Image courtesy of BioWare and Electronic Arts
By Garrett Smiley
Space ― the final frontier. Well…just kidding, Andromeda has plenty of “frontier” for you to explore in the new galaxy.
That’s right, buy your copy of the game, customize your character and get to the front lines; mankind needs you to make first contact in this unfamiliar world.
The “Mass Effect” trilogy follows the exploits of the main character, Commander Shepard, and his or her journey and effort to preserve the safety of earth dwellers, human or foreign.
“Mass Effect Andromeda” is a spiritual successor to the original “Mass Effect” trilogy, but not a reboot.
The game’s developers, Bioware and EA, have delivered a polarizing heir to the highly successful trilogy.
Some fans are excited to see the story live on in the Ryder twins while others are enraged that Commander Shepard (the original protagonist of the series) and his role in the games has disappeared.
The game begins with you, the player, able to customize, (although with limits), your Ryder twin, either male or female, and then waking up from your cryogenic sleep.
You’re 600 years removed from the events of the original “Mass Effect” games, and your long journey from “home,” or the Milky Way, has only just begun.
Hundreds of thousands of pioneers from the old galaxy have been placed in a frozen stasis to preserve themselves over the long, intergalactic, trip.
Trained military personnel, brilliant scientists and normal civilians have lined up and let themselves be frozen, in the hopes of seeing a new home, “in a galaxy far, far away.”
This gives you, one of the Ryder siblings, plenty of non-player characters to interact with. They can be friend or foe. The game is rich in player to NPC interaction.
Most of what is said or done by the player will be remembered by various NPC’s, although the impact of what you say or do is questionable. Your decisions don’t seem to have much of an impact, other than how an NPC will remember you.
If you don’t have that “special someone” in your life, then don’t be afraid to flirt with some of the other ship/planet dwellers.
If you’re not in the mood for talking, then manage your loadout, customize your armor and get out there and shoot some kett!
“…But Garrett, what’s a ‘kett?” Well, they’re our interstellar enemies, and mankind’s biggest obstacle to settling its new home.
Your peaceful side may compel you to abstain from shooting an innocent alien species, and normally I’d agree with you, but this storyline will want to get you involved in some outer space warfare.
When you want a break from the chaos, you can retreat to your spacecraft, the “Tempest.” Or you can terraform planets to make them more liveable by activating a planet’s “vault.”
A vault is a building on a planet that can control its atmosphere, and you can venture inside of them and kill its contents, “the remnant” to succeed.
I love what Bioware (and EA) have done with this game; if you’re going to spend $60 plus on a video game then there better be $60+ worth of entertainment stored in that magical little CD.
You don’t quite get that out of this game, as the side missions feel menial after finishing the main story line. If you take your time and walk off the beaten path of the main questline and take time to explore, then there is no issue.
Overall, I’d say that this game’s biggest strength is that it comes from a very successful predecessor.
The game captured the best of what a videogame is. It has a great storyline, coupled with great gameplay mechanics.
In addition to the gameplay mechanics, fans who play the game won’t ever feel monotony because of how diversely you can play the game.
The the actual story was short, and without supplementing your playing experience with side-quests will leave you unsatisfied.
If you play through the storyline without letting yourself veer off the beaten path of the game, you’ll find that the story doesn’t has a lot of content. However, there isn’t a lot of time involved to finish the game.
When you’re playing through the game, I suggest exploring each planet thoroughly as you progress, as the extra content supplements the playthrough.
Although Bioware and EA have left a lot of room to improve, this “Mass Effect” continuation is by no means a disappointment.
The story was good because you become involved with the players. Your crew is endearing, they’re scrappy, and the crew grows as you finish the game.
“Mass Effect Andromeda” garners a 7.5/10 from me, it has room to improve, but it wasn’t a homerun, grand slam, slam dunk, etc.