Mass Effect Andromeda is the latest in the Mass Effect franchise from Bioware. Released March 21, 2017, it was initially met with a lot of hostility due to dodgy animation, crashes and poor multiplayer servers. Some systems still have issues, but as patches are released a more stable version of the game is being made available. I personally do not hold the game designers at fault for this, as I feel EA rushed the release of an unfinished product, an all too common practice now a day.
Having put over 87 hours into playing this game, I find the storyline to be well written and the voice acting amazing. The game has a few issues, but nothing that is game breaking for me. The story takes place in the Andromeda Galaxy and centres on the Heleus Cluster. You play the role of one of the Ryder twins, and you have the option to customise the looks of both the twins if you wish.
The class system is more open in this version of the game. You get to select more skills than before, however you can only equip three skills at a time. The game does allow you to assign favourites so switching skills is just a button away. This does come at a slight cool down cost, but can be well worth it. Another change which I personally found hard to deal with at first is your class. You have access to every class in game, as you unlock skills with points. The profiles are Adept, Engineer, Explorer, Infiltrator, Sentinel, Soldier, and Vanguard. Each profile has its own bonuses which take advantage of various skills. The skills are broken down into three groups: Combat, Tech and Biotic. These then are broken down into skills starting at one point and progressing up to six points. The first few levels of a skill are set skills but the more expansive skills give an alternative bonus you can select. Your squad however has set skills with the sixth level locked until you complete a loyalty quest. Multiplayer heroes level up just like squad mates and have three active skills and two passive skills.
Getting more things for multiplayer involves some luck as you get to buy different chests. Each chest contains different items and rarities from common to ultra-rare. You can also buy chests that are focused at different things like boosts or RPGs. Once you unlock the card it is yours to use, be it a sniper rifle or a new hero. You can select up to two weapons to take into combat with you, and each weapon has mod slots. The mods also require unlocking. You can earn in-game credits to buy the chests or if you really want to give them some money you can buy in-game credits to unlock the chests. Each online mission has different difficulties, Bronze, Silver and Gold. The harder the mission the better the reward seems to be. I did find this mode to be just as barebones like Mass Effect 3’s started out. They did at least keep the same feel to the system. With the promise of a lot of free multiplayer content I have hope that this mode will become all it has the potential of being.
Overall this game seems rushed which is a huge shame as a lot of people do not have the patience to play what is almost an interactive movie. I hope with tweaks, more online content and extra main story DLC this game will find its way into everyone’s good books.