It has been five years since we tackled what the galaxy threw at us, having Shepard tackle the Reapers and changing the fate of the universe forever. EA and Bioware are back at it again with a new story and new initiative with Mass Effect Andromeda. Take over as or Scott or Sara Ryder or create your own male or female character to take on the path with your father Alec Ryder the pathfinder.
What is the path you say? Andromeda is an uncharted place in space that species are looking to relocate on these golden planets (not literally) this falls to the pathfinder Alec Ryder and his team including either his son or daughter.
I’m going to write this review without any current spoilers.
My first initial thoughts of Mass Effect Andromeda was it is beautiful, now I’m not one of those gamers that have to have the 1000% perfect visuals to play the game, I play off a 4K Ready TV and it does the job, it shows me what I’m playing and then threatens to turn off after I’ve played too much…the bastard! But the visuals looked stunning, reason I’m focusing on that is because there are a lot of reviews out there that really hammer the game for its sheer difference from E3 to now, erm guys games change, the trailers are there to make you want to buy the game and it’s not like the game has gone from 4k to 32bit!!! Relax.
Sounds for Andromeda are also up there with stunning, the environments and enemies are really crisp and clear, weapons also sound clear and some true to life…like the guns that actually shoot bullets. One thing I will comment on with the game’s sound and that is Scott Ryder, when playing as him I found the narrative very linear and therefore preferred to play as Sara even though she looked like a chipmunk, like serious Bioware why are her cheeks so puffy? Scott looks more or less just like his counterpart but Sara looks nothing like the person she is voiced by. There are several well-known actors lending their voice to the game this year one noticeable one is Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell, Game of Thrones).
I may as well jump on the bandwagon that is current and talk about the facial features looking a little ropey, this is true and it really is a strange one, the characters really look like they’re dead inside there is no life in their eyes which is a shame as I recently played all three of the mass effect games again thinking they will continue in this game but that’s another story. But when playing the first three games I found the characters believable even from the first game released way back in 2007. It literally baffles me how they didn’t go with the times and make the characters have an actual life. If you look at games like The Witcher 3 you can tell what the characters are feeling when they speak, these are big moments in a game to make you understand and relate to the character you’re playing with.
Controls in Mass Effect Andromeda are really similar to Mass Effect 3 with the added jetpack jump which is completed with the A button and a dash in whatever direction you desire using the B button. Apart from that, the interface is similar to the previous games but Andromeda asks you to plan your missions to make you look better as you team and yourself can combo up on enemies to make life easier for you. Like some, you can combine freeze to an enemy and then fire on them to shatter them into little tiny pieces.
Just like the previous games you have a top notch ship to scour the universe in this time around it is called The Tempest and from the exterior looks a spitting image of the Normandy but the interior is a marvel to look at. You also have the Nomad which is a knock off in my opinion of the Mako from the first Mass Effect. When on planets you can make your own decision on what you do but some planets have weather conditions that will make things quite tough. One of the first planets you visit in the story is Eos which has scorching sun so you can’t leave a certain area until…hang on I said no spoilers, you’ll have to play the full game.
One of the main statements in mass effect games is the crew has to be a mix of human and alien races. From Turian to Krogan, Asari, and Salarian. You hold the fate of many races in your hand as you look for a golden planet to live on but in your way is a new species called The Kett. They look like Protheans but with small heads but they pack a punch and also have a Verren like animals that cloak when they attack. The combat system in Andromeda is pretty similar to other shooters in the gaming world, your enemy is in cover and you wait but in andromeda the enemy A.I. seems to move from cover to cover and also tries to flank you and tuck you in with grenades. The first few encounters I had were real battles I can tell you that. But having the jump boost really helps but at the start of the game, it may lead to your death as it is new territory.
Online was never really my kettle of fish in mass effects previous games, it’s always been a game I wanted to play solo and that’s that. But with Andromeda you can play Co-Op but not in the story mode. You begin by selecting your character kit. There are over 25 character kits to choose from you can pick from both galaxies Andromeda and the Milky Way Galaxy. Each has a certain set of skills and abilities and no you can’t be Liam Neeson from Taken. There is also certain weapons that will have more of an effect on certain characters you choose so choose your loadout wisely.
You can select a four-person team and play PVP or PVE depending on your choice.