Mass Effect Andromeda reviews: the early verdicts are in, and they’re pretty mixed
Bioware is back. The developer known for its complex and profound worlds muddied its reputation in 2012 with the controversially rubbish ending of the original Mass Effect trilogy – so gamers’ hopes are riding on the story of the new Mass Effect: Andromeda being loads better. The new story sees humanity – and other alien species – sending people to colonise the titular Andromeda galaxy, before things start to go awry. The RPG is just a week away, and Xbox One players can play the first 10 hours from Thursday (March 16) via EA Access – but gaming websites have had access to preview material, and early reviews have already begun to roll in. So… is it any good?
IGN‘s quite vague on the subject: “Andromeda presents a strong, dedicated focus on customization, creatively expanding on some of the series’ staple RPG elements.”
Rock, Paper Shotgun hate it. This is just one of their many complaints: “Side quests feel like something from a 2004 Korean MMO. Just complete nothingness, running from map icon to map icon, scanning objects with your scanner when told to, and then AI companion SAM letting you know that, yup, the source of the defects has been found/animal has been captured/toddler reunited with rabid tiger, despite your actually doing nothing relevant to the tissue-thin narrative.”
Game Informer reveal that nothing much has changed, but that you’ll still love it for the same reasons you used to: “The revised theme music that played during the introduction, the sequences of characters slowly getting to know each other while also trying to navigate the chaos of their own lives, the ridiculous action sequences, the occasionally clumsy dialog and equally goofy character animations – it’s all here, for better and for worse. However, I think ultimately that’s a net positive. What I played feels like Mass Effect, down to the bone.”
Eurogamer‘s take is that things can only get better: “There’s a natural symmetry in Andromeda being both your character’s new stomping grounds and, as a fresh start for BioWare, the Mass Effect series’ new home, too. Even after a few hours, the game shows heaps of promise – strong foundations and characters you’ll want to spend time with. Here’s hoping the rest of the game builds upon that.”
PC Gamer don’t think the main story is great, but they say everything else is amazing: “As an RPG, there’s a lot riding on the crew, sidequests, and how well Bioware’s writers use the new tone system. Unless the main story goes in surprising directions, what I’ve seen of it so far is the least interesting thing about Andromeda, with a disappointingly predictable setup and a new big bad hunting you down. But like I was a decade ago, I’m still drawn to the romance of a whole new galaxy to explore, and new characters to explore it with. And this time I have a jetpack.”
Kotaku is full of praise for the new set of characters: “I haven’t gotten to know all of the characters very well, but what I’ve seen thus far has me intrigued. The female Turian I’ve met seemed more kickarse than Garrus (!). I’ve met a racist Salarian. I’ve met a very… forward Asari. I’ve met a lot of people who are just trying to get by under trying circumstances. Nobody is boring. Even the most annoying characters have a reason as to why they’re being so dickish.”
Trusted Reviews think it’s awesome – mainly because of its scale.“I’m flabbergasted by how big Mass Effect Andromeda is, and I’ve barely scratched the surface. To see even a fraction of what this game has to offer will take serious dedication, and God knows how many hours to see all of it. But from what I’ve played so far, it could very well be worth clearing your schedule for, well, probably from the end of March to mid-June, just to be safe.”
Mass Effect: Andromeda is released in the UK on March 23, with early access for Xbox One players via EA Access.
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