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OldManLinderman

Andromeda: A Fresh Perspective

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I would say that I’m a diehard fan of the Mass Effect Trilogy. I’ve played those three games start to finish more times than I can even recall, with the most recent run through being with the Legendary Edition. 
 

What I’ve never done however is complete Andromeda. Right now, I’m on my third attempt at it. The first two years ago ended early on. Even so, I’m not likely super far into it on this try. 
 

The characters are nowhere near as likable as the trilogy. They don’t feel like they get the same development. Animations and dialogue are sub par. The story feels like a bit of a rehash of elements from the trilogy (for as far as I’ve gotten). It doesn’t feel like it had the same heart as the originals. 
 

That said, the further in I go, the more I’m intrigued to go further. The gameplay in many ways is the best of the four titles. Menus are a mess, items and equipment is excessive, but overall the game plays rather well. 
 

What drove me nuts originally was the fact that we went from the trilogy with humans, asari, quarians, volus, elcor etc etc to a galaxy with just a few of those familiar races in droves, and really only two new species. 
 

Why that bothers me less on this run is my perspective. In the trilogy, the Mass Relays allowed travel all over the Milky Way galaxy. In Andromeda those are absent, and we are traveling through just one cluster of the galaxy. If other races have yet to discover the same means to travel that Shepard and company had at their disposal, it’s much more feasible to be lacking in galactic diversity. So I can actually put that aside as a complaint now. 
 

The rerelease of the trilogy definitely urged me to give Andromeda a fair shake, and honestly with a bit more effort, and a bit more care, Andromeda could have had massive potential to outshine the trilogy. As it stands, it’s mostly mediocre overall. But perhaps we were all a bit OVERLY harsh on it because we all loved the trilogy so much. It was and is a high standard to try to top. But honestly, it’s not as bad as it’s always been made out to be. Maybe I just needed a bit more of an open mind for it, and needed to temper expectations. At any rate I intend to make the third time the charm and actually finish Andromeda. 

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Posted (edited)

18 hours ago, OldManLinderman said:

< review >

 

I'll mention the plot does eventually give a reason why there's so little diversity in the Andromeda Galaxy, and there's a super brief tie in to the original series. A lot of the character development comes through side quests, along with other relevant mysteries about the galaxy. 

 

The game isn't really horrible, its just not the trilogy, and it feels like a random sci-fi game with Mass Effect skins thrown on it.

 

Edited by B1rvine
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This is an interesting take. I'm glad you're able to find some enjoyment in it. I think the hate that Andromeda got was very deserved though. Especially since when it shipped, it was in a much more broken state than it is now.

 

Even now, it's still full of bugs and glitches. I tried playing it after everyone said it was "fixed" and it still wasn't good. I thought the gameplay was a huge downgrade from ME3, since it was just overall not as smooth. The frame rate was also inconsistent, which is always frustrating. I don't care if it's 30 fps, 60 fps, or higher, as long as it's consistent. I loved ME3, and played the multiplayer for hundreds of hours. 3rd person shooters are my favorite kind of shooter, and I could have very easily forgiven any of the broken animations or story problems if the gameplay was good, but it was a downgrade. I went straight from playing ME3 to playing Andromeda as well, so I was able to compare them pretty directly. The only reason I even picked up Andromeda was because I heard the gameplay was good, and wanted to try the multiplayer. And it just wasn't great. It was very okay. ME3 was so good that despite people hating the ending, people played the multiplayer a lot. It had a large community for a very long time. Something Andromeda never really had, because it just wasn't as good.

 

The game also had a lot of trouble in development, and didn't deliver on what it set out to do. This led to the whole game getting pretty rushed. There's a video that goes in depth about "Wha Happun" during development that made the game turn out to be a mess. It explains a lot about the game, and why Bioware as a studio has fallen so far from where it used to be. It's definitely worth a watch if you have time.

 

Overall, the game is okay at best. It's a solid 5/10. It's playable and it isn't aggressively bad or anything. Some people can find enjoyment in it, but it's also not a good game. It's not something everyone could pick up and really enjoy, even going in blind with no preconceived notions about the series or quality of the game. There's a good reason it got dropped and ignored. The fact that you're on your third try, and still haven't completed the game, despite enjoying the gameplay and being a fan of the series, is a testament to this.

 

 

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Like you, I've played the trilogy to death. Even now while I'm playing the legacy edition, I can pretty much speak the dialogue word for word.

 

Never touched Andromeda though, always wondered, always pondered but I could never make myself play it. Just didn't want to sour my love for the IP. 

For some people is Final Fantasy, for other Tales of but for me its Mass Effect and I'm quite happy never getting another game again if they cant bring the franchise up to the original standard.

 

I just don't understand why they went for the angle they did. The lore is so rich and a lot of it is part written within the codex's. Personally, I would have explored the first contact war or the Rachni wars followed on by the genophage. Heck, for all I care they could have made that a prequel trilogy. Not sure why they wanted to go for something different but, ah well.

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Andromeda doesn't make furiously angry like Mass Effect 3 does and in many ways, I could see the potential.

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Posted (edited)

I’m playing it now for the first time, and am quite enjoying it.

 

It isn’t as good as the trilogy - and gameplay wise it really isn’t even going for the same thing - I feel like from a gameplay standpoint Andromeda feels much more a sequel to Dragon Age than to Mass Effect - but I am liking it for what it is.

 

I love the original trilogy with a passion, but that doesn’t mean I need to let the name Mass Effect sour me on Andromeda.

 

TBH - if it had come out with no ties to the ME universe, and was simply a new IP called ‘Andromeda’, I think it would have been fairly well received (bugs and glitches notwithstanding- I’m playing so far removed from them that I can’t speak to how detrimental they were at launch)

Edited by DrBloodmoney
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Andromeda to me was pretty much the ME1 of a new trilogy, an extremely mediocre first game setting up the groundwork for a sequel just like ME1 was

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I've always found the comparison to the trilogy odd. Clearly, the characters are not going to get developed to the same degree that they were over the course of three games.

 

The only comparison that should be made is between Andromeda and the first Mass Effect.

 

They both are intended to set up a trilogy, introduce us to the characters and to a larger threat. I do agree that the overall plot/characters are not as strong as the original, but I thought the premise was still very interesting. The biggest issue was how Ryder was written. Making a joke out of everything regardless of what you chose got boring after a few hours.

 

Gameplay-wise, it was very strong. It was superior to the previous titles in this regard without contest. I know a lot of people like to harp on the facial animations, but it never bothered me and if people didn't make a big deal about it, I wouldn't have noticed them if I'm being honest.

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32 minutes ago, ExHaseo said:

This is an interesting take. I'm glad you're able to find some enjoyment in it. I think the hate that Andromeda got was very deserved though. Especially since when it shipped, it was in a much more broken state than it is now.

---

3rd person shooters are my favorite kind of shooter, and I could have very easily forgiven any of the broken animations or story problems if the gameplay was good, but it was a downgrade.

Overall, the game is okay at best. It's a solid 5/10. It's playable and it isn't aggressively bad or anything. Some people can find enjoyment in it, but it's also not a good game.

 

I'd disagree, and overall I think the general consensus once the death threats and the 'internet hating' part was over that the gameplay was an improvement. I just finished LD 1-3 and... MEA does not hold a candle to it story/character-wise but... gameplay is arguably better. Movement if far more fluid, weapons feel smoother and I do enjoy the exploration part and Nomad as a whole. If you check out the ME trilogy development the gameplay of exploration and vehicles were always intended but could not fit due to time or tech (i.e. ME1 Mako) I very much enjoyed them here. And ME gameplay was never a 3rd person shooter on Spec Ops, Gears of War, Uncharted level etc. The mobility with the jets is preferable to the chest-high cover into which a lot of situation/classes force you.

 

Speaking of classes the profiles (profiles?) thing was by far the best - being able to switch up and play with any given tech/biotic power is truly fun and empowering as a player.

 

While some characters were meh, mainly the supportive cast on the Nexus where there is no Aria/Anderson etc, the Tempest bar a few wasn't bad or terrible in any way. I think Drack is a worthy 'new-galaxy' Grunt/Wrex, Vetra is excellent and even Cora and Peebee grew on me.

 

I don't think any particular part of Andromeda is terrible for any reason other than time and development hell for that Anthem pile. The setting is fine but execution needs work, characters and story are ok but they need more thought and writing (especially the Kett), dialogue system feels like it took the hardest hit. The P/R from ME is far superior to this one that doesn't define anything and it's hardly differentiated from one another most cases.

 

Think about a 5/10 game - on that scale that's not even a pass on some classes in college. That is the bare minimum to even be considered a 'meh game' (Anthem, Fallout 76, Sniper GW...) 

It's an ok game, maybe even good for some after serious patching - I don't know what the numbers would be.. 7? I played it through some 7-8 times since it came out, far less than ME2 or ME3 individually but a decent game is there. If Bioware puts in the effort, the effort in writing, development, singleplayer focus and building this new galaxy I don't see how or why it could fail.

 

But if they chop up important story bits with DLC (i.e. Javik, Leviathan), if they cut the singleplayer story focus to force players into MP and MTX, if they let some disjointed B-teams handle critical development, if they change leads 4 times and in the end just rush the whole thing for the quarterly sales report hoping the brand will carry it? It will be shit, but not because it's in Andromeda or that there isn't Garrus or Liara but because of Bioware and EA.

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I played it before OG Trilogy from EA Access when most of the technical issues were fixed and I liked it. The plot about being Pathfinder in uncharted galaxy was intriguing and gameplay solid. Howewer it felt like it was a teen show sometimes with characters written by actual teenagers. Now I'm playing the Legendary Edition and it's night and day in this aspect, compared to the Trilogy, Andromeda feels like fanfic, and not very good one. Still, not a bad game, I'd give it 3/5, but now I understand what people meant by Andromeda being made by B-team.

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I could only stomach about 10 hours of Andromeda before giving up and purging it from my hard drive. I honestly can't think of a single redeeming factor about it. The element-based planets are creatively bankrupt, the combat is unremarkable, the characters and script deserve every bit of ridicule they got, the maps play like a Battlefield prototype, and there's absolutely no artistic vision to tie anything together. 

 

I also disagree with the idea that Andromeda would have been received better if it didn't have the Mass Effect name slapped on it. If that was the case, it very likely would have gone the same way as Bioware's own Anthem - with a bunch of mostly unimpressed players wondering how and why a respected developer could get an original IP so horribly wrong. Andromeda was absolutely screwed no matter what series it was supposed to be a part of. 

 

And the worst part is how unbelievably soulless it is. There are many other games out there with rocky/rushed developments - The Last Guardian, Alpha Protocol, and of course, Mass Effect 3 - but they all have style, ambition and charm. I do feel sorry for the Andromeda team, but there's absolutely nothing about their game that inspires or excites. The memes are literally the highlight.

 

No, I really didn't like this game, and I honestly applaud anyone willing to give it a second (or even third) chance. If I'd kept my save data from my first botched playthrough, I might consider doing the same, but there's no way in hell I'm slogging through the same 10 hours I dragged myself through the first time.

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The game has its moments but it is most definitely AA version of Mass Effect. The one thing I always hear touted about is the combat but I was not a fan of it, I liked ME3's better. I did like being able to basically respec into any class, that was done well and I felt travel maneuverability was  better too. Most of the characters were forgettable and the faces still look a little off to me. I forget her name, but there is main character from ME Andromeda: Nexus Uprising (book) that I really liked but they make her into this gangster hood boss in the game which was a total break from who she was. I skipped Cora's prequel book because I didn't care for her but Annihilation was good and explains what the hell happened to the quarian arc, really wish they had not canceled the DLC to follow it up TBH. They did recycle a lot: ancient civilization ✔,  reaper/ collector enemies ✔, alt prothean civilization ✔, etc. However, I did want to see where a sequel would go as there was enough there to warrant one. That or I am just a sucker for ancient civilizations and why they fell whether it is fiction or nonfiction. 

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Posted (edited)

Mass Effect Andromeda is truly under rated.  

 

Andromeda gave us a couple of things that the original 3 never did, like First Contact Situations, Planet Colonization.  Also, Ryder is a clean slate.  Where as Shepard was already established.

 

And brought back the much needed Planet exploration that 2, and especially 3 did away with.  3 was such a massive departure for the series.  And to me ME3, is the worst Mass Effect game BY FAR.  It was a linear 3rd Person corridor shooter with a Dialogue Wheel.  And had the worst new crew mates.  While the other old crew mates were just nostalgia side distractions.  So most fans wouldn't realize that ME3 was awful.  It was also the game that showed EA that idiots would buy Ultimate Team style loot boxes in a notable Single Player game.  And the horrible ending that left the Milky Way in an undesirable state, that I have 0 interest in returning to.

 

ME: A I thought was well done.  No, the story wasn't good as 1 or 2.  But it certainly was not as bad as people made it out to be.  And it shit all over 3

 

 

Edited by NxtDoc
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