Pros and Cons of Mass Effect Andromeda, IMO

Constructing a formally written review for this game sounds horribly tedious right now.

Pro: it’s more mass effect.
Con: it’s confusing as all hell.
Pro: which is just another way of saying more mass effect.
Pro: it’s got a lot more female characters.
Con: like, a LOT more. Where are all the good male characters anymore?
Pro: femRyder was officially marketed as the game’s protagonist. Yay women’s rights.
Pro: plenty more sweet and hunky aliens for girl-gamers to crush on. Is that really a pro…?
Con: some characters will reject your romance! Actually that could be a pro; keeping things interesting.
Con: but still, whoever you romance will become your wifey and guilt you into NOT sleeping around any further. But what if I wanted to dip my toe in ALL the ponds?
Pro: I always love being able to create my character.
Con: I use the term ‘create’ lightly as it’s really just choosing a preset, then moving their nose up or down and giving them a tattoo.
Con: the facial animations made my character look like a slobbering imbecile. She was so pretty in the character creation screen; what did I do wrong??
Pro: Weeee the jetpack is fun!
Con: I just jetpacked off a cliff.
Pro: this Nomad is so much better than the Mako.
Con: Nomad still sucks though. That’s how bad the Mako was.
Pro: wait, I can use a sword now?!
Pro: the emotion vs logic system for dialogue is way improved over the paragon/renegade system. More natural and realistic.

Con: there’s only ten story missions and a 14 gazillion side quests. My agenda was packed before I got off the Nexus.
Con: oh, we need to find inhabitable worlds to begin a new civilization? Everything is riding on me? Alright, I’ll do that right after I find this lady’s missing shoes, settle a dispute between these homeless salarians, make out with Peebee, deal with my childhood trauma, yada yada yada and so forth you get the idea I’ll deal with the Angaran genocide when I can.
Pro: Suvi is adorable.
Pro: the crew in general is pretty good. If you like games with good characters, you will probably like Andromeda.
Con: but why does every single fucking crew member need some sort of obscure requisition from a different planet just to be able to enjoy a movie?
Pro: plenty of lesbian and/or gay awareness in this game. Yay LGBT rights.
Pro: I know I’ve acted kind of crude regarding the romancing, but in all honesty, I get more into the romance than any other part of these games. Of course I have a soft spot for it. And Mass Effect Andromeda writes its sweet romance moments to a very satisfying, dreamy level.
Con: only six squad members??

Pro: six really good squad members.
Con: your twin is worthless. They spend the whole story sleeping off a bump to the noggin, and upon finally waking up are immediately captured and used to help the enemy. I should have been an only child.
Pro: the worlds are nice conceptually.
Con: buggy as shit.
Con: why does the Angara design seem like a Prothean mixed with an Asari?
Con: why is Peebee the only Asari with a different facical structure than the rest of her species??? Do the devs think I’m stupid? Hey Lexi, you know who you look an awful lot like? Keri T’Vessa… And every other Asari in Andromeda.
Pro: Liara easter egg.
Pro: those flying things on Havarl.
Pro: visiting Jaal’s mom.

Con: the tempest’s layout is confusing.
Pro: the navigation of star systems is beautiful and dynamic. Love all the detail.
Con: where’s my beloved Quarians.
Pro: Ryder’s father’s face is based on the player character’s face. Nifty.
Con: graphics are nothing to write home about. I expected better.

Pro: load times are well-optimized.
Pro: Andomeda has a great premise. The idea of being the first of your species to set foot on a planet and assess its livability for the possibility of establishing a civilization there is so cool.
Con: it wastes that premise is several ways. Ryder is not actually the first one to go anywhere. Every planet is smothered by Angara, or Kett, or Nexus outcasts, or whatever. It should have been simple science fiction bliss. Instead, convoluted malarkey.
Con: I know the game needs an army of enemies because it’s an action game. But still, I hate the replaceability of the Kett race. They are just mindless evil soldiers. Boring.
Con: I had to replay the story again to grasp what was going on. I know storytelling, and this is just bad storytelling. Most of the time I didn’t understand my character’s motivation. And that’s a problem.
Con: please STOP referring to time increments in years, please. Years have no relevance outside of Earth because it refers to Earth’s specific orbital period. Not only are we not on Earth, we are in freaking Andromeda galaxy. I can understand the humans still using it, but the Angara… wtf.
Pro: the combat is the best it’s ever been. It’s really fun once you get some good skills under your belt and find your groove.
Pro: the skill tree is a great system. It doesn’t make much sense canonically or logically, but it makes sense for the sake of allowing the player to play the way they want.
Pro: the achievement of building an outpost is a compelling goal to work toward.
Pro: there is a sensible structure to quests that will allow you to settle a planet, like de-pollute the water supply, mend the atmospheric pressure system, stuff like that.
Pro: the siege to take out the main Kett stronghold such as on Eos and Voeld is awesome.
Pro: the idea of a remnant race with advanced technology and exploring their ruins is always exciting.
Con: as exciting as it was in last Mass Effect games.

Closing point: Andromeda reprises almost everything that made the previous games great. But seeing as the premise is such a drastically different take on the Mass Effect world, it’s kind of disappointing to see that so much is still business as usual. And considering the potential with the premise they established, I was disappointed to see where they took it from there.

my rating for 2017’s Mass Effect Andromeda for PS4 is…

★★½

My rating for this game is harsh right now, I get that. maybe I’ll lighten up in the future, because I’ll probably play it again.

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