Mass Effect: Andromeda | Game Review

This review is an unedited version of the review written by Zombie Dredd and published in the Tech Magazine: Issue 47 July 2017.

The epic space opera that captured a generation (a generation ago) is back. While Commander Shepard is consigned to the history books for this outing of the Mass Effect franchise, there is plenty of familiarity (and new additions) coursing through the veins of Mass Effect: Andromeda.

As with the original trilogy, Mass Effect: Andromeda is a third-person role-playing game but with an all-new cast faced with an all-new adventure in an all-new galaxy. In Andromeda, almost all of the original species encountered previously have embarked on a mission to find a new home for the inhabitants of the Milky Way.

As a human pathfinder, it’s your job to lead a ragtag mix of crew mates and make the tough decisions on this journey of discovery (including whether to be distracted by yet another of the side quests on offer). It’s these distractions from the main mission are both a blessing and a bane. Due to the sheer quantity available, the main quest becomes trivialised and unfocused and starts to feel a little laborious. Of course without the side quests you won’t accumulate the gear and valuable XP to level your character up for the real challenges ahead.

As can be expected, things do not start well and your main mission is to find and secure habitable planets for the thousands of settlers (the majority of which are in stasis) to settle on. This means literally regaining control of nature itself, battling a new alien foe, befriending new alien species and generally spreading peace and love by any means necessary – which is essentially a combination of shooting and branching dialogue options.

This all develops on varied planets that are at times breath-taking to explore and dangerous to boot. Thankfully, the combat in Mass Effect: Andromeda has been improved over the previous iterations and players can develop their character’s combat style to suit their own personal preference. If guns over biotics (the future’s magic in some ways) is your thing, then go ahead and be just that. Sadly, the inventory and crafting systems are not nearly as fluid and need a complete rethink for any sequels.

Other frustrations that do creep in at times are some poor character and facial animations, however, for such a massive game, these minor issues should be expected. After all, this is a game about the exploration of an entire new galaxy in a vast open-world, and if you were expecting everything to go your way, you clearly haven’t explored a new galaxy before…

Mass Effect: Andromeda is a game for all earth-tied explorers keen to blaze a new path. It will suck you in, but whether you will be willing to veer off the main space highway in your quest will be up to you and the time you have to burn. I think many will simply stick as close to the main path as possible and wait for a refined sequel to arrive. Mass Effect: Andromeda is still a good game; it’s unfortunately just not earth shattering.

Score: 7/10
Available on: PlayStation , Xbox One and PC
Distributed in SA by: Prima Interactive

About Zombie Dredd

Wannabe gaming journalist. Wannabe zombie. And sometimes clan leader of OAP. Clint O'Shea when in his human disguise.