I was hard on Mass Effect 3 because it was supposedly the conclusion to the story that began in Mass Effect 1. My main problem with the series was that the later team did not understand or respect the world built by the first game. This is different from (say) the jump from Alien to Aliens. Yes, the two movies were vastly different in terms of tone, style, and pacing, but they were two different movies and either one of them could stand on its own. I can accept the idea that two different authors could make very different stories in the same setting. What I couldn’t accept was that the storyteller was changing genres in the middle of a single adventure. The trilogy was all supposedly one story, and so I judged it as such.
In the case of Andromeda, I’m more inclined to allow that the new writer wants to take the series in a new direction. I miss my details-first sci-fi, but I realize it’s not fair to hold an entire franchise to the tone of the original. If the new writer wants to make a new story about lifting the space-curse on the space-forest, then fine. I don’t find the Andromeda story to be particularly interesting, but I’m willing to judge the game on the merits of what it’s trying to do and I’m not going to lambast it for failing to live up to the idealized dream game I keep hoping for.
Before we Start…
From playing the game I can tell there must have been multiple writers working on Andromeda, and some of them are much, much better than others. As with the last two Mass Effect games, the worst writing is found at the core of the story and the best writing is found in the squadmate side-missions.
During this series I’ll often break from analysis to explain how I would have done things differently. You can decide for yourself if these sections are indictments, suggestions, or fan wank.