You've all read those other news posts and reviews, you know, where the Internet lost its mind about the fact that Mass Effect: Andromeda perhaps isn't the classic we were all hoping for. I'm not going to waste a huge amount of my time defending the game in areas where it could clearly improve on, but I will say that sometimes people focus way more on the negatives things than they need to. Does Mass Effect look like the worst thing I've ever seen? Hell no. Are the facial animations so much of a big deal that I felt like I needed to jump on the Internet and point it out like a total jackass? Once again, HELL NO. Mass Effect: Andromeda is far from being the perfect game by any means, with glitches and bugs all part of the course when you are given a game this size to make your own adventure. I've seen characters standing in odd ways, people making their way into a cutscene who had no reason to be part of it, and just random things from time to time. That said, I've also had even more hours of nothing but fun and enjoyment on the game, so to just focus on the bad is not only daft but also just unfair on a game that offers so much in return.
I did the whole EA Access trial before playing on through with this review copy, and yes while being a little disappointed with what the small trial had to offer, I could still see that behind the slight disappointments that the classic Mass Effect experience that made me enjoy both ME2 and ME3 for a silly amount of hours was still there. You have the guys who go into games like this for the story, but that isn't me as a gamer at all. I'm there to be taken on a fun adventure while meeting new characters, who hopefully I grow to care for the more time I put into the game. And this game has succeeded there quite easily.
Now I'm not going to go into too much detail on the story side of things for this, as this is a spoiler-free review after all. I mean there's that and also the fact that while the key story is there for all to enjoy, the experience itself that each gamer will have will always be a little different depending on how you go at it. Sure we all get the same main missions, meet the same people, assignments and tasks and so on, but what order these things get played is down to the player once they become available.
You will not reach a point in this game where you have nothing to do as you work your way through it. If you're not working through a main story mission you will be working on missions to grow relationships with characters, missions found on planets to do, tasks to complete, and just worlds to explore. The thing with this is I did find myself getting to a point where the gamer in me who likes a set plan felt a bit overwhelmed with what looks like a messy journal, and with certain things you can fail (only one for me so far) you really need to stay on top in all the things that are coming your way. Sure some tasks and even what I guess you would call side missions are very much a pointless exercise of going somewhere meeting someone and it's done, But doing this you're also going back to places and finding more things that you may have missed when you first visited. So yeah, what I'm saying here is just an absolute bucketload of things to work through here, with 90% of the ones I've played so far being very enjoyable.
Like I said earlier in this review, Mass Effect games for me have never seen me invest that much into the story they offer, as I just find myself getting wrapped up in the game itself and building my guy into something special. Now I've already touched upon powers above, but Mass Effect doesn't stop there when it comes to adding to this character that you can make your own. Found on both your ship the Tempest and the planets that you visit are a number of things where you can add even more to how you look and also what you yield when it comes to battles. A research center is always close by, a place where you can research and develop three different kinds of technology, be that Milky Way, Heleus, and Remnant. The items you can research are weapons and armour, with Augmentations also there too and are what can make both weapons and armour almost unique to you. Adding some of these into one of the mod slots when crafting a new item can give you some bonus effects. Take for instance the one seen in the image below. Adding that into my gun would give me 10% extra damage in the last 20% of my ammo when using my gun, or sticking it in a created chest piece it would give me 10% increased weapon accuracy when standing still. All items come in common, rare, ultra rare and so on, so you are always on the look out for those better items. You can also visit sellers around the planets if you just feel like dropping credits on new items and things, with salvage you pick up and sell being just one of the ways how you make this cash to buy things.
Overall: If you're talking value for money then Mass Effect: Andromeda has already given me that had I paid the £40.00 asking price with the 42 hours I've put into it as I type up this piece of the review. Not forgetting this is with me hardly getting close to anywhere near completing the game, so God knows how much more time on the game I've got ahead of me. I've not touched upon things like the MP (bit bland and not my cup of tea in truth) being there for those that want to take the game online. Sending strike teams out on missions in which you earn rewards back when completing them. Building a little team here with the credits you earn is also something else you could lose loads of time in. When reading this back in a week or two I will bound to see many other things I've not spoken about in this review, and that should only nail home to you how much this game has to offer. I guess what I'm saying in this review is what Mass Effect offers good easily outweighs all the bad I've seen or even been told about on the Internet. Do yourself a favour and just go and give the game a try, trust me it's not as bad as the Internet is making it out to be.
Tons to do
Looks great at times
It's not perfect by any means
Does take a couple of hours to get going