Mass Effect Andromeda: Worth It or Not?
Mass Effect Andromeda is one of those games that has had its reputation permanently tarnished by a botched launch, as it was initially riddled with bugs and game-breaking glitches. But it has since been patched, and many of these issues have been resolved. So now the question is, is this game worth buying and playing?
As the name suggests, it takes place in the Andromeda galaxy. Humanity, along with the alien races we’ve allied ourselves with, has traveled into Andromeda in hopes of settling new worlds found there. The frontier is rough, and you play as Ryder, a Pathfinder who’s responsible for finding habitable worlds to settle, fighting hostile lifeforms, and terraforming harsh environments. It’s clear that the developers wanted to bring back an element of gameplay that hasn’t been in the spotlight since the first Mass Effect: Exploration. While Mass Effect 2 and 3 had close-quarters environments suited to shooter gameplay, Andromeda has big, open worlds for players to explore in their rover, the Nomad.
Additionally, these worlds aren’t cookie-cutter similar like they were back in Mass Effect 1. Although they all have their fair share of empty space, each world is unique. The combat system has also been enhanced somewhat from Mass Effect 3, as players are no longer tied to one class. They can unlock any ability and change them on the fly, essentially allowing them to create their own classes and playstyle. Players also have more freedom in which weapons they can carry into battle. For instance, you could have two assault rifles, instead of being limited to just one assault rifle slot. The fact that players can create their own weapons enhances this freedom even more.
With that said, there are fundamental issues with the game that cannot be repaired in the same way a glitch can. Encounters with enemies become pretty repetitive after a while, as the same enemies will spawn in the same locations every time you travel to a certain place. Traveling to the same locations will happen often, as a number of side quests will have you traveling from one world to another, typically accomplishing just one task at a time. On top of that, the game is filled to the brim with these secondary quests, yet they just don’t contribute much to the story or gameplay. Side quest stories are poorly written and difficult to follow. They’re basically timesucks that you’ll only use to gain XP and level up.
Fortunately, main quests such as the ones related to the main story and loyalty missions for your ship crew are actually well done and quite enjoyable to play. If the game was more refined, and focused on meaningful content instead of trying to make as many side quests as possible, it would easily be one of the best games out there. Overall it’s a decent game, as the combat, exploration, and story (besides side stories) are all adequate. However, I would not pay more than $25 to play it.