Okay Mass Effect: Andromeda, You Got Me

Image (©Bioware) by Flickr user inforumatik (CC)
Image (©Bioware) by Flickr user inforumatik (CC)

Regular readers might have caught a post I wrote a c ouple months ago in which I was a little down on Mass Effect: Andromeda. Unfortunately, I was harboring some bad thoughts about what Andromeda was purported to be back in early December, and that something was, as I perceived it, a mere shade of what I had hoped from a new Mass Effect adventure.

Well, here we are now, just twenty days away from Andromeda’s release, and…yep, I have to admit that I’ve changed my tune. I am now, fully and without exception, all aboard the Andromeda train. Woo woo!

The change of heart didn’t occur overnight. As of New Year’s I was still pretty sure that if I was going to buy only one game this Spring it would likely be The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. If nothing else, it would give my Wii U a reason to exist, plus, it looked pretty darn fun. My feelings towards that game haven’t changed. But because mostly of recent new videos of Andromeda, and a plethora of news stories that have popped up with further details on what the game is actually going to be like, resistance is, as they say…futile. If there’s one article in particular that sunk the last nail into the coffin, it was this one posted last week on Game Informer: 50 Details We Noticed During Our Hands-On Time With [Mass Effect: Andromeda]

(Some of the information ahead could be considered light spoilers, so tread forth at your own discretion!)

This article is full of tidbits, significant and otherwise, that, while I can’t imagine will pan out in everyone’s individual playthroughs of the game, will hopefully appear in one way or another. For me personally, a few details stand out from others, such as:

2. You are not locked into classes like you were in the original trilogy. The training you choose at the beginning of the game just gives you a boost in certain skills.

As much as I enjoyed playing within and dealing with the limitations of each class in the original Mass Effect trilogy, I often found myself wanting to use or at least have access to items and armors that I simply couldn’t. Lifting those restrictions in Andromeda is sure to open up the game in a variety of interesting ways.

17. Putting a scope on your weapon forces your perspective into first-person mode whenever you aim instead of the typical over-the-shoulder view.

I’ve been slowing getting back into first-person perspective games, and one of the most enjoyable mechanics that I had completely forgotten about since foraying into third-person RPGs was having first-person sites with some weapons. Oh, how I can’t wait to get my sniping on now!

24. The Paragon/Renegade binary has been done away with. Instead, Andromeda opts for a more open-ended dialogue system that’s intended to let you build a complex character.

This sounds very cool, and I’m all for the addition of more nuance to any main character’s profile. I imagine that like most people, I played through various tracts in the original trilogy, including Paragade and Renegon paths. They produced slightly more personality that doing straight Paragon or Renegade paths, but the differences weren’t astounding. Here’s hoping that with the elimination of these tracts, we’ll really get to make our own unique Ryders.

34. The Nomad controls a lot like the Mako but less rubbery. You don’t bounce. Sorry, bounce fans.


41. You can customize the clothes that Ryder can wear. I switched between a nice suit and a leather jacket complete with a scarf she could wear around her neck.

It’s minor, but I love the idea of being able to customize Ryder in plainclothes. I never did understand any of the “civilian clothes” choices in the original trilogy. All were either bland or simply ugly.

Now, as great as this list is overall, not every line item on the list sounds appealing. Ones like:

12. Certain enemies you come across can kill you in one hit (hi, yes, this happened to me).

I really dislike it in games when it’s far too easy to come across enemies that are way above your current level. (The Witcher 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition, I’m looking at you.) Not that this player’s statement means exactly this, but that’s how I read it. And regardless, “one hit, one kill” enemies are rotten.


23. The skill tree is massive, granting you access to a number of powers you can mix and match during the course of the game to create different character loadouts for different situations…

I find extensive skill trees to be intimidating, confusing, and stressful. It’s why in the original trilogy, I always let the CPU handle the distribution of skill points among my teammates. Just dealing with Shepard’s points was all I could handle. I’d so much rather enjoy progression over spending half the time worrying over the “right” distribution of skill points.

Whatever comes of Mass Effect: Andromeda, I’m looking forward to riding the same wave that’ll be splashing over much of the community later this month. It seems like the game promises nothing short of an amazing and highly customizable experience in a new and expanded universe. Fingers crossed that Andromeda will live up to the hype.

(Article source: Game Informer)

What are you looking forward to doing or not doing in Mass Effect: Andromeda?

20 Comments Add yours

  1. Imtiaz Ahmed says:


    24. The Paragon/Renegade binary has been done away with. Instead, Andromeda opts for a more open-ended dialogue system that’s intended to let you build a complex character.

    I like this idea, i didn’t hate renegade/paragon, but ever since playing the witcher, I like the not so black and white approach to morales for your character. I think it’s better that you can be a good person that may do bad things, but to bad people, that’s the character i want to play

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cary says:

      Exactly! Even playing a mix of the paths in Mass Effect didn’t really lead to much. More than anything, the paragade or renegon paths were really more about whatever the player may have inferred from Shepard’s actions and less about whatever happened on screen as a result. If, in Andromeda, we can make our Ryders more nuanced and individual as a result of doing away with set good or bad paths, all the better!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Will_GSRR says:

    ME:A was always a game I was going to get, they’d have to do something seriously bad to make me not want it. From everything I’ve seen so far I’m happy, they only thing I don’t like that much at the moment are the Ryders. There’s just something about them that I’m not sold on just yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cary says:

      Yeah, they really are the big question mark of the moment. Bioware has quite a large set of Shepard-sized shoes to fill with the Ryders. And with all the trailers and such, they’ve been putting so much emphasis on the universe, combat, and sheer size of ME: Andromeda, that one could infer that development of the Ryders might not be all it could be. Hopefully that won’t be the case, but we’ll all find out in 3 weeks!


      1. Will_GSRR says:

        I think that’s the problem. I loved Shephard and playing as him it will be difficult to fill those shoes. The latest video showing the loyalty mission didn’t do much to help either, I found girl Ryder a little annoying.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. cary says:

        Indeed. *fingers crossed* that the Ryders will be ironed out in their final appearances.


  3. I’m looking forward to the new morality system. It seems like it will play more like Dragon Age: Inquisition, and you know how much I love grey areas!!

    Mostly I’m interested to see how the devs handled the humans being the invading species. I hope it’s brought up, because that would add an interesting dynamic to the game! Overall, though I’m looking forward to the “fresh start” of the Mass Effect series. Shepard’s tale is over, so I’m awaiting the “new” journey – not going to even try to compare it to the original trilogy. I want it to be able to stand on its own!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Also, no bouncy Mako?? 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. cary says:

        Hmm, maybe I’m in the minority, but I did not enjoy the Mako. Even now when I play through ME1 again, I dread having to drive the thing. Maybe mine was just too bouncy cause I was a terrible driver!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No, I think you are very much in the majority with other people who hated the Mako… I don’t know why I loved it so much. I just found it wildly fun to ride around in. Maybe because it was so challenging to drive it just added another element of skill? Maybe because it still handled better than the cars in GTA4? Maybe it was comic relief? Who knows… haha

        Liked by 2 people

      3. cary says:

        The great thing about some games is that they offer something for everyone, and that “something ” doesn’t have to be the same for each person. You like the Mako? Awesome! I’m just old and bitter. Haha. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hatm0nster says:

        …I actually really liked the Mako too. I loved taking it on top of mountains while exploring and then flinging it off the top to see far away I could make it fall. 😀 As for driving it, I thought it controlled very similarly to the Warthog in Halo: just gotta hold forward and use the camera to steer. “If you can drive a Warthog, you can drive a Mako.” 🙂

        So yeah, I’m probably in the minority in this but I’m happy to see anything resembling the Mako come back to Mass Effect.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Yes! Haha me too!! I used to imagine what the crew inside had to be thinking…. I actually found the handling to be reminiscent of some of the cars from GTA4, as well, since it took some getting used to and otherwise seemed to swing about wildly.
        So…. I agree I’m excited for any return of a Mass Effect tank!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. cary says:

      Sounds good to me! One of the things that originally turned me off to Andromeda was a worry that it would ride too much on the coattails of the original series. It needs to be a game that exists in the ME universe and yet stand on its own. All its recent news makes it sound like that’s just what is going to be, complete with moral gray areas and potential alien encounters that involve more than battles and stiff dialogue. It’s all getting pretty exciting!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know… And I know I’m a complete BioWare fan, so I’m trying very hard not to fangirl about everything, but… yeah I’m excited!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. simpleek says:

    You already know I’ve been on board since the word “GO!” 😉 I actually do like some of the changes they made, especially the no Renegade and Paragon personality build. I’m hoping it will create something unique in every player’s Ryder and there’s something exciting about not knowing how people will respond to you. When you think you’re saying something not offensive, it might be perceived as so from other characters. At least it makes the interactions far more organic. And yes, please let there be more customizations for their civilian clothes. Shepard was never much of a fashionable type, sorry to say. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cary says:

      Yes, an interesting array of off-duty clothes for Ryder would be very welcome! Plus, it would only add to the immersion factor. Not saying that we need to play dress-up, but there’s a time and place for a dose of Star Trek-y sameness in wardrobe choices. And Andromeda is neither the time nor the place. They’re opening up the universe to us — it seems fashion should follow! 🙂

      I’m definitely feeling much more pumped for this title now than ever before. Now I just have to try to finish up all the in-progress games I’ve got going so that I can devote my full attention to Andromeda when it releases!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. cary says:

    Reblogged this on Recollections of Play and commented:

    It was only a mere 18 days ago that I decided to give in to Mass Effect: Andromeda. For whatever it was worth, I was on the fence about it for awhile, being excited, then not excited, then totally meh, and then excited enough to place my pre-order. The “me” of years past probably wouldn’t have been so flip-floppy about it, but what can I say? It just took a little more convincing this time around. What drove me into the positive about Andromeda? In large part, it was thanks to new gameplay videos and news stories like the one I riffed off in this United We Game post.


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