The original trilogy didn’t need a fourth chapter (it hardly needed the third), but the promise of a new galaxy to explore was the best possible route to take.
Unfortunately, Mass Effect Andromeda is a gigantic wasted opportunity. Instead of meeting mind-bending new life forms, we get slightly lumpier versions of ourselves. Two eyes/arms/legs, and that same old mouth of teeth. A galaxy of possibility and we get a halloween costume.
This isn’t a low-budget live-action sci-fi series limited to slapping makeup on a human. The developers could have put ANYTHING they ever imagined on the screen, but instead, severely limited their imagination.
The concept of sending representatives from each Milky Way race on a 600-year frozen journey on arcs should have been ripe for political and philosophical discussion. I was hoping for Battlestar Galactica drama but this too appears to be mostly ignored.
Like I said, I’m only handful of hours in, but I’m tired of that excuse. A game should catch you immediately. ME 2 and 1 both did, while 3 turned me off with its action-movie opening. You shouldn’t have to play a dull game for 20 hours to feel justified in a critique. That’s a waste of your life.
Great entertainment should take pride in the first impression, hooking the consumer and setting the tone for what’s to come.
Mass Effect Andromeda feels like a great example of how hard it is to make a large game with a large team. The landscapes are beautiful and the combat is stronger than ever. But they just don’t jive with the rest of the gameplay. There’s too many tedious and redundant screens between interesting sections.
I understand load times when traveling to a new planet but it should have been streamlined. Instead of 3-4 screens and multiple loads to get off a planet and to the next one, why not let the player click where they want to go, have one load screen, and be done with it?
Overall, it’s too big for its britches. A serious edit of content could have done wonders. Adding lame fetch-quests to literally get beer is a waste of everyone’s time. This goes for dialogue as well. Once the main point has hit, move on to the next step instead of circling back for a few more tedious exchanges.
I feel bad for the lower-level developers who worked their ass off for years to have this as the end result. The problem is most definitely much higher than their paygrade. Bioware’s expansion and inconsistent track record is where I’d guess the troubles came from.
We’ve seen the same from Platinum as well, there’s obviously not enough talent and great ideas to go around. There are most definitely very talented people behind Mass Effect Andromeda, but the combination of elements that need to come together to produce a great game didn’t come together here.
If you’ve never played a Mass Effect, please don’t start here. Check out ME 2, and then go back to 1 if you still have a hankering for space opera.