Mass Effect

Mass Effect


Video Game - 2017 | PlayStation 4
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"How far will you go? Chart your own course in a dangerous new galaxy. As the Pathfinder, you will unravel the mysteries of the Andromeda Galaxy and lead the search for humanity's new home"--Container.
ESRB content rating: M, Mature 17+ (content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up) for blood, partial nudity, sexual content, strong language, violence.
Publisher: Redwood City, CA : Electronic Arts Inc., [2017]
Edition: PlayStation 4
Copyright Date: ©2017
Characteristics: 1 computer disc : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 folded sheet (3 pages : illustrations ; 15 cm)
Additional Contributors: BioWare Corp
Electronic Arts (Firm)
Alternative Title: Andromeda


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Jan 14, 2018

While a single game can't hold up to the original trilogy, Andromeda was a pretty solid start to the next chapter in the series. The beginning is slow, some of the gameplay feels lackluster, and sometimes the quest order is unclear, but the characters are lots of fun and overall the story brings exciting new things to the table.

The new dialogue and "impulse" system make it easy to play a more nuanced PC, instead of just "good" or "bad" space marine. Ryder being significantly younger than Shepard made an interesting spin on the decision making. Up until Andromeda, a lot of the story-changing decisions in Bioware games were pretty easy no-brainers, but there are several in ME:A that had me at a crossroads. I do wish Ryder functioned more like Hawke, where dialogue that wasn't directed by the player was different depending on what personality you leaned towards, but they're still a fun PC regardless.

The new squadmates were probably the best part of the game. I always felt like the original squads weren't very tight knit, save for Garrus, Tali, and Liara, and really only stuck around for Shepard. This time, your companions have friendships beyond Ryder. There's a lot more banter and mingling on their own time, so being a good, functioning team feels more authentic. The loyalty missions are also great fun. While I mentioned gameplay being lacking in certain areas, the loyalty missions introduce new, fun mechanics, which make up for the shortcomings. They also function as fantastic character studies which help you grasp a better understanding of your squad and how Ryder interacts with them.

On the art front, I don't think it's nearly as bad as the internet has made it out to be. Overhyped and didn't deliver on promises, yes, but not uncharacteristic of any previous Bioware work. (I personally kept myself in the dark, because developers lie and will always disappoint you.) Much of what gets called out was on screen for a fraction of a second and most of it has been patched out since. Really, for every slightly wonky animation there is a very good piece of animation. The UI is also a huge improvement over the original trilogy. The biggest issue is that some scenes are lit with florescent lights, which is an artistic choice I don't understand, but when the scenes are lit well the game looks fine. Great, actually.

If you wanted to play this game, but the reviews deterred you, give it a chance. If what you loved about Mass Effect was the characters and character-driven narratives, you will probably have a good time.

May 05, 2017

Disappointing first hour of the game. Poor graphics and rather unengaging story. Game improves after 5 hours of play but it is still not on par with Mass Effect 2.


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