I came in a little late to the party when it comes to Bioware’s games series Mass Effect, having started playing in 2017 with Andromeda, and playing the original trilogy this past summer. Yes, I started with Andromeda, a game which has been the focus of so much criticism and outright hate by longtime fans of the series.
Putting myself in their shoes I can see why, as compared to the best games of the trilogy it falls flat. Andromeda has a lot of issues, as EA directed most of Bioware’s time and resources away from the game to work on their new MMO Anthem. However, I don’t think Andromeda deserves to be thrown away or ignored as not really Mass Effect. I’m a good representation of why. Andromeda brought me into the series and it brought many others as well. Honestly,when I picked up the trilogy, I had to really force myself to get through the first game in the Mass Effect series.
Released in 2007, this game is an older style of RPG, one that feels much slower compared to more modern games. To me, it felt like every quest was in places that looked identical, fighting identical looking enemies, to accomplish identical goals. Also, even on my Xbox One I was running into a lot of glitches, like when my character just levitated up into the wall and I couldn’t move. Or when the Mako, your tank/car that you can drive around planets, got stuck pointing straight up on an invisible wall and once again, I couldn’t move. I did take pictures of that one though to the amusement of my friend.
Honestly,I would rank Andromeda higher than the original first Mass Effect in overall experience. The story in the original is better, but that’s about it. The mechanics and gameplay were a struggle. Granted, obviously a 2017 game should have better mechanics than a game from ten years earlier, this is a pretty basic accomplishment. This also leads towards one of the biggest issues I have with some of the Andromeda criticism, which is comparing the game to the entire original trilogy. Of course, three games are better than one.
Mass Effect 2 was much more entertaining. My friend’s favorite game of all time, she waited for me to text my live reactions to the story of the game. Mass Effect 2 was also much more familiar to the games I have played previously, which were more modern style RPGs. The companions that were my favorites from the first game returned and were given more character development, and the story was still great.
Things stayed strong for most of Mass Effect 3, though I share the common opinion that the ending felt very anticlimactic after everything I had just been through. It was also very confusing, and this was with the free extended cut DLC to add in more explanation for the ending. I’m not trying to say that Andromeda was great, just that it wasn’t a complete piece of garbage, and actually may have brought fans into the series, and it’s a shame how EA took Bioware’s time and resources away from the game.