First Impressions â Mass Effect: Andromeda

Mass Effect

We sit down and play Mass Effect: Andromeda. The game just came out but here's some quick reasons to buy or not buy Mass Effect: Andromeda

Hello, dear readers. This is more of a first impression than an actual review for Mass Effect: Andromeda. I picked this game up early and due to my schedule at the beginning of writing this, I am only about five hours into the game. I also played this pre-patch, but I do realize as time goes on and patches get released from BioWare it may render some of these observations irrelevant. I felt this was pertinent information to let you know as I will have a complete review for Mass Effect: Andromeda sometime following this one, but to also let you know how this Mass Effect is right now if you are wary about picking it up due to the ‘animation’ controversy.

I do not like the new dialogue options we have here for Mass Effect: Andromeda. It's sort of the same problem I had with Fallout 4 where you don’t really know what you are saying. The concept seemed interesting, but instead of being a badass who does what it takes and might seem morally wrong or someone who’s always on the side of justice and does things by the books with a few in between options to flesh things out a little bit; I find myself having to weigh what the emotion will do and how much it fits what I actually want to say. I haven’t decided if I am just a fish out of water for Mass Effect: Andromeda, though regardless it has dampened my RPG experience.

I am doing these in order what I noticed first and the second is the ever-present bugs. Characters glitching through walls, flying past me going through walls while not walking. At one point no sound was coming out of my TV so I hit my PS home button and my PS theme’s music gradually came back until at full volume, but as soon as I went back in to Mass Effect: Andromeda the sound vanished again. I suppose I should also note that I am playing this on the PS4. I don’t know if this was a bug, but since I can’t fix it in the options menu I am going to assume it is. Also, when navigating the ship or other indoor areas such as the Nexus the camera will zoom in so much my screen is 60% percent my characters head and shoulder while only leaving a small box to see my surroundings. It stops when I move to a larger area and wasn’t present on the first planet I encountered but it’s incredibly annoying and makes moving around in Mass Effect: Andromeda very difficult. One last thing to note is that the animations aren’t as bad as everyone makes it seem; except for one character who doesn’t have any at all. Her face remains stoic and she had the line of my face is very tired.

Now on to the movement and combat of Mass Effect: Andromeda. I still haven’t got used to how the characters move. They seem to almost float around; with some squad members literally floating past me. I actually like the combat system. It’s not what I’d consider "Mass Effect," but that doesn’t make it bad. It seems like this shares another familial tie back to Fallout 4 in the way most triple A RPG where the combat is polished and good, but everything else seems to suffer. The menu is un-intuitive, some of the free running animation is off. Sam is pretty awesome, though. Possible minor spoiler; instead of the old games where choosing whether to be an Adept, Vanguard, or other class was part of shaping your Shepard and how you wanted to play, Sam throws all that out of the airlock and lets you freely switch between them. I haven’t got to really explore it that much but it does seem fun to jet pack around a group of enemies being able to combine the different classes.

Mass Effect: Andromeda — Launch Trailer

Overall, if I had to give Mass Effect: Andromeda a rating right now it would be average. All the names that really made Mass Effect such a tremendous experience have left and the game has been underwhelming on what I want out of a Mass Effect game. I don’t really like any of the NPC’s. The role playing aspect has been sheared down to a menu with some points. Bugs have been constant. After five hours I still don’t know why I am there. There is some strange ancient alien relics, and something with dark energy, and seemingly something sinister has happened to the other arcs, but without any context, it’s just a drag to slog through. Even with the first Mass Effect that had a fun action packed opening then kind of slowed down to introduce you to this firmly established universe.

I was still having fun with Mass Effect: Andromeda. Within the first hour of all the previous games, you knew what you were fighting, why you are there, and you had all you needed to know and was ready to go explore. It’s not fun to have to push through hours and hours of gameplay to start finding out why I should be playing the game. It’s just a very flawed narrative structure. If this is your first Mass Effect game I feel like you might also have lesser enjoyment because you won’t get some of the references to the things that are from the older Mass Effect titles. All in all not a great entry point into the Mass Effect world, and so far mediocre game in the franchise. If I finish the game and if some patches come out to patch a lot of these flaws my view of the game may change for the better, but so far the purchase of a sixty dollar triple a game has left me with a sour taste.

Mass Effect: Andromeda was developed by BioWare and published by EA for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC on March 21st, 2017. A PS4 copy of the game was purchased by myself for reviewing purposes.