Autopsy: Mass Effect: Andromeda

Gerry Hart delves deep into Andromeda, but was it a Mass Mistake?

Gerry Hart
8th May 2017
Credit: BioWare

Before we start, I don’t believe “SJWs” ruined Mass Effect: Andromeda. BioWare has traditionally been a socially conscious developer and what little I’ve been able to read indicates a particularly troubled development. That said, let’s dive headlong into this squirming bag of dicks.

Mass Effect: Andromeda contains a litany of regressive design decisions. Like Dragon Age, Mass Effect has gone open world (because why fucking not) with objectives dispersed across large, dead maps boring maps, effectively resurrecting the Mako segments from ME1. Combat’s a shitshow. You no longer have any meaningful control over your squadmates and the increased mobility of combat doesn’t lend itself well to Mass Effect’s cover based shooting. This is compounded by dreadful platform puzzles which don’t have you interacting with the environment so much as wrestling with it. Also, the fucking planet scanner’s back.

“Like Dragon Age, Mass Effect has gone open world (because why fucking not)”

Then there are the characters. I particularly disliked Liam for his compulsive need to be witty, resulting in some of the worst one liners the medium has produced. Had he been alive in the 21st century he’d be one of those people whose conversational repertoire is limited to cheeky Nandos jokes and whatever he’d seen on the LADBible. Not that he’s the sole offender. Most of the major characters are simultaneously unremarkable and irritating. Even the protagonist (whom I made resemble the frontman of a shitty early 00’s post-grunge band) gets on my nerves for their own relentless witticisms.

This ties into problems with the main story which, though brief, is padded with the aforementioned Mako bullshit. The worldbuiling in Andromeda is also pretty lacklustre. The final boss in particular was felt like something out of a saccharine Saturday morning cartoon, to the point where I wouldn’t have been surprised if one of my Scooby-Doo squadmates ripped his mask off to reveal it’d been Director Tann all along (and he would’ve gotten away with it too).

Mass Effect: Andromeda isn’t the worst game I’ve played, but in comparison to its predecessors it’s unforgivably tepid. I get the impression Andromeda was created to keep BioWare’s cash cow going just a bit longer, in which case it might’ve been better just to end the franchise when it was riding high.

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