My Mass Effect: Andromeda, In Case You’re Interested
I beat Mass Effect: Andromeda the other day and I felt like saying a few words. It’s an OK game, though I don’t think I’d recommend it to anyone who hasn’t played a Mass Effect game before. Not that you need to have played the original trilogy, but it helps if you’ve already got an interest in the series.
Here’s an Honest Trailer for Andromeda.
The game was exactly what I wanted when I bought it: a big, deep, enjoyable action RPG that I could spend time playing. Tons of side quests, lots of dialogue options, a pretty solid create-a-character and enough action to keep me mildly entertained. I got my money’s worth, and I’m looking forward to any upcoming DLCs or sequels, especially if they carry over my current main character and playthrough like they did with the previous trilogy.
But like I said, if you’re not already into the series, I can’t really recommend it. None of the quests or plots or characters or romances or weapons or villains or pretty much anything was all that exciting or memorable. I kind of just went through the motions on Mass Effect: Andromeda, which was enough for me.
If you’ve played the game and want to hear some of my decisions and story choices, join me after the jump!
Mass Effect: Andromeda is about an immigrant initiative into the Andromeda Galaxy. Thousands of volunteers decide to leave their lives in the Milky Way Galaxy behind in order to try and start a new life/make a foothold in an entirely new galaxy. Everybody goes into cryo-stasis for 600 years and then wakes up in the new galaxy — but the best laid plans of mice and men…
You play Ryder, who inherits the role of the Pathfinder after his/her father is killed in the prologue. Pathfinders have the duty of leading their people through the galaxy and setting up new colonies. As Pathfinder, you touch base with the space station that woke up from cryo-stasis a year earlier than you, only to find out that the thing is falling apart and the initial attempts at government are crumbling. You’ve got to then put together a rag tag team and explore the new galaxy to find habitable planets, while either fighting or befriending the new alien races in the new galaxy, and while doing your best to support the crumbling government.
It sounds a lot cooler than it is. Everything about building a new government, putting a team together and finding habitable planets is all scripted. It’s not like you’re playing The Sims: In Space. You pretty much just play through the story, doing what you’re supposed to do, with the occasional personal decision here or there.
This is my Sarah Ryder.
I played her as emotional/casual, which led to a lot of heartfelt proclamations and plenty of sarcastic jokes. I liked that. And I’m happy with my character design, considering all the complaints about the default Sarah Ryder face. She really worked well as the main character. I played with the occasional Biotic power, though I didn’t really explore them very much. Just the occasional throw, hold or shield. And I leaned heavily on sniper rifles.
I found all the extra arks, colonized all five habitable planets with 100% survivability and completed all major side missions — with the exception of one that was bugged and several that just involved wandering around and stumbling upon some nodes. Not sure why those missions were even included.
- Romance: My original plan was to take Peebee up on her offer of casual sex, score with the reporter on the Nexus and then start a romance with Suvi, because like most Ryders, I assume, I hit on everything that breathed. But as I played through the story, it seemed like PeeBee would be the better choice. There were very few interactions with Suvi, whereas PeeBee and a potential romance seemed baked into the story and would be more rewarding. Most romance guides I had read online said a romance with PeeBee would be off the table if I took her up on casual sex, but after letting her save her ex-girlfriend in her loyalty mission, the romance was back on! And I was very pleased with how it turned out. Andromeda really went the extra mile to integrate the relationship into the story, adding cute references to it in a lot of end game cut scenes.
- Pathfinders: I had a full complement of Pathfinders at the end of the game, so Captain Dunn lived in the finale. I convinced Avitus Rix to become the turian pathfinder. I exposed asari pathfinder Sarissa’s betrayal and forced her to step down, which made Vederia the asari pathfinder. And in the Kett ship, I chose to save the krogan scouts to appease Drack, instead of the salarians. Hayjer became the new salarian pathfinder. So in my game, none of the original pathfinders kept the role, they were all replaced by new warriors, including myself. Also, none of the salarian characters were very upset that I saved the krogans over their countrymen.
- Korgan: I gave the drive core to Morda on Elaaden and made peace between the krogran and the Nexus, allowing us to set up a joint colony. I made peace with every race I could find, especially the angara.
- Kadara: I sided with Reyes Vidal and allowed him to assassinate Sloane Kelly. It was pretty obvious from the start that Reyes was the Charlatan, especially by basic Scooby Doo logic. So I wasn’t bothered by his trickery. Plus I happened to find the Collective’s hidden base on Kadara, and they seemed like nice people. Whereas Sloane was running Kadara Port like a tyrant. Better the secretive good guy running things than the honest bad guy.
- Ambassador: In the epilogue, you’ve got to pick an ambassador between the Nexus and the new colonies. This doesn’t really effect the game at all, but I assume it will come into play in any sequels (hopefully we get a sequel). I chose Pathfinder Hayjer, the salarian, because considering how useful I was as a pathfinder, I figured another pathfinder would make for a great ambassador. This choice pleased Director Tann, another salarian, but pissed off both Director Addison and Kesh. In fact, Kesh was so pissed that she refused to even talk to me afterwards — though that didn’t stop her and Drack from inviting me to be the godmother of Kesh’s children.
And that was my Mass Effect: Andromeda play through! Like I said, I enjoyed myself, though wouldn’t necessarily claim it was a great game. It was fine, and I had a good time, and I liked a lot of the role-playing. Hopefully we’ll get a sequel and I can continue the story of my Ryder, because that’s the real selling point of the Mass Effect games, carrying over the characters and story choices into the sequels.
I want to see what happens next.
Please share your own Ryders and your own choices in the comments, if you’d like!