Let’s talk about why I didn’t enjoy Mass Effect Andromeda. I won’t include any spoilers, as per usual. I will say that I didn’t finish the game. I do want to finish the game eventually. Maybe, it’s better after they pushed out what few updates? I wanted to love this game because of how much I adore the original Mass Effect trilogy. I’m aware it was made by a different company but still, that’s an excuse for poor development not a reason to create a bad game.
No spoilers and TL,DR at the bottom, as usual.
To be fair, I’m writing this 5 months after playing about 25 hours of the game before getting bored and giving up. I might be misremembering some things but I’m not really going to play a game to completion if it’s approximately zero fun.
First, the characters are not that interesting. With the exception of Peebee, the characters that make up your squad are just boring. They feel like the same person wearing different clothes. Or they feel different just uninspired. I think Peebee has the best backstory and has some really funny moments while just out in the wilds of planets.
Second, the planets all play out the same. I did enjoy the variety of enemies and things to kill on the planets. However, that’s about as interesting as the different planets get. Each new planet plays out exactly like the one before it. I think the sameness of the planets would be fine if the story involved with getting to the planet was actually intriguing.
The story itself isn’t engrossing. I never felt inclined to go to different planets. But, I think that’s an interface issue as much as it is a story perspective issue. I feel like I’m told to go to new places based on a text not because the story forces me to go there for some interesting reason. “Go find these things on this planet.” I’m not kidding, I feel like those in text clues were my reason for going places, not because the story wanted me too. Just some words. Those words didn’t even come from a cut-scene. They were just written in the pause menu.
Third and finally, the story pacing is awkward. Since the story is all about doing the same thing over and over on each planet that just looks different, I feel like the game is unnecessarily long. I have no idea where I was in terms of story completion. After talking with my brother about his play through he thinks I was roughly halfway through but who knows. If that’s true it would have been like 40 hours of story in the first playthrough. I remember beating Mass Effect in like 20 hours or something similar. I think Bioware created breadth instead of depth for this game. I would rather a compact, coherent story rather than some comically large universe to play around.
I didn’t play the multiplayer aspects of Andromeda so I can’t really attest to its involvement in the game.
I do enjoy the combat and the weaponry of Mass Effect Andromeda. Combat is fun due to the rpg elements of the weapon system and character build. Combat, Tech, or Biotic powers give you a variety of gameplay styles. I think giving players the ability to play how they want helps bring us into the game even if the story is lackluster and less than compelling. Maybe the multiplayer is good for that reason.
These thoughts feel a bit random and writing this retrospective really makes me think about going back to Andromeda and replaying the game. I just want to give it a fair shake even if the game is bad. I feel like if I’m going to provide any sort of in-depth conversation about the game I need to actually finish the game and not do it five months after playing the game.
I’ve beat both Destiny 2 and Assassin’s Creed: Origins and I don’t think there’s any other fall or winter games I really need to play so Andromeda could be on the menu.
TL, DR: Didn’t like Mass Effect Andromeda the first time I tried it, thinking about replaying it.
Thanks for reading.