like many of you out there in the sad pre-Mass Relay era, I’ve been excited for the release of a new game in the Mass Effect series, and like many of you I got to play when early access rolled around and having played almost all the allotted hours, I’ve formulated a critical, unbiased review (I hope.) of one a game I’ve been waiting for, for 5 years.
I’ll be talking about both positive and negative aspects I’ve found in 2 different articles to seem unbiased based. Each review will be solely based on the game, and my love for the series will hopefully have no influence. Bear in mind that every negative aspect I’ve found in the game has already been discussed, dissected and torn apart on the subreddit for Mass Effect, so you’ll find all if not the same problems here and there. (Thanks, guys.)
Facial animations. Really? Bioware has been creating the Mass Effect series now for a decade. 10 years they’ve had to really optimise the way the facial animations work to achieve more realism and increase immersion. However, from what I can tell the facial animations in Andromeda are the same as, if not slightly worse that the first game released all the way back in 2007.
This is the best comparison I’ve found to date, comparing a new character called Addison, to Ash from back in 2007. (Thank you, u/Debeet)
In the newer game, you can see that the character look a lot more robotic. It’s easy to tell that her movement is a lot more jarring and unnatural than her 600 years younger comparison, made 10 years ago.
While you can’t argue that the graphical quality is a huge leap forward, you can definitely see that the faces are a step in the wrong direction. From what I can tell, the mouth movement seems archaic in comparison, and I think the robotic look comes from the fact that her eyes jar back and forth unnaturally. Not only that but a little detail is the fact that her eyelids don’t cast a dark shadow on the eye, downgrading the quality of her face even more.
while you have more control than ever over your own abilities and combat customization than the previous games, I’ve found that I cannot in any way control how my squad mates use their abilities in combat. The new and exciting system seems to be predicated on the assumption that we’re incapable of controlling more than one character at a time. Whether this was done to make it easier on us I don’t know, but it is incredibly annoying. The new Mass Effect combat standard seems to be; go in guns a blazing and hope for the best, and when your squad mates mess up, do it yourself.
I personally have a gripe with the lighting in the game too. While the screenshots you may have seen of the game look incredibly good, the lighting really brings the game down for me. In reality, it’s far too bright in some areas and dominantly white throughout the whole game. The darker areas you can find around the tempest look like the gritty, dark black and blue colours you could come to expect from a ship in space with no natural lighting below decks. However, places like the nexus are far too white, and in some places far too blue and while this is the recurring theme and colour of the Andromeda Initiative, up to now it’s done untastefully.
another problem I have with the game is the lack of character customization. Bioware also developed the fantasy game Dragon Age: Inquisition which featured an incredible variety of customization options and sliders for many different races, a game which came out 3. And in comparison to Andromeda, blows the game out of the water with character customization. In andromeda, bearing in mind that the early access may have restricted content, there are only a measly 11 hair customization options. The sliders are also really lacking, there’s only one Jaw slider for example. Each character you craft has to be based off a preset which limits the way your character can look, as you can only slightly modify the preset itself. If you’re like me, you didn’t like the way any of the presets looked and decided to play wth the default Scott Ryder.
This last thing I’d like to talk about is when you’re on the galaxy map, the seamless transitioning from planetary body to an asteroid is quite beautiful and leaps and bounds ahead of the older games. However, the transition itself takes like around 2-3 minutes and it is incredibly annoying and becomes tedious very quick. While this article primarily focused on the negative aspects of the game, I personally like Andromeda and it has so much to offer.
Hours of me playing the game myself.