I feel that before I write this, I should state I’m a big fan of the Mass Effect Franchise. The Shepherd Trilogy has passed through my console more than once and I’ve enjoyed all of them. [Yes even three!] So when Andromeda hit the shelves, naturally I got a copy. I consider myself something of a completionist when I’m gaming so I confess that playing Andromeda was a little more laborious than previous games, not because it was a bad game but due to the sheer number of side quests. One thing I remember hearing consistently about in the weeks surrounding the launch of Andromeda was people’s dismay at the poor quality of their facial animations. I must admit to concurring with the sentiment that these animations were underwhelming, there seemed to have been little in the way of improvement since the previous instalment in the series. What truly startled me however was that this alone seemed to me sufficient to hold back what is otherwise an extremely well put together game.
Let’s start with combat. At its core Mass Effect is a Third Person cover-based shooter. Which is great for me because I prefer them to first person shooters (Here’s where a thousand dedicated Overwatch fans try to stone me to death as a heretic) One thing that constantly annoyed me about Mass Effect 2 and 3 was that you had to hit a button to take cover and once you were in cover you’d get stuck for a fraction of a second trying to get out of it which on higher difficulties means getting pummeled by an angry Harbinger or eviscerated by a Banshee, (I don’t recommend the latter those things creep me the hell out.)
Andromeda did away with all that by introducing a system similar to the Tomb Raider reboot where your character intuitively ducks behind walls and barrels, moreover Ryder (the player character) is ambidextrous and you can swap your weapon from one hand to another to get a different view of the battlefield and a better angle on anyone ducked behind an inconveniently placed crate.