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Mass Effect Andromeda Review

So, I “beat” Mass Effect Andromeda, which is to say, after 95 hours of play (in a week and half), I faced the climactic battle against the big bad. I still have some unresolved missions, but it lets you resolve them after that. I could have had the fight much sooner, and still gone on and done the other things. It would have made sense. “You saved the cluster, but there is still work to do” is a theme after the action. That kind of sums up the game in general. Exploring and building is the job, saving the galaxy is something you had to do along the way.

The Bad Guy is…well, he is is a bad guy. He doesn’t blow me away with any revelations, though he does get a “that fucker!” out of me. There are still lots of mysteries to solve, and the more hopeful tone is reiterated throughout the game.

I do agree with most, in that, this game should have had more time to be polished, but it is a good game overall.   There are some glorious visuals in this game, and it does stick those landings. That said, I did have some graphics issues, though nothing as bad as some of the ones I have seen reported online. There were a few side missions that I could not get to resolve. Nothing core, just some minor annoyances.  There were also sometimes I clearly outpaced what the writing of a mission expected me to do. I would reach a point and have to wait for the mission to catch up to me.

It is a solid science fiction adventure story, with a classic science fiction feel. You are explorers in another galaxy. They leave the Milky Way after Mass Effect 1 but maybe a little before Mass Effect 2, and arrive in Andromeda 600 years later. There are some mentions of the previous trilogy, but it is in no way vital to this new game. You can unlock even more ties, but again, nothing vital to what you are doing. The enemies, the Kett, are not incomprehensible horrors in the Lovecraftian vein. They are just really bad guys. There are some spoilery thoughts I have on them, but I am pleased with the bad guys overall. The dialog writing was better than the previous games. There is some genuinely witty repartee going on here. Probably the best interpersonal writing of any Mass Effect game.

“It is hard to calculate how few fucks I have to give about that.” – Pathfinder Ryder

The missions are what you would expect, but it feels like they were written with the idea that you would do them incidentally. I am in this area, to do this thing, but I also have these other things I should do since I am here. They also give you many excuses to fly between all the various worlds, so you keep going back to those places. If you have unresolved bits, you have an excuse to go back to the places where you can resolve them. You can, and I did, level the team to the point that they have more points than you can spend.

You can, and I did, level the team to the point that they have more points than you can spend. The Multiplayer is actually pretty fun, but it is not required. The strike teams you send out as timed off camera missions does a lot of what the multiplayer does for you.

I am going to keep playing. I will finish out all my unresolved missions. I will likely play through again, eventually, though not at the marathon pace I have been doing.

I think it is a good game. I think it suffers in reviews because of the name it has. If it had not been made by Bioware, and didn’t have Mass Effect in the title, it probably would not have been judged so harshly. It is a good game with a cool story and memorable characters. It has some issues, but nothing that broke my fun. My first thought in beating it was, “I want more. When can I have more?”

Oh, when you beat it, read the nearby email terminal when you recover. It is ostensibly thank you messages from a bunch of colonists you saved. Thing is, there are some Dragon Age, Jade Empire, and other easter eggs in there.

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