Mass Effect Andromeda: Video Game Review

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I know there are a ton of mixed reviews about this game, some people hated on it so bad they swore off the franchise forever while others really enjoyed it. Overall, I understand some of the complaints, and I also understand why many people love the game. I think sometimes we can create echo chambers and there’s a tendency to love to hate things, haters gunna hate but reading those reviews don’t exactly give you an accurate portrayal of what to expect from the game.

Overall, I felt positive about this game, it’s not my favorite of the franchise, that still stands with ME2, but I absolutely didn’t think it was a dud of a game either.

The negatives:

1. Sometimes the waypoints wouldn’t show up on the map and I would waste time trying to run around the map trying to find where I was supposed to be going. This happened a handful of times and it was incredibly aggitating.

2. Sometimes I couldn’t activate fast travel when I should have been able to. I would have to save the game, exit, and reload to get it to work again. I wasn’t in combat, there was no reason outside of a glitch that I had to do that.

3. There were a lot of load scenes to try and explore all the worlds, it wasn’t a huge thing but it got old.
For me, some of the plot seemed repetitive from the other games. I’ll go into that in the spoiler section down below.

4. I felt like the aliens in this world were using the same body plans and didn’t look all that unique. The leg structure of the new aliens look very much like things we see in other races and it would have been nice to have different and unique looking aliens in a brand new galaxy.

5. The monsters/wild life you fight on the majority of the worlds all look the same as well. It doesn’t make much sense (unless it will be explained later) why different planets across the Andromeda galaxy would all look the same.

6. The menus were confusing at times, it took me a long while to adjust how to navigate through to find things, particularly trying to sell things. Maybe I just didn’t figure it out, but I couldn’t group things together to view a category by itself. For example, you collect a ton of “salvage” through the game and when you’re trying to sell it to merchants you have to scroll through this LONG list of stuff that was all mixed together. Helmets, armor, ammo, minerals, and salvage are all jumbled together at random and you have to go through and pick them all out individually instead of just having a grouping option so you could just “select all” and sell. I’ll be going back through online and seeing if maybe I missed something but I don’t think I did.

The Positives:

1. The game play itself was hugely improved. I LOVED the jump jet aspect of the game play. It was smooth, it allowed for more fluid game play, it allowed for further reach and better exploration of the terrains you’re navigating. Loved the shit out of the jump jets.

2. The vehicle for ME1 had me RAGE QUIT so many times. I would get stuck so many times and have to re-load from a previous save and my god is that fucking annoying. With this game I never got stuck and with 6 wheel drive I could get around nearly all the terrains they threw at me

3. I liked the romance options and the scenes, I went through and watched the ones I didn’t go for and most of them were really well done, there was one dud – I didn’t think the Liam scene was all that great – but many of them were awesome. And hey, boobies in this game! I decided to romance Jaal and that scene surprised the shit out of me how explicit it was, but it was also really sweet. Jaal was my favorite crew mate so he was an easy choice for the romance for me. Vetra was a very close second though

4. The crew! Some people said they didn’t like the crew but I didn’t really understand that. Many of them were well developed and had distinct and likeable personalities. I do understand why some people would get annoyed with Peebee, I was pretty disenchanted with her at first but she did grow on me. And I got to have a bonus sex scene with her because she’s down for no strings attached romance that didn’t affect my ability to romance another character. Only Cora and Liam didn’t click with me well, but I didn’t dislike them, I just didn’t get overly attached. I DID get overly attached to Vetra, I loved her to bits and her romance scene was one of the most endearing. If you do decide to romance Peebee she finally opens up to you and becomes a much more relatable character and I very much enjoyed her actual romance sex scene as well. There were a bunch of bonding scenes that had nothing to do with romance either. Going drinking with Drack was one of my favorite moments in the game. I’ve heard some people say this game didn’t have the same heart as the other games, but honestly I would disagree, there were plenty of bonding and silly moments available for you to play through if you chose to do them. If you switch up the crew while on away missions you’ll learn a lot about them because they talk while you’re in the Nomad roaming around the different worlds.

Vetras romance scene non explicit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQqfr9BQ9QY

peebee gets drunk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WEslJA_oSo

Drack and pathfinder get into a bar fight https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ez_i2OfznQ

Dracks best moments https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN0iZteyBMk

5. Outside of the jump jet, other aspects of game play were improved as well, you get many more options for how you want to set up your powers with this game. I could be any of the power set ups I wanted, adept, soldier, infiltrator etc. You can just power up one of those builds all the way, or pick a bunch of different things and create a blend of the builds. I enjoyed that a ton. My favorite guns in games are almost always the assault rifles, but I also love a wide array of magic/power abilities and I was able to do both with this game! Weeee

6. I liked the writing in this game as well, the jokes were hit and miss at times, but they landed more often than not so I’m putting it in the positives

7. There’s a lot of game for your money, I finished this game in about a week and a half – BUT since I’m at home on medical leave I was able to put hours and hours and hours into it every day and if I had been working a regular job this game would have lasted a long time. It’s not Skyrim level, but I believe it’s on par with the game length of the other Mass Effect Games

8. You can play after the game ends! I love moving forward with the main plot to see what’s going on with the other aliens, but I also love playing games to 100% completion. With this game I could save some of the side tasks until later and get on with the games story and come back later to finish it to completion. I love that

There were a bunch of positives and negatives with this game, I didn’t get to the level of OMFGTHISGAMERULESMYLIFE like I did with ME2, but I didn’t walk away disappointed like I did with ME3, and I didn’t get so frustrated with it that I rage quit like I did with ME1. So, I would actually rate this my second favorite Mass Effect game. This is probably a contrary opinion, I don’t hear too many overly positive reviews on this but I feel like focusing on graphics and facial expressions while ignoring all the improvements isn’t how I would approach a game review. Yes, the graphics were not what many people would expect but I play these games for the story and for the crew bonding and for me the game delivered on that.

One of the bigger changes from the last series of Mass Effect games and Andromeda is that there aren’t many choices in the game that make significant impacts on the game – some people like this others don’t and find that was part of the charm of the first set of games. I still don’t know how I feel about it, I didn’t like the choices I had to make sometimes, leaving one of my crew members alone to die, but at the same time making choices that are hard made those games stand apart from other games. My mind isnt’ made up if I like this new approach or not.

As far as I know there haven’t been any statements on if there’s going to be a second game but I truly hope that it does get a sequel because there’s so many questions I want answered.

I’d give this game a 7.5 – 8.0/10

Ok. Spoiler times

SPOILER

SPOILER

One of the more disappointing aspects of the games story was what the evil aliens were trying to do. It was yet again more DNA stealing to create a master race. I felt this was very similar to what was going on with the last game so that fell a bit flat for me.

The evil aliens were a bit different in that this was a religious thing, and I did like the fact the Angara were an artificially created race, I do want to know more about that, I want to know more about the Senate of the Kett, but I wish there was something else going on with the Kett rather than just stealing different species to get their DNA

4 comments

  1. Negatives
    1 & 2: I never ran into those glitches but I did run into bugs that prevented me from getting 100% viability on 2 worlds and were initially blocking me from moving certain story quests forward. One of those got fixed during my first playthrough, not heard anything about the other yet.
    4. Yup.
    5. Unfortunately, it looks like EA plans to basically abandon ME:A and work on new games now. 😦
    6: I don’t recall seeing any grouping/sorting options when selling stuff in ME:A, but there is a “Sell All Salvage” button at the bottom of the screen (at least on the PC version). I found that really helpful, though like you I would also liked to be able to sort the rest of my inventory. My biggest concern with the menu system is related to something I read online but haven’t experienced myself. Apparently some people are finding when interacting with NPCs & crew that there are additional unread/unheard dialogue options buried under the menu system even when the upper level dialogue option is shown in grey (marked as previously seen).

    Positives
    1: Heck yeah, every time I play ME:A I end up hopping around like a rabbit, just because I finally can! πŸ˜€
    2. I never really got the hate for the Mako. Did it drive worth a damn? No. Did you ever get hurt driving it? Nope. Was it fun? Heck yeah! With that said, the Nomad is a massive improvement.
    3. With what I’ve seen I’ve no complaints.
    4. I’ve never warmed up to PeeBee and Cora’s ok (nothing special to my mind). Drack was awesome. Vetras seemed fine, but I didn’t really interact with her that much. Liam was quirky. On ship, mostly meh but his loyalty mission had some of my favorite scenes in the entire game, this YouTube clip shows the scenes I’m talking about. πŸ˜€
    5. I tend to prefer the sniper rifles and taking out the enemy from extreme range. Unfortunately, this lead to at least one of the mission breaking bugs mentioned above; as the game engine ME:A runs on apparently doesn’t handle snipers very well.
    6-8. Yup.

    Like

  2. I know we talked about this before but I was wavering towards never getting this game after a conversation with my husband on EA abandoning the franchise. But your review once again reassured me I should get this game anyway…I can forgive a lot of shit for good romances and interactions. πŸ˜›

    Like

    1. Excellent! With all the patches they’ve put out many of the glitches have been resolved, and unfortunately so, so many people got their panties in a bunch about the graphics and tanked the game I think it is true they won’t be continuing the series, which drives me nuts because there are unanswered questions from the first I was hoping would get resolved by the next game: like where is the Quarian ark? However, I still think the game is worth playing if you like Mass Effect. Just be prepared for some annoying glitches from time to time, mostly map stuff (people and other stuff not showing up on maps).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s the sort of stuff I like fanfiction for. Occasionally there’s excellent ones that help with my headcanon. (Like the whole ending of Mass Effect 3).

        Like

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