Monday, 03 April 2017 19:30

REVIEW: Mass Effect: Andromeda (Xbox One)

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With the success of the original Mass Effect trilogy, Bioware have wiped the slate clean with it’s latest huge open world game, Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Story goes, 100,000 members of each Milky Way galaxy species are heading to the “Helius Cluster” in search of a new home as part of The Andromeda Initiative. Seven “Golden Worlds” have been chosen and each are being explored by the Andromeda vessel led by a single pathfinder. Upon their arrival, some 600 years later, they are met with disaster.

You’ll travel from planet to planet in your brand spanking new ship, The Tempest. As you explore these planets, you’ll come across a few new threats, the “Remnant” and the “Kett”. The Remnant are looking at the conservation and preservation of their species via advanced technology while the Kett are looking to destroy every race but its own.

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Bioware have made some minor improvements with the combat in Mass Effect: Andromeda by adding a new dash ability as well as a jump jet which allows players to use a minor jetpack burst making it easier to reach higher locations. This also helps a lot when it comes to exploration. Also while exploring, you’re able to scan a large list of things earning yourself research data. This can be used for crafting armour, weapons, and even upgrades to your equipment or ship. I found myself using my scanner a little bit too much, I really didn’t want to miss anything.

Each planet you visit will have you running, or driving, around completing all kinds of missions and side quests. Besides the main story missions, along the way you’ll talk to people that will offer you a side quest to complete for them. Now, you don’t need to accept it, so the choice is up to you. You’ll also come across “Monoliths”. There are usually 3 of these that will help you find a “Vault” which once completed, will make the planet viable for habitation, which is your ultimate outcome.

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Now, while a large part of the combat system is nothing new from previous games, it's the dialogue where the game's biggest strength lies. Just like in previous Mass Effect games, your character, in this case Ryder, will be given up to four ‘emotional’ responses. These can range from emotional, logical, casual, or professional, all of which can have an impact on how other characters react, with some causing long-term ramifications. As for weapons, depending which guns you choose, they can have a big impact on how you approach different sections of the game. And that’s before you upgrade them. Upgrading your guns can convert an assault rifle into a energy beam weapon or give a shotgun a pulse charge. So many different options for you to consider.

As for issues, I didn't really come across anything worth talking about, but I will touch on the animations. Not that I thought they were as bad as the other media are making out them to be, though sure, they aren’t perfect. Characters face animations are stiff, arms or legs will shake at random, and at time I rocked up at a area and they were floating in the air, but really nothing that stopped me from playing.

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Other then that, the game itself looks absolutely amazing. The Frostbite engine proves itself very capable of rendering the best looking locations in a Mass Effect game, with the scale of the games planets giving nothing back breathtaking views. Mass Effect: Andromeda looks even better on a PS4 Pro taking full advantage of 4K and HDR.

Outside of the story, the game's combat system is taken over to the game's multiplayer modes as well. The already much loved multiplayer system in Mass Effect 3 has been carried over into Andromeda. Multiplayer hasn’t changed too much between the two games but this time it benefits from Andromeda's fine tuned combat and cover systems as well as weapon and kit loadouts.

Should you pick this game up? Yes! Personally, I’m really enjoying my time with Mass Effect: Andromeda. Bioware have done a great job here. The scale of Mass Effect: Andromeda means there’s a lot of stuff for players to sink their teeth into. Whether you’re a long time fan of the series or even if you’re new to it, you’ll find yourself getting lost in Andromeda pretty quick.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: PC, PS4, XBOX ONE
  • Developer: Bioware
  • Publisher: EA Games
  • Genre: FPS, Multiplayer, Action / Adventure, Adventure