Review Roundup: Mass Effect: Andromeda is a flawed yet enjoyable entry in the series
Maybe not what everyone wanted.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is one of the most highly anticipated games to release this year despite the mountains of controversy behind it. It's the fourth game in the series and the first one that goes beyond the world and story of the original trilogy. After the somewhat disastrous ending of Mass Effect 3 which left a bad taste in many people's mouth, many were hoping Andromeda would make things right and be a great success! Sadly, some may be disappointed according to reviews.
Reviewers have dumped dozens of hours into the game and have published their final impressions of the game. Some came away feeling pretty positive about the game while others felt the game is a disappointment and takes some big steps back for a very progressive series. Below you'll find excerpts from a handful of reviews (both positive and negative) for Mass Effect: Andromeda that address the game's writing, technical issues, and general quality for a Mass Effect game. The game's PS4 version currently sits at an average score of 75 on Metacritic while the Xbox One version sits at a 77.
"Overall, though, the inconsistent writing is what makes this Mass Effect a rollercoaster of ups and downs. Occasionally, we’re confronted with excellent morally gray questions where both options have compelling logic and terrible consequences, where you’re forced to pick between, for instance, a long-term greater good or saving lives. Those are some of the best moments in all of Mass Effect: Andromeda and they’re right up there with the toughest head-scratchers of the original trilogy. I’d have loved to have seen more of them. There are also some respectable quests, such as discovering the truth behind the first murder in Andromeda using your Batman-style scanner on your wrist-mounted Omnitool and then deciding what to do with the results of your investigation. Having finished the campaign, however, very few of these no-win choices have come back to haunt me in the ways I’d hoped for."
is an expansive action role-playing game with a few great moments that recapture the high points of the landmark trilogy that came before it, and energetic combat and fantastic sound effects contribute to a potent sci-fi atmosphere. Without consistently strong writing or a breakout star in its cast to carry it through the long hours and empty spaces, however, disappointments like a lack of new races, no companion customization, and major performance problems and bugs take their toll."
"After the first few hours of Mass Effect: Andromeda, I was discouraged--maybe even a little distraught. Within that short span of time, I'd already encountered unconvincing animations, bog standard missions, clunky user interface, stilted dialogue--basically every red flag you hope to avoid when approaching a lengthy shooter-RPG powered equally by action and story.
Thankfully, Andromeda did improve. As I progressed, I unlocked exhilarating new combat options, met characters with deeper appeal than my initial crew, and discovered freely explorable worlds that finally fulfilled the series' decade-old planet-hopping promise. And yet, some of those early problems persisted throughout, and while I did catch glimmers of the original trilogy's greatness, that shine was often dulled by lifeless dialogue, tedious missions, and even technical shortcomings."
"In many ways, Andromeda feels like a vision half-fulfilled. It contains a dizzying amount of content, but the quality fluctuates wildly. Its worlds and combat shine, but its writing and missions falter--and the relative strength of the former is not enough to compensate for the inescapable weakness of the latter. As a Mass Effect game, Andromeda falls well short of the nuanced politics, morality, and storytelling of its predecessors. For me, the series has always been about compelling characters and harrowing choices, so to find such weak writing here is bitterly disappointing. Yet even after 65 hours, I still plan on completing a few more quests. The game can't escape its shortcomings, but patient explorers can still find a few stars shining in the darkness."
"Mass Effect: Andromeda is a game with problems, both lightly floating on the surface and, sometimes, deeper, and they get in the way of different things it does well to varying degrees. But what Andromeda succeeds at, it does very well — maybe as well as the series has ever done."
"I’m conflicted about Mass Effect: Andromeda. There’s a lot of roughness throughout the game, and the technical issues, while not game-breaking, are often incredibly distracting."
"When taken as its own journey (and not in comparison to Shepard’s saga), Mass Effect: Andromeda is fun, and the important parts work. The narrative isn’t astounding, but keeps you invested and drives you forward. The combat is entertaining whether you're in single-player or multiplayer. The crew isn't my favorite, but I like them and they have some good moments. Even with its other problems, these are the largest forces shaping your experience with Mass Effect: Andromeda, and they make it worth playing. At the same time, I was often left looking through a haze of inconveniences and dreaming about the game it could have been."
"If you’re a long-time BioWare fan, well used to their quirks and idiosyncrasies, you’re probably going to enjoy the game a whole lot more than younger and less experienced gamers coming in fresh from more advanced and polished RPGs.
I am certainly part of the first lot, and in fact, despite the flaws, I really enjoyed most of Mass Effect Andromeda, its lovable alien buddies, its beautiful exotic planets, its story full of mysteries and surprises to uncover. The tight combat gameplay definitely adds to the package, making this a game worth playing.
Perhaps Mass Effect Andromeda will serve as a wake-up call for BioWare, letting them realize that it’s time to evolve beyond the change of setting and cast. In the meanwhile, we’re still given a game that might not be the monumental fresh start that the masses expected, but is still a quite solid experience that many will enjoy."
"A while ago I wrote a wishlist for Andromeda that referenced how I didn't want it to give up it's third-person shooter roots and become Dragon Age: Inquisition in space, but, uh, that's basically exactly what has happened. I'm surprisingly okay with it."
"So, if what you liked most about Mass Effect was the tighter story pushed through with action set pieces then you might not enjoy Mass Effect: Andromeda, but if you liked Inquisition you're probably fine. Though this in itself may be a problem for a Mass Effect game. Although maybe not as much as the widely reported tech issues."
"With a little more focus, Andromeda could have been a great game. The premise of exploring a new frontier in space is exciting and original, and the cast of characters inhabiting this new world - be they the fresh races, or the people you’ve dragged with you from the Milky Way - are more interesting than not. Some of the worlds have a real beauty, and the main narrative itself is compelling enough to carry you happily to the end. But there’s too much quest padding. Too much technical jargon. Too much fighting for a game with a poor fighting system. Too many clever little animations and quest-steps in between the stuff that’s actually fun to do. Place the resulting experience next to infinitely more finessed open-world games like The Witcher 3, Horizon: Zero Dawn - or even the original trilogy - and Andromeda compares very poorly indeed. Not a disaster, but definitely not the fresh start this series needed, or the one fans have been waiting patiently for."
Mass Effect: Andromeda releases on March 21st, 2017 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC.