We are going to start our Mass Effect Andromeda adventure today, but the international media have just uploaded their reviews of the game this morning. We have covered the game quite in-depth over the past few weeks, and last week some rather nasty things were said about the game across different sites. Well, the reviews speak for themselves as they say yes, the game is buggy, but it is still a great Mass Effect experience, and to us, that is all that matters.
It is hard to nail down just what the ratio is here with good and bad scores, as all the sites are so diverse. Eurogamer says that it is the worst RPG Bioware has ever created, while Kotaku says it is a solid experience worth getting lost in. Rock, Paper, Shotgun, the site that caused quite an uproar last week with their brutal preview, say that Andromeda is a big step back from the original trilogy. We will let you decide for now, and we will have our full first hours impressions as soon as we spend more time exploring Andromeda.
PC Gamer - 80/100
Here's the thing, though: in the end, Andromeda still manages to be more than the sum of its parts. As a critic I can point to the things that don't quite work, the things that could be better, the things that should be better after 10 years and four of these games. I can also appreciate where improvements have been made, the basic pleasure of an improved combat system and a full-feeling, spectacular sci-fi world to explore
IGN - 7.7
Mass Effect: Andromeda is an expansive action role-playing game with a few great moments that recapture the high points of the landmark trilogy that came before it, and energetic combat and fantastic sound effects contribute to a potent sci-fi atmosphere. 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.
Polygon - 7.5
After a number of complaints, it might seem odd to end on such a positive note. Let’s be clear: I’m conflicted about Mass Effect: Andromeda. There’s a lot of roughness throughout the game, and the technical issues, while not game-breaking, are often incredibly distracting.
GamesRadar - 3.5/5
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. But there’s too much quest padding. Too much technical jargon. Too much fighting for a game with a poor fighting system. Too many clever little animations and quest-steps in between the stuff that’s actually fun to do. Place the resulting experience next to infinitely more finessed open-world games like The Witcher 3, Horizon: Zero Dawn - or even the original trilogy - and Andromeda compares very poorly indeed. Not a disaster, but definitely not the fresh start this series needed, or the one fans have been waiting patiently for.
Gamespot - 6/10
In many ways, Andromeda feels like a vision half-fulfilled. It contains a dizzying amount of content, but the quality fluctuates wildly. Its worlds and combat shine, but its writing and missions falter--and the relative strength of the former is not enough to compensate for the inescapable weakness of the latter. As a Mass Effect game, Andromeda falls well short o800f 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.
It's gripping stuff, and a reminder of the greatness of the Mass Effect trilogy - its intelligent reworkings of pulp sci-fi cliche, the taut splendour of its scenarios and aesthetic, the colour and dexterity of its writing. All that's still in here somewhere, I think. But then you pop out the other end of the mission, back into Andromeda's labyrinth of drudgery and obfuscation, and remember that you're a long way from home.
Mass Effect Andromeda ultimately trades polish for ambition. It's a big game crammed with data, lore and conversation that invites exploration, even though many of the features could do with some fine-tuning (or an overhaul). At its core, it gets that Mass Effect feeling right — weaving a compelling storyline around humanity's place in the universe, then giving you the perfect ship full of misfits to take you through it.
We will have our full review up as soon as possible, but for now, take the time to digest what these reviews on the game. Mass Effect Andromeda releases on 23 March in SA for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Will you be picking it up? Let us know in the comments below.
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