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Vega Goose Reviews: Mass Effect Andromeda

Mass Effect Andromeda is not a bad game. It really isn’t, though many would disagree with that. What it is, in fact, is a good idea poorly implemented at the end of the day. I know that seems vague, but if you will, I will now explain.

I was, and still am, a huge Mass Effect fan. I have played the original trilogy dozens of times (yes, even ME3.) So I was there day one with Andromeda. It’s one of the few games I’ve preordered in the last few years, and I enjoyed it. I thought it was really fun… for the first four hours. After that I began to notice the little things that started to add up to a larger problem. I didn’t want to simply nitpick the game to death, however, so I stuck with it, powering through.

To make a quick summary: the intro to Andromeda is average, the ending of Andromeda is amazing, aside from some sequel bait (which just feels sad now,) however the middle has what I will now call the “Inquisition problem.” This game tries very hard to be an MMO for no reason other than to artificially pad out the game length.

Going into more detail, every planet has the same set of quests.  They all have random fetch quests like you would see in any given MMO. These take hours to complete, but are only interesting once. It’s there to extend the game length, as I said earlier, and it can really frustrate a player on a 100% run.

Full disclosure, my first play through was a minimum run.  I did only what I had to do to beat the main quest. If you play the game that way, you will enjoy it and will want to recommend it to your friends as I did.

Then I started my 100% play through, and this is where, if you are not a Mass Effect fan, the game will almost assuredly lose you. This is where I began running into problems about which I will now go into greater detail. However, to get this out of the way, no, I will not be complaining about the animation, as it didn’t actually effect the game to me. Could it have looked better?  Absolutely, but even if it had, my issues would have still existed.

First issue is the sheer amount of bugs, not just at launch, but that exist right now with the final patch in place. Be it falling through the ground, objects loading in late and trapping you, character models changing, combat bugs rendering enemies immortal, etc.  Google “Mass Effect Andromeda Bugs” and you’ll find a ton.

Now, I can excuse some bugs even in a AAA title, but to have this many affecting the gaming experience after 10 patches is frankly unacceptable. Especially when you look at the patch notes and see how much effort was not spent fixing bugs but instead on other less important add-ons. I found it lazy on the part of the developers, and sadly, these issues will never be fixed as support for the game has been officially dropped, the team disbanded, and the studio moving on.

Even Bethesda games don’t have this level of experience affecting bugs, and anyone in our industry knows what that means. Is a deal breaker? For me, no  it wasn’t, but for you it might be.

Now, we must talk about story. The main plot is fine, if a bit uninspired, however, something the last 3 Mass Effect games (yes, even 3) got right that Andromeda does not, is the companions. Speaking for myself, I didn’t care about any of these people, mainly because I felt like I have already seen them done better, and I don’t need to tell you that in a RPG, caring about the characters is what keeps you coming back.

There was enormous potential in this story, but most plot threads are simply dropped feeling like a big “to be continued” as one can assume these would be picked up in future games (they won’t be, as there is no sequel planned for this series.) This leaves a good part of the content incomplete and lacking a payoff.

Now to sum up, is there fun to be had? Yes, however is this a game worth it’s asking price? Absolutely not. If you can get it on sale, and are a Mass Effect fan, then knock yourself out.  But I warn you, lower your expectations. At the end, all this game did is make me appreciate the original Trilogy even more than I already had.  It is, in fact, the Mass Effect equivalent of the Star Wars Prequels.

Apologies for the delay in this review, but I wanted to wait until all patches were out and give the game a good long run to see if any of my issues were addressed.  Frankly, they weren’t.

Not a terrible game, but Mass Effect in name only.

One Response to Vega Goose Reviews: Mass Effect Andromeda

  1. Axalon says:

    Overall just a very bland game. Had a few good moments overshadowed by the bad and mostly just the mediocrity and tedium. The bugs at the beginning before they were patched out didn’t help either.

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