Let me get this out of the way right now: I love the Mass Effect trilogy. I’ve replayed the trilogy three times, and own all three titles on my 360 (my paragon playthrough), PS3 (renegade), and PC (just to see the graphical difference). I’m also a Mass Effect apologist. I know as many people who love the series as hate it. Mass Effect 1 is a messy slog to get through at times, I can admit. It’s probably the least-optimized game in the 360’s lengthy lifespan, has horrible driving segments that feel tacked on, and its pace seems out of whack compared to the next two games in the series. But, for the time, it was gorgeous and groundbreaking. A lot has changed in gaming over the last ten years, including the ability to threaten the lives of game developers directly!
It shouldn’t be that way. It feels like Mass Effect: Andromeda is getting bashed because the original Mass Effect trilogy had some bloated, gushing reviews. Mass Effect 2 was a masterpiece, yes, but Mass Effect 1 is barely playable in retrospect and is averaging a near-perfect Metacritic score, while “some framerate drops” and clunky animations (amongst other things) have tanked Andromeda‘s ratings to the mid-70s. I’m here to tell you that Mass Effect: Andromeda is a fine addition to the series. It’s fun. It’s a natural progression of the Mass Effect universe, with welcome, focused improvements to the open world genre.
So from one Mass Effect apologist to perhaps another, here’s what you need to know about the game, on this weekend of launch.