Mass Effect Andromeda: Thoughts Thus Far

Originally posted 2017-04-02 20:00:10.

Mass Effect: Andromeda, the newest production from the team at BioWare. I’ve had several requests to discuss my thoughts so far, so here goes. I’ll be careful to leave out spoilers. I am playing it on the Xbox One, and other platforms might perform differently. I am going to focus on the single player campaign, because, well, I’m kind of bad at multiplayer. I may eventually delve into it, but… not yet. There is a neat connection between SP and MP, and I will probably start there when I do. I have not yet completed the game, so these are my thoughts thus far:

The gameplay is about what you would expect from a ME game. There are biotics, combat, and engineering trees that you can spec into. There are also profiles which you can choose from that enhance your abilities. You can pretty much choose any combination of the abilities you like, based on your preferred style of play.

There is a prologue, which BioWare does true to their style. I won’t tell you what happens, but I will tell you I cried. They start the game with all the feels, and it just continues from there.

There are a plethora of side quests to go along with the main story, which you can choose to skip. I myself like to do all of them because I am something of a completest when it comes to these kinds of games. Side note: I have both the Explorer and the Loremaster achievements in World of Warcraft. Some of the side quests are loyalty missions, the ones of which I have completed are quite entertaining. There are simple quests and there are fights that make you want to throw your whole system out until you figure it out. Some quests make you jump through so many systems you wonder when it will end. I feel there is a good balance of all elements.

There are several romance options, and it wouldn’t be a BioWare game without them. There are both heterosexual and homosexual options, so you can be true to yourself, or… not. The options have the typical heart icon next to them so you know what option will advance the relationship. I have only found two crew members to be lacking a heart option so far. Even some of the characters you encounter have the heart conversation option, so your options are quite varied.

I enjoy the graphics. I have seen that several people have complained about the facial animations, but when compared to all the goofy faces Commander Shephard made in the original Trilogy, I think these animations are light years better. Driving the Nomad is a little glitchy planet side, and while it can be slightly annoying, it doesn’t detract from the overall play-ability of the game.

As far as play-ability and glitches, the Xbox One version of the game does have a few. I feel like they are issues with the Xbox version specifically, not Andromeda as a whole. Sometimes the conversation lags. The subtitles will appear at the bottom, but it takes a few seconds for the characters to actually speak the lines. There are no elevators on the Tempest like there were on the Normandy, but a couple of those doors take an awfully long time to open sometimes. My husband did glitch through the ground and die on one of the planets, but that only happened once. As to why we have the Xbox One version: we can both play with the same copy of the game. There is no physical copy of the PC version, only an EA Origin download. I also like physical copies.

Overall, I am having a ton of fun playing the game. Each crew member has their own quirks, which makes them each more lovable or hate-able. Some of them offer hilarious comic relief, some are annoyingly optimistic. Each has their own reasons for coming to Andromeda, whether escape from an old life, exploration and discovery, or trying to preserve their race. And yes, there is one crew member who I absolutely cannot stand. I won’t tell you which one. You might feel differently.