Game Time — Mass Effect: Andromeda

Mass Effect: Andromeda — 4/5 Stars

Mass Effect: Andromeda is an action/adventure role-playing game developed by Bioware. The game begins as thousands of human colonists from the Milky Way arrive after traveling 600 years to be pioneers in the Andromeda galaxy. The colonists are greeted by a galaxy ravaged by a mysterious planet-altering Scourge and infested with an aggressive alien threat, the Kett. The Kett’s motives are unknown, but their violent intentions are quickly made clear. You play as a Pathfinder, a person tasked with finding the colonists a peaceful home in Andromeda.

The visual quality of Mass Effect: Andromeda leaves something to be desired. At times, character animations look weirdly bloated, almost cartoonish. The overall quality is inconsistent; some areas of the game feature stunning visuals while others lack polish.

Mass Effect: Andromeda’s gameplay is a mix of combat, storytelling, and exploration. The combat is notably smoother than previous Mass Effect games. Your character is equipped with a “Jump Jet” jetpack, providing drastically increased mobility and allowing you to dodge and jump to tactical vantage points.

The game’s story begins slowly. However, once things get rolling, Andromeda reveals a stunning tale featuring a handful of new alien races, deep mysteries, and a quest for peace over conflict. The Andromeda galaxy comes to life as your Pathfinder character becomes that of a Peacemaker, finding a home to meet the needs of everyone.

One of Mass Effect: Andromeda’s strongest points is the sheer volume of content. The game’s levels are massive and full of interesting nooks and crannies to explore. This recaptures the feeling of epic space exploration that made the original Mass Effect so great. If you’re the type of player who enjoys doing each and every side quest, you will not be disappointed.

Mass Effect: Andromeda is primarily a single-player game. However, it does feature a token cooperative multiplayer mode in which players work together to survive waves of AI enemies. Unfortunately, the multiplayer experience is laggy, buggy, and rather bland.

The game features a smartphone companion app called the Apex HQ. The app allows you to edit your multiplayer characters and send “strike teams” on missions from your phone to earn items for your single-player campaign. I enjoyed sending out teams as I went about my day and coming home to in-game rewards.

Mass Effect: Adromeda is a good game. However, I’ve come to expect great from the Mass Effect franchise, and this offering fell slightly short of my hopes. That said, a subpar Mass Effect game is still a decent video game. Despite its flaws, Mass Effect: Andromeda was an enjoyable experience, and the sheer amount of content and depth makes this a world worth diving into.

Chris Clark | Portland | Northern New England