I’ve owned Mass Effect Andromeda on PC since it’s launch. Early on, I had a hard time getting into the game. This is probably not hard to believe given the games reception. It suffered from extreme backlash, most notably against it’s facial animations. I also was playing it in a rather disjointed manner and kept going on and off from it. Between playing Breath of the Wild at the time and jumping between several indie games for review, I couldn’t find time to really devote to the behemoth known as Andromeda.
At first I felt, this was a problem with Mass Effect Andromeda. Despite having stellar combat and gameplay, the rest of the game felt off to say the least. The quests felt filler, the story was meh, the characters were so so, the dialogue was cringe worthy. The list could really go on. But the further I played the game, I did find there to be some appeal in it’s main story. Even though it wasn’t the smoothest journey, I did have an itch to finish it, even if it was just for bragging rights, and for my financial investment alone. In recent events however, through the wonders of Origins on PC, some weird syncing between some PCs caused me to lose a 20 hour save I had in the works. Needless to say, I was pretty crushed at having to start this all over again.
I contemplated whether or not to abandon the game altogether. This was not a hard conclusion to consider, given how much hate surrounds the game and how I briefly shared this sentiment. It seemed justified, but on the flip side, I’ve read and listened to a few compelling arguments of why Mass Effect Andromeda really isn’t that bad. Given the none stop struggles the game had to go through during it’s creation, it’s quite a miracle it even exists.
Well I’m here to say, I’ve been converted, or since we’re talking about Mass Effect Andromeda, I’ve been exalted. Restarting my save has been a pretty pleasing experience thus far, and I can’t quite pinpoint why. I’m playing this time as male Ryder instead of the female counter part as I feel he represents me more closely. Perhaps I wasn’t a fan of the female Ryder’s voice and dialogue? There are some things she said that kind of made me shake my head at times, but then again, there are those moments with male Ryder to, although I don’t find it as bad.
I initially approached Mass Effect Andromeda as female Ryder in hopes it would provide a different experience than what I’m normally used to. Being a story driven game, I thought there would be certain things unique to each gender. Maybe you would deal with different situations differently, but I didn’t find that to be the case. I think this is the same situation for the original games as well. It might have been hopeful thinking, given programming what I was looking would be been quite the ordeal.
It’s possible I’m enjoying it more because I’m playing well away from it’s release window. There was way too much negative energy surrounding the game at the time, it made it hard justifying playing Mass Effect Andromeda worth my time. I normally don’t see myself as someone who is impacted by the media’s and Internets perception of things, but perhaps it subconsciously effected me somehow.
But I seem to have found a new sense of discovery for it this time around, and I’m glad I didn’t decide to abandon the game altogether. Suddenly, the main plight of the Andromeda initiative has more weight to it. The classes, abilities and upgrade system seems to make so much more sense this time to. The crew of the Tempest just seem that much more compelling now. I am so much more interested in who Ryder’s love interest will end up being. I can’t pinpoint who it should be at this moment, as there are things I like about all the characters.
Overall, for lack of better words, I’m giving a much bigger fuck this time around. Even before I’ve finished the game and knowing what happens at the end, I already feel a bit down that the series is on ice at the moment. From what I’ve seen and know about the story, it’s pretty good and there’s quite a bit I am liking. Knowing what I know already and what I’ve seen from my previous file, there’s some neat things that can develop from there and I’m excited to see what’ll happen.
Let’s not sugar coat this too much though and be real for a sec. There are things about Andromeda that aren’t good. Having too many filler quests is indeed a problem. There are quite a few quests that just have you going from check point to check point all the time. There is that cringe worthy dialogue as well. Although I think the facial animation thing was blown way out of proportion, my Ryder has made some funny faces during emotional moments that just took away the feels. However I’m seeing alot more positive than negative this time, and that’s what counts.
I can’t wait to keep getting deeper into Andromeda, and putting the time into making my Ryder a complete powerhouse. There definitely seems to be alot more potential this time around, and that alone has me very excited. I’m pretty motivated to finish the game within the next couple of months.
What are your thoughts of Mass Effect Andromeda? Are you a late bloomer with the game like me? Do you think playing the game well after release has done it some good? Let’s get chatting using our Omni-tools!