Mass Effect Andromeda hits stores in the U.S. and Europe this week, marking the end of a five-year long wait for BioWare’s latest sci-fi RPG extravaganza. Eschewing the familiar characters and locations of the previous, critically acclaimed trilogy, Andromeda introduces a brand new hero in the shape of Ryder; a pathfinder tasked with exploring new worlds in hopes of securing humanity a fresh place to lay their heads. BioWare is tapping into the original Mass Effect for its inspiration this time around, with exploration very much front and centres; gamers will be able to use the returning Mako (aka Nomad) to venture across uncharted planets, battling huge bosses and discovering new races in their quest.
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Of course, Andromeda hasn’t been without its controversies in the weeks leading up to launch. Players on EA Access noted numerous performance wrinkles in its richly-detailed tapestry, chief among which include some dodgy lip-synching and facial animation. Fortunately, we don’t have to wait to find out just how these issues impact upon Andromeda as a whole; the critics have spoken, so read our Mass Effect Andromeda reviews roundup below to see what the gaming press made of BioWare’s latest outing.
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“Fundamentally, if you loved the original trilogy, there’s plenty here that feel familiar, as well as giving you so many missions to do, people to do, and adventures to have.”
“Even with its other problems, these are the largest forces shaping your experience with Mass Effect: Andromeda, and they make it worth playing. At the same time, I was often left looking through a haze of inconveniences and dreaming about the game it could have been.”
“I found it hard to be excited during the opening hours of Mass Effect: Andromeda. It feels too safe, too much like what’s gone before, but then it clicks. There’s a moment where the galaxy opens up and you find yourself embarking once more on a huge mission across compelling, beautifully constructed planets, surrounded by memorable characters. Sadly the glut of technical missteps serve to cheapen proceedings, but this is still an adventure you don’t want to miss out on.”
“Without consistently strong writing or a breakout star in its cast to carry it through the long hours and empty spaces, however, disappointments like a lack of new races, no companion customization, and major performance problems and bugs take their toll.”
“With a little more focus, Andromeda could have been a great game. The premise of exploring a new frontier in space is exciting and original, and the cast of characters inhabiting this new world - be they the fresh races, or the people you’ve dragged with you from the Milky Way - are more interesting than not. Some of the worlds have a real beauty, and the main narrative itself is compelling enough to carry you happily to the end.”
“With the vast love of the Mass Effect series, Andromeda was never going to make people 100% happy, the same way the ME3 ending didn’t make people happy. The BioWare team put so many great things in place, but the main story, the characters, and most of the writing keep the game from being great. Sadly, technical mess keeps it from being good.”
“As a Mass Effect game, Andromeda falls well short of the nuanced politics, morality, and storytelling of its predecessors. For me, the series has always been about compelling characters and harrowing choices, so to find such weak writing here is bitterly disappointing. Yet even after 65 hours, I still plan on completing a few more quests. The game can't escape its shortcomings, but patient explorers can still find a few stars shining in the darkness.”