They say any press is good press, but I can’t imagine Bioware and EA are thrilled about their animations being torn apart on social media.
Review copies are out and EA is offering the first 10 hours of the game to members of their EA and Origin services. Unfortunately for the 007 Racing (PS1 2000) publisher, the internet has turned Andromeda into a meme-fest (ask a young person if I used that word right because IDGAF).
The main problem seems to be the animations during the in-engine conversations. Developers will often use shortcuts here as it can be impossible to hand-craft every single piece of dialogue in a game of this scope. But it appears to be a very large step back from even the first Mass Effect, released in 2007. This is obviously a glaring issue as a large (and arguably best) chunk of Mass Effect games involves watching characters speak.
Here’s a particularly hilarious compilation. Hit the mute button to avoid the fitting but irritating off-key music.
YouTuber xLetalis uploaded a great comparison between Andromeda and the nearly 10-year old Mass Effect 1, and 2015’s Witcher 3. The difference is severe.
Some have jumped to Bioware’s defense and stated the animation problems are mostly with the human characters. A strange priority considering the player is assuming the role of a human.
Bioware on Twitter – No fix for Day 1
Ian Frazier, lead designer on Andromeda addressed a Tweet concerning a Day 1 patch potentially fixing the criticized animations.
Perhaps patching the characters to at least maintain eye-contact could go a long way in removing the uncanny valley vibe. Or maybe two patches over the eyes of the human characters to hide the erratic side glances.
If that wasn’t enough
PC Gamer and Rock Paper Shotgun have posted mixed-to-negative impressions to the opening section. Some low-lights from RPS:
“The first few hours of Andromeda are a gruesome trudge through the most trite bilge of the previous three games, smeared out in a setting that’s horribly familiar, burdened with some outstandingly awful writing, buried beneath a UI that appears to have been designed to infuriate in every possible way.”
“some of the most dreadful writing. I cannot emphasise enough how poor it’s been.”
“Generic Grumpy Space Captain Lady is there, right up front. With a deft hand she begins by correcting your grammar from “who” to “whom”, and then in the same conversation says “less” when she means “fewer”.”
Those animations are PATHETIC! Really? How could you let a game go to market with that crap.
Shame on you.
Developing a AAA game might be like jumping out of a plane and building the parachute on the way down. They probably hoped the animations would improve throughout development and after delays, still hadn’t figured it out.
Switching to Frostbite and it not being Bioware’s A team seemed to be too much for this project to handle.