A new Earth. Many have wanted this wish to be granted. Even in reality, man has craved it. Many TV series and seasons have yearned for it, but can it really become real? Mass Effect Andromeda seems to be BioWare’s answer to various fictional work, thrown in with some of the best of intentions. After a 5 year hiatus from Mass Effect 3, Andromeda has some ground to recover.
Wait. This happens when?
600 years from the original trilogy, a group of mixed race colonists set foot to Andromeda galaxy. The colonists awake to a new set of planets in hopes of settlements for their hub, the Nexus. The Nexus came before them, ensuing several bumps along the galactic road. Ryder, your character, is put to task to stablize planets and qwell a new mysterious foe. All inorder to accept the burden the protagonist’s father has to carry.
The staples of a BioWare RPG are present. The protagonist becomes something of two names: a pathfinder, and a Ryder. The former is something similar to the Inquisitor, Spectre, or Gray Warden. The Pathfinder is equipped with SAM, an AI that takes his bond to the Pathfinder more seriously than EDI. SAM is a useful British-speaking AI. The council has taken a step back for the Nexus crew, who attempted to take on the Andromeda system all by their lonesome.
Into The Stars
Each of the worlds present challenges for the player to overcome. From Exiles to the Kett, who are the main source of some of the challenges the Pathfinder must face. Andromeda ushers in both new species nearly at the jump as well as other key characters. The squad is similar to some of BioWare’s newer titles. It’s a 6 man/woman/Krogan/Turian show with not much else to continue it. The Algarians are the newer additions to the Mass Effect lore with Jaal to represent the new species in Ryder’s party. Loyalty missions have returned as well.
Andromeda attempts to change its’ system from its’ original trilogy. The skills and combat have been improved. The booster jumppack mixes in well with the variant system. Nearly all skills are selectable and reaady to upgrade. Archetypes of classes are still in the mix, tying skills to the profiles chosen. AI still fights on its’ own, but upgrading them is more of an easier task. Weapons are curated through resources or taken as spoils.
Survival of the Viable
In this semi Oregon Trail in space, planets have a Viability factor that determines how livable the planet can be. After a string of Sudoku-esque puzzles to solve, with a possible Remnant dungeon: the planet’s potential immensely increases, leaving Ryder and his team to other tasks. From scattering beacons to taking out the hostile forces that occupy the space of. Somehow, alot of the tasks seem to not be fetch quests, but some of that tenure.
Andromeda does look pretty in some cases. The planets are huge spaces with sometimes multiple areas to visit. Bartering is now more trading than a simple store, which is accessible by any standards. The firefights take pages from Star Wars with a dash of Botsmaster’s urge for 3D shades. The Galaxy itself is quite huge, but with only 5 planets to explore, there’s a bit of questions to ask. Bounty Hunter ships? are there any? no. There is a few attacks on lairs, though. A Training Centre gone haywire? no.
Something Not So Terrible
Andromeda does hold missteps, as many have rushed to point out. Animation and character creation and whatnot. There are bugs that go from noticeable to ridiculous in the span of minutes in. Characters cut out or stop moving. At times, the choices do feel as if the characters are more “down for whatever” than “you did what?!”. Paragon and Renegade are replaced by multiple arrays, yet still sound the same. I stuck with Liam and everyone else because he’s a decent attempt at Garrus, but even his jovial take does get stale. BioWare didn’t “Choose Your Own Adventure” on Andromeda.
Enemy wise was a bit of a repetitive step. On each planet, one would expect more since the Kett are the new top dog Reapers. However, they are usually swapped with the raiders, who are more diverse in their offence. The creatures are also somewhat predictable. “Throw acid when not close” gets tired. There wasn’t anything that toppled “The Lair of The Shadow Broker DLC” story in Andromeda, which was a letdown. Exploration loses the ability to control the ship compared to the trilogy’s. There isn’t even a Star Wars space battle here for players to control.
Verdict Of Mass Effect Andromeda
Mass Effect Andromeda is a decent swing at expanding the franchise with a fourth console game run. There is definitely a “something old, something new, something borrowed” in its’ attempt, but MEA nails enough on the head to build its’ own house. Still, there needs to be more in its’ home. While Mass Effect 2 still holds Park Place status in Mass Effect monopoly, there is definitely something here with Andromeda as a Railroad to BioWare. Because of its’ known set-backs, and self-contained story with tie-ins, BioWare still carries out its’ traditional RPG flare regardless of long-time fans or newcomers to its Biotic action infused intergalactic journey. It’s not BioWare’s best standing, but Andromeda’s definitely now where near Dragon Age 2. Andromeda is a start, but coming off of the Inquisition heels: no where near an end.