Mass Effect: Andromeda
Game review on PS4
Callum Corcut / Wed 5th Apr 2017
170 views / 5 bites
OVERVIEW A new galaxy, and a whole new host of problems. The fourth entry in the widely adored Mass Effect series, unfortunately, fails to live up to the greatness of the original trilogy. While introducing vastly improved combat mechanics and a new crew of well-realised characters, Andromeda is let down by a scourge of bugs and technical issues.
ME:A is set 600 years after the events of the original trilogy, while also taking place in an entirely different galaxy. This creative decision cleverly results in sidestepping the controversial Mass Effect 3 ending while also providing enough context for the long journey to be conceivable.
You are Ryder, the human pathfinder. Your task is to find a new home for your species of the Milky Way in the Helius cluster. As the pioneer for humanity, it is up to you to explore mysterious worlds, uncover ancient tech and to communicate with new species.
The concept of being an explorer is explored to great effect and the main story missions often provide memorable moments typical of Mass Effect. However, poor writing results in a puerile protagonist and tedious side quests nearly always derailing the momentum of the main plot.
The combat in Andromeda is simply the best iteration in any of the games so far. Fighting is surprisingly fluid and levelling up now allows more versatility in regards to the allocation of skill points.
You are no longer locked down into simply being a soldier, a biotic or an engineer. You can mix and match as much as you want providing a much richer gameplay experience. Both single player and multiplayer provide laudable improvements to movement, gunplay and special abilities.
The animations in this game are unforgivable in their current state. Any Google or YouTube search of Andromeda will direct you to articles or videos mocking the game's character animations.
The harsh truth is that this criticism is deserved. The game feels unfinished and not properly tested. Every 30-60 mins you can expect noticeable bugs to break your immersion. From a well-respected developer such as Bioware, this is just not good enough.
The soundtrack in this game is nowhere near as striking as any of the previous three games, but it does occasionally have its moments. You are more likely to not notice it unless you are paying close attention, or have clearly entered a story beat.
The voice acting is hit or miss with most of the crew providing excellent performances, but Ryder (same problem with both sexes) has an inability to remain serious. Also, many of the NPC's sound like they are being forced at gunpoint to read from a script.
VERDICT ME:A is not a bad video game. But it is a bad Mass Effect game. If you came in expecting the same quality as the others you will inevitably be disappointed, but if you are a newcomer or just looking for a fun RPG then Andromeda has enough to satiate you. No doubt in time after many patches and story dlc. Andromeda will look entirely different; in its current state however it is sadly an intergalactic disappointment.