I’m sure most of you remember the novel-sized retrospective I did on the original Mass Effect trilogy that ran from July 2015 to June 2016. At the end of the series we were still looking forward to Mass Effect Andromeda and wondering how that would turn out. Since then the game has been released, received mixed reviews, became an industry-wide joke due to bugs and glitches, was patched up by the developers, and then faded from public memory. It began as a hot mess and ended as a disappointing footnote in the history of BioWare. Now I’m finally getting around to playing it, over two years after my original Mass Effect series ended.
Frustratingly, this game is neither as good nor as terrible as I’d hoped. This is not a return to the energetic worldbuilding of Mass Effect 1, but neither is it an affront to reason like the final act of Mass Effect 3At least, not the main story.. There are a few good ideas here, mixed in with the bog-standard gameplay, open-world busywork, and cringy dialog.
While Mass Effect 3 was at times frustrating and irritating, Andromeda‘s great sin is that it’s merely disappointing. There’s not much to get worked up about here. Mass Effect 3 had the problem where its story unraveled right at the moment where it should have started wrapping up, and it was the conclusion to a story we’d been following for three games over the course of five years. This game tells a stand-alone story. The stakes were lower this time around, and so were our expectations.