Mass Effect Andromeda reviews to date have typically been unkind to this game. It is, if nothing else, a lesson in squandered potential. This game had everything going for it. It was the latest installment in a hugely popular video game series. Mass Effect Andromeda has a total budget of $100 million, which is more than enough to produce a spectacular game.
It had a massive fan base behind it and a stellar voice cast that includes Katy Townsend, who voiced one of the most popular characters (Cait) in Fallout 4. Also, Christine Lakin, the voice of news anchor Joyce Kinney in Family Guy.
Mass Effect Andromeda also had hype. People had been waiting for this game to release. Telling their friends about it and excitedly posting on social media. It’s a game that was five years in the making following the insanely popular and highly-reviewed Mass Effect 3.
Really, there was no way this game could “lose” unless Electronic Arts and Bioware managed to screw the pooch entirely — and they did just that.
Game Specs: An Overview
Genre: Action, role playing
Release date: March 21, 2017
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Supported Languages: English (US), Español (ES), Deutsch (DE), Français (FR), Italiano, Português (BR)
The game Mass Effect: Andromeda takes you to the Andromeda galaxy, where you will lead the fight for a new home in a hostile territory. In this game, WE are considered the aliens.
You will play as the Pathfinder, who is a leader of a squad of military-trained explorers. There is deep progression and customization options. Your choices during the game determine our survival in Andromeda.
- Fight for survival
- Return to the Mass Effect universe
- Explore a new galaxy
- Build your hero
The launch was so dismal that Mass Effect Andromeda put all future games in the series on hold indefinitely and the studio responsible for it was closed.
Ultimately, EA and Bioware delivered a heavy blow to those of us who dropped $100 on the game at launch: the money was wasted. The company announced that they would not be releasing a single story DLC. Bioware said in a statement:
“Early in development, we decided to focus Mass Effect: Andromeda’s story on the Pathfinder, the exploration of the Andromeda galaxy, and the conflict with the Archon. The game was designed to further expand on the Pathfinder’s journey through this new galaxy with story-based APEX multiplayer missions and we will continue to tell stories in the Andromeda Galaxy through our upcoming comics and novels, including the fate of the Quarian Ark.”
The multiplayer mode was, of course, making money with its loot boxes and “pay-to-win” setup. It seemed to be the reason they decided to keep that going. So instead of the expected DLC, players received multiplayer maps and some new premade characters to use in the game’s horde mode cooperative multiplayer.
“Our last update, 1.10, was the final update for Mass Effect Andromeda. There are no planned future patches for single-player or in-game story content,” the statement says.
The development team added a couple of new guns to the single-player game they had already added to multiplayer. Players also found a new outfit or two. But developers left the original game mostly untouched outside of some much-needed bug fixes. They also left significant storyline segments unfinished and questions unanswered.
Mass Effect Andromeda is a colossal mess. But is the game deserving of all the bad press and its horrifying reception? Let’s take a look!
It’s chaos from the beginning. Traveling on “arks” packed with around 20,000 humans and aliens in cryogenic sleep, residents of the Milky Way galaxy spread out across the stars. Intel suggested that, once they had arrived, people would find multiple habitable worlds to colonize. But this is a video game, so you know what happened.
Not only do you wake up to find numerous mostly barren and uninhabitable planets, but most of the Andromeda Initiative arks have gone missing. In addition, a mysterious energy cloud called the Scourge nearly destroyed your own ark.
You are thrust into the role of Pathfinder though a storyline development we won’t spoil. It’s your job to get the colonization mission back on track. To do this, you need to wake your people up from stasis. You also need to find a way to make the planets you encounter habitable while staving off a hostile alien race called the Kett and other baddies that come your way.
Along the way, you make allies, recruit team members, and blast your way through mysterious alien ruins populated by mechanical beings called Remnants.
Mass Effect’s story is captivating a similar sci-fi lore’s with Destiny. Voice acting is excellent. You grow to care about the people you meet. It’s wonderful. Unfortunately, we can not necessarily describe the rest of the game this way.
Bugs, Bugs, Bugs!
After its release, Mass Effect Andromeda reviews were unkind. The game, they said, was a buggy mess. And they were right. One of the few things that Bioware did to add to the single-player game was fix many of the numerous (and at times game-breaking) bugs players encountered.
No longer were you told — repeatedly — that you have a new email (even if you didn’t) to the point that you wanted to chuck your XBox against the wall. No longer could you gain infinite money by buying and selling the same items over and over to a specific merchant. Dead allies wouldn’t stay dead with their corpse creepily following you around like a puppy. Enemies stopped getting stuck in rocks, making them invincible. Bosses that could become invincible became killable. You lost the ability to “romance” companions Peebee and Cora simultaneously though, which was a bummer.
Unfortunately, these and numerous other bug fixes failed to restore people’s faith in the game they waited five years to play.
As you can probably tell from Mass Effect Andromeda reviews across the internet, missions in the game range from good to bad to terrible to funny to anywhere in between. Many of the missions in this game are tedious while others will bore you to tears. Fortunately, the primary story missions are mostly fun, and many side quests are interesting.
One quest has you searching for a grow light for two out-of-the-way settlers’ “medicinal plants.” In another, you are investigating a secret project and accidentally release the project. Then you have to fight off a gigantic beast and your regular enemies. The “loyalty missions” that unlock the final skills for your companions are perhaps the most fun in the game.
But then there are quests like “movie night” that make you want to bash your controller against the wall, so you have no choice but to do, literally, anything else. Fortunately, you can skip over many of the side quests in Mass Effect Andromeda and only do the ones you like.
The most disappointing aspect of Mass Effect Andromeda’s missions are the many unfinished stories. The reason for this is mainly because the game did so dismally that they never made expansions. One particular story is that at the end of the game, you find the location of a lost ark. That seemed to be the jumping off point for the first DLC that never happened(You May Also Like: Star Wars Battlefront DLC ).
Another is a long storyline involving a “mysterious benefactor” to the Andromeda Initiative. You never do find out who it is. Another quest allows you to save or kill a rogue A.I. It seems like a very important decision and probably was meant to be, but that too is left unresolved. The lack of commitment to the untold stories is almost unforgivable. Almost.
The Weapons, Armor, and Crafting
Weapons and armor are unique and excellent. Unfortunately, if you want to craft them all, you need to play the game multiple times using the New Game+ feature because of the scarcity of Research Points. You gain these at various points in the game and from examining objects, but you can only find most of them once per game. You need research points to learn each level of an item as well as augmentations and other goodies.
The messy crafting system is more of a pain than anything. You can craft almost every weapon and armor in the game. Unfortunately, even after three playthroughs you probably still can’t craft them all. It’s unclear how many times Bioware thought you would slog through the story, but the answer for most was “not enough.”
In spite of that, the weapons are awesome. The Dhan shotgun will fire a massive ball of death at your enemies at close range. The Scorpion pistol shoots mini sticky grenades with delayed explosions and is tons of fun. The Remnant Chryo-Gauntlet will freeze unshielded enemies when you punch them. You can watch the above video to see some of the best weapons in Mass Effect Andromeda.
Each piece of armor has unique bonuses to expand upon your skill builds. Also, you can craft modifications that add bonuses to your weapons and armor to truly make them your own.
While the crafting system is disappointing, there’s a reason that Mass Effect Andromeda reviews often praise the weapons themselves. They’re awesome.
It’s All About the Skills
Mass Effect Andromeda Reviews often criticize the game itself, but they often praise the skills themselves. One of the most fun parts of the game is figuring out how skills synergize with one another. But let’s face it — you’re probably going to end up with a biotic build in which Charge, Nova, and Annihilation are significant components.
However, if you don’t care about min/maxing isn’t essential to you, there are a lot of exciting and fun skills to play with. The amount of customization is absolutely crazy. But the developers seem to have decided that there are only a few ways for the game to be played on maximum difficulty and you often find yourself constrained by the fact that the biotic skills are leaps and bounds above all the others.
Multiplayer: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
If you read Mass Effect Andromeda reviews across the internet, you’ll notice that the multiplayer mode was probably the most successful aspect of the game. Multiplayer is completely separate from the main game because of balance. It features a plethora of characters, each with their own unique skill set (including attacks that are not in the main game). If you don’t prefer FPS sci-fi shooter like Star Wars Battlefront then this is the game for you.
As you play, you earn loot boxes (which you can also buy) that give you newer, better, and stronger weapons. You’ll also find characters and special augments you can use to make your character stronger. Mostly, this involves finding the same gun or character multiple times, with them gaining strength with each copy.
You can also buy health packs and other useful items, all of which are just rare enough to make you consider spending real money. It is made worse by the fact that all the best weapons and characters are also the rarest. They take forever to get if you don’t throw money at the problem.
Multiplayer is essentially a multi-round “horde mode,” where enemies swarm you until the end. Occasionally, there are objectives throw in like “disarm the bomb.” But at its core, it’s about smashing faces and looking cool while doing it.
Unfortunately, what could have been the best part of the game is forever tarnished by the “pay to win” nature of Mass Effect Andromeda’s multiplayer experience. Unfortunately, this blatant cash grab was the one part of the game to which Bioware did commit post-release.
Mass Effect Andromeda Reviews are Generally Right
Mass Effect Andromeda reviews often peg this as a game that failed in every conceivable way. It did. But there is a lot of good to be found in this game if you give it a chance. And since you can pick this game up for about ten or fifteen bucks, you have nothing to lose. If you are not sure to buy it or not you may want to check this Game of the Year Awards.
For what it is, Mass Effect Andromeda is an excellent game. Maybe it didn’t blow audiences away, but it isn’t the worst thing in existence. Sure, multiplayer may be a cash grab. Sure, there may be plot holes. Maybe there are some glaring issues with weapon and armor crafting. But there are still very good reasons to play it.
As long as you are aware of Mass Effect Andromeda’s many, many faults, you can enjoy it. Just don’t set your expectations too high.