Mass Effect Andromeda Review

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Mass Effect Andromeda Review

Andrew Cathey, Writer

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Mass Effect: Andromeda serves as the first title in the Mass Effect series since the original trilogy ended back in 2012. Andromeda, upon its release, became immediately polarizing. The game had multiple bugs, the most glaring being the facial animations for the human and Asari characters. One of the biggest hurdles the title has faced since it was announced, is whether or not it can carry the same weight and fame of the original trilogy.

Mass Effect: Andromeda is set in the Andromeda galaxy, which took humans  over 600 years to reach. The story focuses on either Sara or Scott Ryder, at the player’s choice. The player becomes the Pathfinder, an explorer whose goal is to visit the “golden worlds” and scope them out. Conflict arises when the golden worlds are mostly uninhabitable, and a new species known as the Kett attacks. It’s up to the Pathfinder to find a sustainable home and protect everyone who came to Andromeda seeking a new home and beginning.

Zach Johnson, a sophomore, believes that “Andromeda is definitely a good game. I don’t feel like I wasted my eighty dollars whatsoever, but the game is still plagued by [a problem] that many triple A games face today: release dates. In my opinion, Andromeda would have been perceived as a better game, had EA not announced the release date so far in advance, even after delays. Had EA announced the date much shorter to the actual release, say a month or so in advance, the development team would have had more time to polish. For instance, when release dates are announced three, six, or nine months in advance, publishers are practically telling the [development] team ‘Hey. Your project is due for a release candidate on the 35th of Novembuary.’ This forces the ‘dev’ team into a corner, making them work more hastily since they have this looming date where everything goes live. However, if the release date was announced according to the ‘dev’ team, the game would have been much more polished, facial animations could have been way better, and the bugs and glitches could have been worked out. This way, the developer team has more power in deciding when the title launches, based on their own work pace, instead of EA or another AAA publisher telling them when their product has to be done by, polished or not.”

Andromeda is a mixed bag in terms of quality. The story, while flawed, is enjoyable. It has a much more light-hearted story compared to the original. Andromeda serves as a good jumping on point for anyone interested in the series, with no prior knowledge of the races, characters, and events of the trilogy needed. The characters are the shining part of the story with all of them being well developed and well acted, except for the main character of Scott/Sara Ryder. Ryder feels generic and a lot of their line deliveries typically fall flat and seem emotionless.

The revamped combat system helps the game as well. In previous Mass Effect titles, you would be locked into one class, and if the class didn’t fit your play style, then you would just have to start over from the beginning. Andromeda’s combat is fast, fun, and flexible. The player can create their own combat style. The combat has also been changed so that it feels less linear and more open to the inclusion of new objects like a jetpack.

Mass Effect Andromeda is an enjoyable sci-fi action title, but due to a rushed production, lacks polish. Andromeda has received multiple patches since release to help with its abundance of bugs and glitches, but at this point, the damage has been done. Only time will tell if we’ll ever see the Andromeda galaxy again.

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