Mass Effect: Andromeda is…adequate

I can’t really craft this as a “The Good, The Bad and The Verdict” yet. But I felt like sharing my thoughts about the latest release in the youthful and acclaimed RPG franchise from Bioware. I have fond memories of playing the originals and originally wasn’t going to pick this up, but after doing a favor for my roommate (Thanks Selds!), she got me a gift card as a thank you. So, digital currency in hand, I fired up my Xbox and purchased the hard work of Bioware Montreal.

For those not in the know, Mass Effect: Andromeda tells the story of an inter-species private exploratory initiative launched during the time period where your character was otherwise occupied in Mass Effect 2. Gathering all the known races from the Milky Way Galaxy, those behind the organization aimed to go on a 600-year voyage to the nearby Andromeda Galaxy. To find new worlds, establish a new home for mankind and narratively cop-out of explaining what happened to our friends, enemies and other characters we loved after the end of Mass Effect 3.

The reviews have…not been great. Currently, the franchise continuer sits at around 77% on Metacritic. That’s a score two points below fellow game made purely for commercial reasons in order to keep a beloved franchise going titled Gears of War: Judgement. In addition to similar stories of production background, there are other things that these two games have in common.

For one, I like them and don’t really get where the hate is coming from.

Sure, the game has some glitches and downright silly looking animations for characters, but you know what? That’s part of what playing video games is all about. Fact of the matter is, none of these things ever really ship in a perfect condition. What would a Bethesda entry be without bugs? Or, for that matter, could you imagine how Destiny would have been without its share?

I could go on, but I can’t do that until I’ve finished the game and can report back with a more detailed perspective. So, I’ll close with this. Stop bashing this thing. It may be buggy, made for purely commercial reasons and filled with some narrative choices that are lazy. But I’m having fun playing it. Andromeda is like the greasy hamburger to the fine Kobe beef that was the original trilogy. It isn’t as good or filling, but dam it is tasty in the present moment.

Current Progress in Game: Created character, finished the intro level and first main story world. Presently on the Nexus (New Citadel Building) and dicking around with side quests.

 

UPDATE ONE

Hey guys, I’m back.

When I left you last, I was in the post-release window of the latest offering from the Bastardized R.P.G Makers now under the thumb of the worst game manufacturing and development company in America. I wrote about how the piece wasn’t that bad and that it was a perfect Gears of War: Judgement style addition to the far better developed original trilogy. Since I last wrote to you, I’ve established outposts for the Andromeda Initiative on a couple of optimum worlds, met and recruited all of the games squad members and breathed a sigh of relief and exasperation after a patch was announced that would tinker substantially with some in-game dialogue and facial animations.

First, I’m glad they made the patch. I was getting a little creeped out at some of the rubbery facial textures of human beings in the game. What they’ve done and are going to do is a welcome improvement. But there’s just one problem with the whole dammed thing.

If the game had problems, WHY DIDN’T YOU DELAY IT?!

Seriously, I get that these days most bits of software are in early access whether consumers like it or not and that I previously noted the bugs didn’t bother me at first. But when you say that your studio is going to tinker with the game over the next two months to make it better, that’s insulting. You’ve basically admitted that the suits overruled the artists and shipped a product that wasn’t ready. Giving a “Fuck Off” to fans in the process.

Outside of that, the game has really stuck with the familiar species that you know and love from previous games. The Krogan, Turian, Salarian and Asari are all present. Of the two new races (The Kett and Angara), only one character from the phallic looking species joins your party. Named Jaal, he is clearly the best written of all your new digital friends.

For real, the guy reminds me of Javik from Mass Effect 3. I dig the whole “stoic and fish out of water warrior” archetype and it is played brilliantly here by the voice actor. If this new series is to continue (And I am doubtful of that.), I want writing as good as his.

That’s it everybody. Another update on where I am at with this “Massive” game (Punny, I know.). As time goes on I’ll be sure to keep you posted on what I think and if its worth it.

Current Progress in Game: On the Angaran home-world and planning a movie night with my squad. It wouldn’t be a Bioware game without those signature quiet and cool moments. 

UPDATE TWO

Hey guys, its me here with another add on to this latest installment and franchise continuation from one-time acclaimed RPG game developer Bioware. I have to be honest, now that I finished the game, I find that I didn’t really give a shit about it. I was so dis-invested in what I saw before me that I decided to write about that apathy here. Ultimately, I don’t know for sure whether it was issues in my own life or a flat design that lost my interest, but I don’t think Mass Effect: Andromeda will stay with me in the future. Memorable it is not, serviceable yes, impactful no, a shameless cash grab probablyish.

 

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One Comment on “Mass Effect: Andromeda is…adequate

  1. Pingback: Andromeda, you’ve Lost Me | Evan J Pretzer

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