I Confess: I Love Mass Effect Andromeda
I have a confession to make: I like Mass Effect Andromeda. In fact, I haven't finished my first playthrough and I'm already 45 hours in.
"But what about the terrible facial animations?" I can hear you cry through your computer screen. And all the fetch quests, and they got rid of the paragon, and the renegade system?
First of all, calm down hypothetical person. Screaming at your computer screen won't change my opinion.
Secondly, let's talk about these faults for a moment. I have honestly never cared about graphics, so while I can admit they are sub-par for a game released in 2017, it does not hamper my enjoyment of the game in any way.
Not to mention, they are still OK. And if a fetch quest is interesting and has a purpose, why should I care?
Finally, I actually think the game has improved without the renegade system. Now, you must decide for yourself if an action is good or not.
For example: there is a moment where you can decide if a bad person should get shot or not. It's a split-second decision that makes a huge impact on a planet. I chose to save that person from being shot, and I'm not sure if that was a good or bad decision. Just as in real life, it is very gray.
I enjoy the game though, because it is a game about exploration, a lot like the first Mass Effect. While the Mako was rough to drive around, exploring planets and discovering pirates, and artifacts was fun, and that's what Andromeda brings back.
I can explore whole planets, discover new life, and then kill that life. I can stop the plots of Angaran rebels, or fight an enormous architect.
And I find all these wonderful things by exploring. This is different than the exploration in No Man's Sky, or other exploration games, because it's exploration for a purpose, that gets rewarded.
I feel like I am accomplishing something through my exploration, which is why this game is so wonderful.
Additionally, for the first time, I can say Mass Effect has a fun combat system. The other three were regular third person shooters, but with the addition of a jetpack and thruster, man is combat fun. I'll never be standing still, always moving around trying to get a better vantage point. It's truly enjoyable.
I'll be the first to admit Bioware kind of let us down on the story for this one. It feels like the first Mass Effect done again. There's an Asari interested in ancient tech, (Peebee and Liara), and the Kett are gaining new members through exaltation (spoilers: it's just indoctrination).
The voice acting does occasionally break immersion, and I was upset that there were two desert planets. There are only six planets, give us some originality.
All that being said, I still enjoy the game. While I'm driving the Nomad (which handles sooo much better than the Mako) around some new planet trying to discover a way to make the planet viable for colonization, I feel excited and intrigued. And it's been a long time since a game was able to do that for me through gameplay alone.
What are your thoughts on Mass Effect Andromeda? Let me know in the comments.