Oli already filled us in on the mass consumer opinions in this article. But I’ve played it and let me tell you (to save you £44 and a couple of G’s of HD space) Mass Effect Andromeda is horrifically bad.
I’ve played bits of the previous games, but a lot of that was just me trying to get in on the critically acclaimed franchise. With a fresh story coming to the latest gen of consoles I was pretty excited to be able to start afresh and get in on some Ryder action. 2 hours of the 10-hour play-test provided with EA Access has changed my mind and I am now less inclined to play through the series than ever before.
Why must we witness the destruction of universes such as this one?
First things first: it isn’t all 100% awful. The voice acting is horrific, the animation is awful, the protagonist (female) looks constantly bewildered and amused… It doesn’t stop there either; the writing is dull and un-engaging, the menu
s are clunky… In fact, there are only three positives I can draw from it:
- Environments are nicely rendered and feel finished
- The UI is fairly fluid and well thought out
- Combat is as good as you would expect from a third person, cover-based, shooter
Overall the experience feels rushed and generally diabolical.
EA have failed to say much about the game further than “nah lads it wont be fixed xoxo” which feels sub-par for an instalment people have been waiting 5 years for.
The problems aren’t in the small details, though. I’ve noticed that close up things look incredible, down to eyes and pores all the way to the rendering of the larger environments, but playing this I can’t help but feel like a lot of the game already feels dated. NPC’s in the distance look like they’ve been dropped in from 10 years ago and given a shoddy texture pack. Not good enough for an AAA title carrying the Mass Effect name. Even though we all know ME to have inconsistent and sometimes pretty whack graphics, I’ve never seen them this off so much in such a short experience of a game.
What you do still get, as is common with BioWare games, is a pretty spectacular customisation process for our main man/lady which is pretty rad. But I suppose it doesn’t make so much of a difference when you’ve either fallen asleep or laughed so hard you’ve cried during the cutscenes, that you’ve not seen what you look like anyway.
The most devastating thing about this is not that this shit show will end up the legacy of an otherwise fantastic franchise, but that the game feels like a betrayal for long-time fans. Even to a newcomer like me it feels like a classic name has been forced out the arse end of EA to rake in some extra cash… It feels like the Sonic 2006 of Mass Effect, they’ve really jumped the shark here.
It isn’t unplayable by any stretch of the imagination, especially if you enjoy being bored. But with other huge games such as NieR and Zelda released so recently, I would recommend those over this without hesitation.
People have taken it too far though and actually launched an attack on a human being who wasn’t even a member of the team! A facial animator (who it later turned out was nothing to do with this shit-show) was hunted down by angry fans and even received death threats. The full story is detailed here very kindly by the guys over at Heatstreet but in short: while the animator in question does indeed work at EA, she did not, in face, work on Andromeda. Regardless, no matter how bad a game: behaviour like this is never justified.
Opinions are split on this one and critics reviews range from the low 20’s to high 80’s… It’s very much a marmite installment, it seems.
Check out the not-so-true-to-life trailer below while you wait the remaining few days until you can get your mitts on it.