Mass Effect: Andromeda First Impression

First, I will start off with describing this as a spoiler free review. This first impression is based off the first two hours of the game since I did not receive an early copy. Instead of waiting until I have really delved into this long awaited continuation of the franchise, I will share where I stand after my first moments. As with many gamers, I am extremely familiar with the Mass Effect series. The first three games were masterpieces filled with great characters, emotional decisions, and hour upon hour of gameplay. Naturally, I was hooked, and I needed to get my hands on Andromeda as soon as it was released. However, I began to worry when I started seeing many mixed reviews.

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Regardless, I picked up a copy today and eagerly awaited the install to finish. Of course, once it was loaded I began the character customization. Nothing is extremely noteworthy here.  It all follows the same formula as the original Mass Effect–other than the added feature that you can customize your twin sister or brother. The game starts with Ryder, who is a human sent to the Andromeda galaxy with other colonists in search of a new home. Ryder has a twin (whose gender depends on what gender you choose for your character) and a father who is introduced early in the game. Without going into too much detail on the story, because I don’t want to ruin it, I will tell you what works and what does not.

What works: The game play feels familiar. You have the standard dialogue choices, only now it appears that there is no Paragon or Renegade choices. This feels strange, but I have not played enough of the game to truly dictate whether that is a positive or negative. The game has seen a major improvement in combat, which is super smooth, and although I haven’t jumped into customization, there is a huge amount of opportunities and options.

What doesn’t work: Animations, which feel unfinished at times. This was kind of a bummer, but I try to remember how all EA titles launch with bugs. It can be distracting, but it’s not game breaking. The textures sometimes don’t load as fast as they should and the characters movements at times seem robotic. I am more forgiving of these aspects on any game title, but as a AAA title, it should be less common.

So far I am entertained, and I plan to revisit this when I have finished the game. I think there is a lot of potential and although I have read other reviews and understand where the concerns are, it really depends on the player. As a returning fan, it has been delivering on what I expect from a Mass Effect game and the combat is a blast. Whether the game all around lives up to the hype is another question and one I hope to answer in the coming days. Stayed tuned.

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