Mass Effect: Andromeda is a half-baked mess. What was supposed to be a new and exciting adventure turned out to be a broken, limited game with lackluster characters and no compelling story. It’s like Bioware suddenly forgot what makes Mass Effect what it is after releasing the original trilogy.
I’m going to start with what they got half-right: the action. Combat in Mass Effect features third-person shooting mixed with the spellcasting. The game does not call it spellcasting, of course, but when characters are throwing fire and lightning from their hands then it’s just semantics. Andromeda got rid of character classes so players can buy any ability they want, which is great because mixing and matching abilities is something the series has never done before.
The problem is that the game limits usable abilities to three. Yes, only three. This design choice does not make any sense. First, what was the point of making all abilities available if you can only use three of them? Second, previous Mass Effect games had no such limit, even while running on last-gen consoles! Dragon Age Inquisition, another Bioware title, also allowed multiple ability usage.
When it comes to the story, the original trilogy’s plot of galactic annihilation isn’t exactly new. What made it compelling was how choices mattered. Commander Shepard’s decisions had an impact on the outcome of main missions and side quests. Shepard’s actions determined the fates of factions, multiple species and the entire galaxy. In comparison, Ryder’s choices ultimately end up inconsequential. They have little to no impact on the outcome of events.
Overall, Andromeda is like a lazily developed version of Mass Effect. It got the combat somewhat right and the story completely wrong. It feels like an imitation, as if it’s cashing in on the Mass Effect name. If you’re still interested in it then wait for a sale.