Game Review: Mass Effect Andromeda

Guest post!

Hello, Todd here doing a guest post for Carrie.  I’ve been playing Mass Effect Andromeda lately and I’m very much enjoying it. It is, in my opinion, a fantastic sequel to the ME Trilogy.  And it proves we can still have more ME stories beyond what happened in the originals.  Honestly, most of my review can be summed up with, “If you like the original ME Trilogy then you’ll like Andromeda.”  But I’ll try to talk about it without assuming you played the originals.  And for the record, you could start with Andromeda having never played the original trilogy and you’d be fine, this story is so far removed from the originals that you won’t be too confused about anything.
I worried that any sequel to the original trilogy would suffer from the fact that the trilogy wrapped up the giant, galaxy spanning story line so well that I wasn’t sure what they could do next.  How would a game work after the events at the end of ME3?  Well this game gets around that issue by literally flying to another galaxy.  The whole story revolves around you colonizing the Andromeda galaxy, so you basically don’t care what happened at the end of the original trilogy because you’re light years away from all that.  This works so well because you’re exploring the unknown and colonizing new worlds, it’s everything I love about Sci-Fi.

The game play is, like the original series, split between role play things and shooting things.  Half the time you’ll be walking around the Nexus (basically the capital city) or your ship or some planet side city talking to people and doing side quests and getting story filled cut scenes.  The other half  of the game is running around shooting bad guys and monsters, deciding if you want to use your sniper rifle or laser machine gun and hiding behind cover.

The role play stuff is really what makes the game shine.  The story, the characters, the relationships, the decisions you make and how they affect the world and people around you is all really great.  It’s Sci-Fi story telling done well.  And as a Sci-Fi nerd who dreams of captaining his own spaceship one day standing on the bridge of the Tempest and plotting a course for our next planet to explore is deeply satisfying. I’m loving the story they’re telling. Finding out what happens next is the most compelling part of the game for me.
The shooter part of the game is pretty good.  Choosing weapons, nailing a headshot from far away, dodging grenade explosions, all the kind of thing you’d expect from a shooter.  Frankly though the combat part of the game is more or less filler, to me at least, in between the story/role play parts.  The game probably wouldn’t work without the shooter element, but the combat isn’t really the reason I’m playing this game.
It’s a great game, 5 out of 5!  I give this game the highest praise I can by saying that I’ll probably actually finish it.  For somebody with my limited attention span that is saying a lot!
char editor ME
The character editor isn’t amazing but it was good enough, I think my character looks pretty good.
races ME
Most of the races from the original ME Trilogy are here.
shooter ME
You may spend a lot of time talking and making life changing role play decisions but at it’s heart this is a shooter game.  You spend a lot of your time running around blasting bad guys.
Tempest ME
Your ship, the Tempest, docks at the space station Nexus frequently.  The Nexus is basically the capital city where you get all your quests and stuff from.  It’s actually a lovely place in a beautiful game.
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