Mass Effect is here and sadly Shepard isn’t. We all remember the controversial conclusion that led to Bioware adding a free DLC to properly close out the series, right? Well look no further as it’s a new world, so to speak. More like a new planet. But question that’s on the table is does Mass Effect Andromeda deserves the recognition as its predecessor.
You’re first introduced to your character Sara and Scott Ryder, regardless of gender. Andromeda allows every inch of customization in terms to facial recognition for your character. In fact the high level of detail allowed made me question the lack in EA Sports titles. In addition, you also have the ability to create your twin, just not name them. There are also various types of training backgrounds to choose from as well as your ideal preference of Commander Shepard bring male or female. Now, on to the story.
You are one of two Ryder twins, children of The Pathfinder, Alec Ryder. With the year being 2185 and you being asleep for over 600 years on the Ark Hyperion, you find yourself a part of the first wave of 20,000 people hoping to find and create a new home for all. But as unforeseen circumstances take place you find your father trusting you more than anyone with the responsibility of taking his position as The Pathfinder, placing countless lives and the fate of humanity in your hands.
You immediately learn that you aren’t the leader everyone looks up to. In fact part of your crew quietly roots against you while respecting you in your position and it’s genuinely up to you earn and maintain it. Ryder also has the help of SAM, a mission computer that’s programmed in your head, communicating to you throughout each mission.
Decisions you make develops Ryder’s personality. Ryder’s level of respect is in your hands as you choose between emotional, Logical, casual or professional responses. I honestly enjoyed the gameplay and having the ability to take the game in my own, preferred direction.
Unfortunately I couldn’t care enough for the voices in Andromeda as it was extremely poor; more like individually read scripts than a well-built chemistry between each character. Animations were just as bad as characters face expressions lacked emotions and at times never moved at all, though had a full dialogue. Considering it being Mass Effect and 10 years since its predecessor the lack of detail is somewhat unforgiving.
There’s so much to do on each habitat (planet) and most important is the combat. Plenty of weapons are available to choose from plus special Tech abilities. You’re also equipped with a jet pack, allowing an extra boost that proves to come in handy in some cases. When engaging with the Kett and Remnant, seeking higher ground becomes a huge help in both campaign and multiplayer.
Having the ability control your squad and point to areas of interest proved to be most times useless as in combat I found myself not utilizing their full potential.
Andromeda presents a plethora of side missions to keep the story fresh and utilizes what feels to be only a partially open world RPG. Luckily these are in place to provide hours of extended gameplay as main objectives lack the same concept; rather than having the uniqueness of creating your own path, it’s becomes linear, spoon feeding a poor narrative concept.
Visually Mass Effect creates a beautiful detailed environment alongside character models. As mentioned earlier in the review, the customization goes a long way in personalizing your character, as well as unlocking different outfits throughout the campaign as well.