Thursday 30 March 2017

Aaron's Spoiler-Free Review: Mass Effect Andromeda

Ah, how I do like a good Science Fiction romp!

So, it’s finally here! The long-awaited Space Opera from EA and Bioware, Mass Effect Andromeda - or as it’s better known - Massadonny Panatonny.

Now before I get into this, I would just like to say that I am somewhat new to the Mass Effect franchise. Sure, I was aware of its existence, but after having played the first one, I was somewhat put off by it all.

The game sported clunky controls combined with the AI of a Medwegian (editor's note: I assume this means resident of Medway), and glitches left me with a warm, fuzzy feeling that one could only get from a gender-reassignment operation performed with a house brick.

I know: Shock! Horror! Blasphemy! How dare I talk trash about a world-renowned and much loved game franchise! However, my view with this new one is quite the contrary.

Mass Effect Andromeda (from here on out referred to in shorthand as ME:A) starts with our hero (Ryder) coming out of a long cryogenic nap (in the ballpark of 634 years, lazy bastard) to embark on a colonial mission to, well...start colonies and stuff. That’s right. In a future where luxury spaceships aren’t good enough, battling aliens and risking both life and limb on planets with no oxygen is apparently a better option. However, I digest.

Without getting too much into it, as you may have noticed that this is spoiler-free, ME:A offers a gripping story with twists and turns at the most unusual and unexpected places, with many loveable (and loathable) characters across this vast cluster of galaxies. The visuals in this game (however many disagree) are stunning. The landscapes are rich with colour and detail and the worlds all have their own serene qualities and quirks. One definitely has to take their hats off to the design & development teams on that one.

The gameplay itself is a little clunky (especially in the multiplayer, but I’ll get to that in a second) but nowhere near as bad as its previous efforts, and all-round it isn’t actually that bad. The jump pack and dashing are lovely additions to this ginormous exploration shooter and the core abilities (force lightning and what have you) are dead fun to push baddies around with before punch-fucking them with an omni-blade.

The multiplayer is absolutely top as well! Hours of team fun and giggles to be had by taking on waves of aliens and robots with devastating weapons and abilities with a replay value that’s through the roof. And the beautiful thing is is that it’s so minimal but seems more effective because of it. Simplicity can be a big deal.

I thought I told you to take that hat off.

Now for the controversy.

That’s right, you sons of bitches, The A-Man is getting real!

Many have complained that the animations during cutscenes and conversations are weak and dated. And yes, though a chat between two characters in ME:A seems like an unnerving trip to the uncanny valley, let’s just remember that ME3 had 600-odd speakable characters, whereas this one has 1200 of the bastards and packs in a whopping 200 hours of gameplay across the board with maps and planets and galaxies and fuck knows what else!

But hey, I guess in a day & age where visuals are more important than gameplay (because we all buy games to just look at them, right?), ME:A must be “a downright disgrace” I guess. I mean, Hell, it’s not as though games like, oh I don’t know, Fallout 4 or Skyrim were popular, right? Oh that’s right, they were! And their animations and shit were pants compared to this so stop moaning and enjoy the bloody game for what it is!

Overall, I think this game is absolutely top-notch, and seeing as my opinion is pretty much fact you can just go ahead and take that as canon. It’s incredibly addictive and has huge replay value that shows nothing but a promising future for this franchise for years to come, so much so that I’ll be replaying the first three just so that I can get more out of it!

So to make things more interesting, if ME:A doesn’t get Game of the Year, I’ll eat a bowl of swede and parsnips on video whilst Rob Wade laughs at me. I dunno, I’ll wear a stupid hat as well or something. Either way, I’m willing to eat the worst vegetables ever invented whilst humiliating myself for your pleasure. That’s how confident I am.

EA and Bioware, I tip my hat to you, good folks.

Aaron's Spoiler-Free Review - 9/10 - Massively Effective

AJ Waters is a pulp fiction writer from Kent in England, who specialises in horror and flash fiction. With a novella in the works, AJ Waters is an up & comer in the British pulp scene.

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  1. Agreed, solid game, looks great, plays like a dream and the multiplayer is fun. Many more hours of my life will be exhausted playing this! Zach

    1. Aaron has definitely made my interest in this increase!

      Thanks for reading.