If you’ve been online this week you may have seen the memes making fun of Mass Effect Andromeda’s animation and character faces. Unfortunately this gives you a false perspective of the game and it’s being driven by immature console fanboys who are basically throwing a hissy fit because they can’t play the game yet while it’s available on two other platforms.
Does Mass Effect Andromeda have animation issues? Absolutely. Sometimes the Frostbite character models look like ducks while talking, and the models themselves can sometimes look like they’re made out of puddy. And yes I’ve even run into some of the animation glitches that can show up in normal gameplay. But do these issues completely ruin the game and make it unplayable? Absolutely not and that’s the problem. People are missing out on what could be the best Mass Effect since the second just because some hyperbolic fanboys are crying and making memes on the internet.
Andromeda’s maps aren’t as linear as those in the trilogy, and its combat is very similar to that in Mass Effect 2 only more refined and even improved over that classic. Scanning returns, and it feels a lot more like Metroid Prime this time around. The setting of an unknown galaxy, open maps that reward exploration, and the scanning really makes Andromeda feel like the Star Trek game you’ve always wanted to play. There were elements of Trek in the original trilogy, but Mass Effect Andromeda really embraces it.
I loved the original Mass Effect games, and enjoyed at least some of BioWare’s Dragon Age, but I hated Dragon Age: Inquisition. So far, and it’s just a timed-trial, I don’t hate Mass Effect Andromeda. Some janky animation bugs are a small price to pay for a gorgeous looking Star Trek-style space adventure. And when I say gorgeous, this game is stunning if you have a 4K TV capable of HDR. The HDR use in it is nearly as jaw-dropping as Forza Horzion 3, which to this day still is the best use of the feature in a game.
Mass Effect Andromeda is currently available in a 10-hour timed trial on EA Access on the Xbox One or Origin Access on the PC. It’s out this coming Tuesday for all platforms, and even if the characters talk like ducks; I’m looking forward to exploring the Andromeda galaxy more.