Mass Effect: Andromeda
The year is 2819, and Ryder has awoken in a new galaxy after a 600-year journey from the Milky Way. Ryder is aboard the human Ark called the Hyperion on the way to a central station called the Nexus which awaits the arrival of the Asari, Salarian, and Turian Arks as well. Upon first awakening, the feeling is excitement, anticipation of a new life, a new system to explore as part of the Pathfinder's team. Never mind that the Pathfinder is dear old dad. However, when they arrive on the first planet, it becomes quite obvious that this is not the world they were expecting. Ryder is then left to forge a way through new enemies, new environments, and new challenges to find new homes for thousands.
After five years of anticipation, multiple delayed releases, the game finally came out on March 21, 2017. Several of the original trilogy's team members contributed to the project, trying to recreate the aspects that players loved but in a new approach - exploration, rather than war. There were huge expectations for the game, and some need for the redemption of the original ending of Mass Effect 3. So the question stands, how does it stack up?
"The game is solid," says UnearthlyNave (Private), "Very well written story [with] in-depth characters and detailed planets to explore." There seemed to be a consensus among surveyed members that the animation could use some improvements, even after the recent patch that was supposed to fix some of the problems. Conversely, the introduction of new species helped offset some of those disappointing features.
Although the new characters on the Pathfinder team have their own unique stories and styles, KSI YinKo (Sergeant) says, "...to be honest, the characters don't stand out except for PeeBee. She kind of does, but no one like Garrus or Liara or the others." This seems to be a generally common opinion. The missions can be fun, and some even tug on the heartstrings a little bit, but it still can't quite compare to the connection felt with the original Normandy crew.
In addition to a very lengthy campaign, the game features a multiplayer option similar to that of Mass Effect 3 but with smoother gameplay and a variety of new weapons and the return of some old favorites. The skill leveling system is also close to the way it was but with the slight change of the profile system. Rather than being locked into the Biotic, Tech, or Combat role, Ryder can swap between play styles depending on the specs desired. For the most part, it would seem that Bioware made changes where they needed to in order to make Andromeda a new entity within the old beloved universe.