Mass Effect universe expands, new game offers updated tech, location
BioWare Montreal, the makers of the Mass Effect games, released its newest installment on March 21—a game with a new location and new technology. Mass Effect: Andromeda is an expansive sci-fi role playing game (RPG) set in the Andromeda galaxy, a real galaxy outside of the Milky Way. After the original Mass Effect trilogy, fans were expecting the developers to reinvent the game play world. But the game failed to fully deliver on a fresh universe, especially with its sub-par character interactions.
IGN, a widely known authority on all things video games, criticized the storyline of of Mass Effect: Andromeda, saying it suffers from inconsistent writing. While the storyline felt disjointed, inconsistent is not the best word to describe it. Episodic maybe, as the main story takes players to various planets and back and forth across the galaxy.
The combat has improved compared to past versions. Paired with a brand new soundtrack, combat is much smoother, allowing players to simply run behind objects to take cover instead of having to go through a button pushing ordeal.
A new piece of technology, the jump jet, functioning like a jet pack seen in other games like Call of Duty. This feature makes it easier to jump onto higher ground and attack from above, improving the combat overall. The other important new technology is the Nomad, a six-wheeled all-terrain car that feels like a throwback to the first Mass Effect game. The Nomad functions as life support on inhospitable planets as well, protecting from extreme cold or high radiation levels.
In previous games, there was a morality system for the player characters. This allowed players to be a “paragon” or “renegade,” a good or evil character. Mass Effect: Andromeda strays from this type of system and moves to a more personality-based one. To the credit of the new system, there are more personality options now and some added humor to responses.
However, the graphics of the game also fall short of current standards. While playing the game, frame rate drops are frequent and random. This is a mild inconvenience though not unexpected due to the infrequent loading points. The game is such a large RPG that trying to load too much of the world at the same time hurts performance.
Overall, Mass Effect: Andromeda is a well done large RPG but with glitches that still need to be worked out. Though disappointing compared to previous Mass Effects, the game has the potential to evolve into a colorful new storyline like the original trilogy.