Mass Effect: Andromeda is the fourth installment in Bioware’s Mass Effect series, an amazing visceral RPG – one of the most hyped games for this console generation. ME:A was five years in the making, touted to be a return to form after Mass Effect 3 divided fans across the globe with it’s color-coded ending, ME:A delivers, but not in the way fans might expect.
Suffering from an initially rocky launch due to some pretty serious glitches, social media blew up – making fun of the troubled launch, but Bioware swiftly, and admirably jumped into action releasing a patch that fixed the bulk of fan complaints. With that all wrapped up, it was time to delve into the story.
Mass Effect: Andromeda successfully combines the best elements out of the original trilogy. The wonder, and explorative elements of the first Mass Effect (and the reintroduction of the Mako, I mean, Nomad..!), to the gut-punch, intense story-telling of Mass Effect 2 and topped off with the streamlined combat of Mass Effect 3, aided immensely by your jetpack. In regards to the gameplay, it’s more in the same vein as Mass Effect 3, aside from the main missions, there’s a huge amount of side-quests, from gathering resources, building loyalty to exploring the nitty-gritty backstories. Personally, it took me around 80 hours to complete – I took it easy, explored the landscapes, mingled with the new characters and completed a crazy amount of side missions.. but I’m not going to lie, I found it hard to get into initially. I’m a die-hard Mass Effect fan, I missed Shepard and the crew terribly, and found it really tough to warm to the new blood. But trust me, take heart, and power through – because the story gets dang good, and your team will give you them feels.
What's It About?
You are Scott/Sarah Ryder. You are the Pathfinder, child of the (apparently?) legendary N7 Alec Ryder – when the unforeseen strikes, you must step up, and take up the mantle as the Human Pathfinder, pioneer of the new galaxy.
As always, the general gist of the plot is quite formulaic – good guys have to save the universe by facing off the seemingly insurmountable baddies and so forth, but the saving grace of the game, was makes it great, is it’s characters. Akin to Shepard’s rag-tag group of heroes, Ryder amasses a team of inter-galatic badasses to help settle and find their place in Andromeda. The team, as always is full of diverse, interesting characters from an array of races and specializations – some of my personal favourites being Drax, the battleworn Krogan and Vetra, the resourceful Turian. The breakout character of the game, for me, was definitely Jaal, the Angaran squadmate. His character was immensely interesting – fresh and emotional – definitely worth all the interactions to get a grip on his personality and backstory. The Angara are a new race, native to Andromeda that Ryder, and the Nexus must ally with, to face off against the Kett, Andromeda’s spooky, hive-minded boogeymen – their reign of terror having plagued the Angara for over a century.
Overall, Mass Effect: Andromeda is a brilliant game, bit of a hiccup at launch with the glitches – the gameplay experience will only improve with Bioware’s update patches. It was worth every penny, and every hour in my book. It has a huge amount of replay value, and the climax of the game sets the foundations for another amazing series. I played it on the Playstation Pro, which kicks it up a few gear visually, and makes it a beautiful experience to play through. It has some really lovely easter eggs and throwbacks to the original trilogy, which will give the hardcore fans the warm fuzzies, yet introduces enough of it’s own lore to keep things fresh, and engaging. So if you’re looking for a unique gaming experience, as always, Mass Effect ticks all the boxes – RPG, Open World, Third Person Shooter, that has some great storytelling, and fantastic characters that elevate it to another level.