to get a half decent face for my Ryder! Scary looking!
Conformation that we are now inhabiting a parallel universe. Sad.
@WanderingBullet They do come out with a few lines here and there, yeah. For example, I have a Salarian who says dumb stuff all the time.
I'm about 6 hours in and, sadly, I agree with this review. I don't things are going to get better the longer I play, either. The crafting and planet scanning systems are beyond tedious. Even without looking for problems with animations and voices, they're blatantly there at all times.
I am enjoying the combat, and the MP is a lot of fun, and challenging. Just not feeling it with all the problems and tediousness. If this is the "new" Bioware, i'll be steering clear of them after this game. I miss Shepard and crew.
I pre-ordered the game because its Mass Effect and the fact that Tesco were doing a buy 2 for £80 on pre-orders with a further £10 off orders over £75 - so I paid £35 for mine. It was the only other game I wanted and I pre-ordered this along with Titanfall 2 back in June/July 2016 - 8-9months ago. I knew back then that this was likely to be a 'disappointment' for all those expecting the game to be a 'next gen' and evolved Mass Effect - something to rival the Witcher 3 etc.
The fact that the development was severely troubled and had numerous staff departures, the fact that we saw very little of the game throughout and most of what we saw was 'tech' demo's etc it never convinced me that BioWare or EA were completely happy with ME:A or on schedule to release a product up to the standards we have come to expect in recent years.
The animations and facial expression are no worse than the original - at least in the few comparison videos I have seen but there-in lies some of the problem. Even compared to ME3 (running on a GTX970 PC with high settings) the characters and facial models are not that different BUT that was built for last gen. The environment has progressed but not the characters. In some ways that makes these poor animations stand out more but they were 'acceptable' on last gen. I don't know if they initially started building the game on the original engine (at least used the character models and animations) and ported it to Frostbite but it looks like that is the case...
Of course that can't excuse the writing, the dialogue, etc. I really don't think this can be 'fixed' with a patch. I think it would need a complete overhaul, a rebuild. You can't patch in every single character with new animations, new dialogue - I guess you could fix the eyes a bit. Whether they would go that far as to rebuild the game. I doubt it now but they can fix bugs/glitches etc.
I knew I was not getting a Mass Effect that would live up to its predecessors - it was inevitable. Whether I get my £35 worth or not, time will tell...
@johncalmc So basically, you want Telltale to do Mass Effect? That's essentially what you're saying by taking out exploration and combat and only wanting story and dialog choices.
@ShogunRok Cool. If remember correctly the characters (MP mode) in ME3 didn't have any dialogues.
I'm gonna wait for a price drop and a patch to fix the technical problems.
@RedMageLanakyn Well, not really. It's not that I'm against the combat and stuff. It's more like it's the least important thing to me, so if it was a choice between improved combat/more exploration or better story and characters I'd always pick the latter.
Think of it like this: Mass Effect multiplayer is the opposite of what I want.
So it's not like I'm saying ban the shooting. It's more just I'm wounded they spent five years on this game and all we've really got to show for it is the shooting people in the face being a bit better.
@WanderingBullet Yeah I think they made the odd grunt and maybe said stuff like "I'm hit!" when they needed revived, but no proper lines of dialogue.
@ShogunRok Are you sad like me with the Bioware current situation? I think this is my only question since I'll wait for Black Friday to get ME:A
@Frank90 Absolutely, I think it's safe to say that the BioWare many of us have come to know no longer exists. It's a massive shame, but times change. Will be interesting to see how the new IP it's working on turns out.
@johncalmc I see where you're coming from, and I'm also disappointed that this is the game we got after 5 years. I've always enjoyed the combat for what it was, and the MP aspect was actually pretty decent, but they should've improved more than that. If they had to make a choice to cut out the MP completely and make the SP campaign better story and character wise, i'd be fine with that.
@ShogunRok Was it just me, or did Habitat 7 feel a lot like the beginning of DAI? I don't want to give away spoilers, but yeah....some of the events and the way they played out gave me major deja vu.
Hmm well great review first of all ! I'm glad now I decided between Mass Effekt , horizon and Zelda and chose Links new Adventure and saved the others up for later .. am a big fan of the mass effect universe, and after seing first combat gameplay I was hyped as can be. But now that I informed myself more about the rest of the game (aside for the technical flaws) I decided to wait with my buy .. and i feel disappointed that one of my fav series in gaming got treated so "random". I hope that all technical issues are getting fixed asap and some more improvements added until I buy it at some point later in this year (sorry but with Zelda right now and Persona coming up , this will be a busy time haha)
@RedMageLanakyn Nah, there are definite similarities in structure to Inquisition. Both games are good, but they're both buried under a crazy amount of clutter.
I seriously hope that whatever BioWare does next, it moves away from this semi-open world template, because I feel as though it really does take away from the main story aspects.
@smythelove lol so I finally got to the planet scanning and see what you mean by the 10 sec animation lol. I do like how the game tells you right away about the anomalies and it's not too boring lol. Think I got 17/50 planets so far on that quest. Also see what you mean about forward staton. I couldn't find the respec station yet. I saw the environmental damage and I'm like woo follow your tip and do the main mission to get rid of that? I got the Veh thing and got up the hill with L1 lol.
@ShogunRok Yeah I agree since the ME producer last year the company has fallen, and EA owns the rights to publish every star wars game, so I was expecting a new Kotor game sooner or later...but right now I don't know if Bioware can make a decent follow up to Kotor 2 (which is already inferior to the amazing first one).
Well, I'm about four hours in, and, to be perfectly honest, really enjoying it. The facial 'fiasco' is totally forgotten about.
Pretty chuffed with it.
I've played about 6 hours. I won't be playing it again. Very disappointed with it for a top tier game. The review score here, at 6/10, is in my mind, quite generous.
@ShogunRok First off no problem with the review but I'm more curious with the how the review process works. When you do review a game is it important to review it as a stand alone or as a comparison to its predecessors? You mention that its quality isn't up to the standard that Bioware is known to produce which is more than evident. Can that cause you to expect more and ultimately harm your view on a game?
@SnackBox Ultimately I think it depends on the game in question. Mass Effect is such a loved series with such a loyal fanbase that I think it's very difficult not to at least mention how it measures up to past games. And since I've played the whole trilogy over numerous times, I just couldn't distance Andromeda from my previous experiences.
Things change if you're new to the series, though - I can understand that. Someone without expectations might look at Andromeda and think it's a solid open world game. I think trying to see things from an objective point of view is important when it comes to reviewing, but stuff like this can't really be avoided.
When it comes down to it, I think expectations are always going to colour opinions and give rise to criticisms that not everyone may have.
@ShogunRok Well said, can be tricky I imagine to try to write for both how it stands in the series and as its own title...as far as Andromeda is from the Milky Way.
I said it before , they could not make it because they diden't made it from first , it's easy to take you can see Halo after bungie ! They're need old team back and then make mass effect4 (wich i even don't want to think about it)
Any way im not going to play it cause i don't want to waist my time on some thing that i know is not truely working...
R.I.P sheperd and mass effect
I dont get all these negative reviews, i have not encountered glitches or terrible facial animations. Also the inventory system and crafting are not confusing or difficult to learn. The story isnt bad, you are discovering new worlds its different chill out. Graphics are phenomenal too, guess im in the minority on this though.
Got the game today and will be giving it a go tonight. Really wary of it as I was a huge fan of the original trilogy. I have a feeling I'll enjoy it but that it'll just go the way of Dragon Age where I gradually get less excited by the new releases until I don't bother anymore. Hope I'm wrong though and that they can improve with the inevitable sequel. Will always treasure the original trilogy regardless.
Hype and high expectations always ruins games for me, and I never expected Andromeda to live up to my lofty ideals anyway. It's actually been a HUGE relief that this game is considered "bad" because so far I'm really enjoying it!
I could definitely write a huge laundry list of things ME:A does poorly, but over time those things don't bother me as much anymore (i.e. low level of squad control, low variety of dialog choices, the horrible cover system).
I also bought this on sale on PC for $45 (3 days after release), so that helps my enjoyment too!
Playing through this now and I think I agree with the conclusion. It's a decent enough game but maybe I like it a bit more because I'm a big Mass Effect fan.. and for it's current price tag it's more than worth it.
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