I’m only a few hours into Mass Effect: Andromeda and already I’m regretting my pre order. Andromeda is up against a very good slate of games that have already come out, Horizon Zero Dawn and Zelda Breath of the Wild most recently. I could be unfairly criticizing Andromeda in comparison to these two other games which I’ve been buried in the last few weeks. Zelda and Horizon are fantastic games that might be the titles that define this current gaming generation. From the moment I started playing either of these titles I was enraptured. I’m hoping that Andromeda will grab me in a similar matter sooner rather than later.
What I’m Playing
Mass Effect Andromeda on a PS4 PRO
I played the original Mass Effect Trilogy (1-3) on Xbox 360, it was one of my favorite series from the last generation.
I have been hyped for Andromeda for a few years now.
My biggest gripe about Andromeda is the combat system, it feels like it belongs in the last gen of gaming. After such a long hiatus I expected much more for such tremendous series. Most people have criticized Andromeda for various bugs and the graphics, I can look past issues like this if the game is fun to play. I know that the original games weren’t touted for exhilarating combat systems, they were however passable. The auto-cover system is absolutely horrendous,
switching guns causes the character to stand up while they are behind cover and take hits from enemies initially I thought it was swapping guns that was causing my character to stand when in fact the same button that is used to access the weapon wheel if held vs. pressed causes the character to holster their weapon and stand up even if still engaged in combat. The way the character switches between sprint and walk modes is super clunky, especially in combat when it can be super frustrating. Apparently they just want us to use the jump packs constantly to get around, which by the way actually feel good. The equipment/ability wheel is annoying as well, if you like changing up your tactics to be effective in combat Andromeda does its best to hinder you in every way possible from horrible controls to a lousy interface. If you wanted to stay behind the same rock and use the same gun for the entire fire fight you won’t have any issues, how boring. Andromeda plays and looks like an HD remake of a PS3 or a 360 title.
Much has been said about the graphics in other reviews concerning Andromeda, I think for the most part it looks ok, just ok. At this point in the current gen life cycle I would expect games to look better and play smoother than Andromeda, but realistically the graphics aren’t a game changer for me. The only thing that really stands out is the weird ass eye lashes that pop out of peoples skulls while they are talking. I haven’t noticed many bugs with the game either unless the entire combat system is bugged, that would make sense. The check point system during missions isn’t well planned out either, I found myself having to replay quite a few battles. The game won’t let you manually save during a mission, it uses its own check point system. Failing a battle would usually send me back further than I would like, forcing me to re-explore and re-scan everything I had just done which is super tedious.
Scanning objects is also a pain in the ass, yes you scan individual objects strewn about the maps which gives you some form of currency/points, otherwise most objects don’t even reward you with any kind of story. A lot of these objects you can interact with as well, most of them did nothing but make a noise. They could have easily just let us earn the scan points when interacting with objects that do nothing, rather than interact with the object, hear some weird hissing noise, then pull out our scanner to scan the object, and finally have the scanner tell us everything is unknown about said object. I cant imagine doing this for a 60 hour RPG. I didn’t mind scanning planets in the original games, it at least told us facts about the planet like composition, atmosphere, etc.
I know I’m only a few hours into Andromeda but I expected much better mechanics wise from the fourth game in a series. These are issues I will have to learn to cope with to enjoy the game. I actually like the setting they chose for the game and ditching the old story line. The idea of being an explorer and finding new worlds is really what will keep me playing the game as long as I can try and find a way to look past all of the clunkiness. I’m not saying don’t buy Andromeda, if anything temper your expectations of it. This game could have the best sci-fi story of all time hidden under its wrangled game mechanics which I’m going to try and find. There are so many recent amazing releases, its too bad the Andromeda couldn’t follow suite by starting off with a bang. I plan to continue playing, I think once I hit the ten hour mark or so I’ll know if I can stomach the gameplay to get through the story. If you’re on the fence about this title I would recommend holding off for either patches or a sale.
I’m a fan of gaming just as much as gaming culture. I’m trying to find new ways to blend my hobbies, passions, whatever you want to call them, all together. Currently I’m practicing my writing (duh) and working on producing a Youtube web series (based on bartending) as well as a gaming podcast. I spend the rest of my time running my bar/restaurant. You can find me here!
PSN - Frattyman (if you send a friend request just put TAY in it!)
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