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Mass Effect: Andromeda review — Exciting combat meets uninspired open world gameplay

Mass Effect has emerged from a five-year stint in cryo-sleep, and its latest entry is receiving mixed reviews.

Mass Effect: Andromeda is already proving controversial. If you're a big fan of the franchise, either you've already played the trial on EA Access, or you might have seen the memes dominating the airwaves, emphasizing the game's sub-par character animations. My time with Andromeda is drawing to a close, and we're ready to issue our full report on the game's triumphs and failings ... many failings.

Updated March 22, 2017: This review has been significantly updated and scored based on our final experiences with the game.

Which version of Mass Effect: Andromeda is best for you?

Mass Effect: Andromeda review in brief

To put it bluntly, Mass Effect: Andromeda seems like the victim of its own ambitions. The developer, BioWare, cited the likes of The Witcher 3 as the inspiration for its open world and quests, but it very barely reaches beyond Dragon Age Inquisition's grind-heavy, narrative-thin open world areas.

The open world areas, so far, have been dotted with pointless fetch quests, copy-and-pasted formulaic missions, and color-swapped creatures. Don't even get me started on the bugs, hitching, frame-rate issues, and other engine anomalies.

Those are the negatives, though. Mass Effect: Andromeda's combat has been liberated from the rigidity of a typical cover shooter. Aerial dodging, jet packs, ground attacks, and a huge, huge repertoire of active abilities represent the greatest combat the franchise has ever seen. And those biotic combos are still, so satisfying.

The story, the cast and writing have generally proven to be engaging.

Andromeda's combat extends into its multiplayer mode, which pits up to four players in Horde-like arena battles, complete with plenty of opportunities for character progression and co-op sci-fi shooter tomfoolery.

As with any Mass Effect game, most fans are here for the narrative and characters, and the core experiences are solid. Sadly, though, they're strewn through a lens of bugs and spread out across a galactic amount of filler, owing to the game's terrible open-world gameplay. And those character animations and glitches are as bleak as the internet says, sometimes worse.

Meet the characters of Mass Effect: Andromeda

Peebee is far more complex than the trailers led me to believe. Drack is a worthy Wrex stand-in with often hilarious dialogue, and the game's main antagonist, The Archon, is as mysterious as he is chilling.

Despite the bland open-world gameplay and the litany of bugs (lots of bugs, hopefully, fixable bugs), it's the intriguing story, quality main missions, and infectious combat that kept me going. Beneath it all, Andromeda is definitely Mass Effect, but it's painful to think about what could have been.

Design and setting

Given the uproar, I feel the need to address this aspect of Andromeda first. Yes, its character presentation is patently atrocious. It's not just the odd animations, caffeine-addled lack of eye contact, or the bland modeling but also the weird bugs that seem to plague BioWare's real-time conversation system. The Xbox One's last minute 775MB patch didn't fix matters, either.

Character models have appeared twice during dialogue scenes, several times. I've had NPCs either walk through me or even wander in from the open world and kill me, mid-conversation, leading to a bug that required a system reset. I've seen conversation characters stuck in the wrong animations for their situations. And I've had conversations occur out of quest sequence, leading to truly confusing moments (and, yes, a few broken, incompletable missions).

It's utterly maddening because it does the game's writing and voice acting a huge discredit, as it has generally been quite good. Every time one of your crew members appears in a conversation with a bugged doppelganger, it rips you out of the immersion, which makes it harder to connect with these new characters. A tender moment with one of the new crew mates, which was well written, flanked by somber music, was instantly destroyed by a glitch that caused his model to become stuck. This should be basic stuff for BioWare.

Considering how frequent the bugs are, and considering how expensive Andromeda is, I think it's more than fair to expect more of one of the biggest video game publishers in the galaxy. We can only hope that subsequent patches fix these issues.

You'd have thought BioWare would have let its imagination run wild on Andromeda's creatures, but instead, we just get missed opportunities.

Beyond conversational presentation, Mass Effect: Andromeda holds its own when it comes to environment design and art direction. Vistas of alien worlds, black holes with gravitational lensing, gigantic alien plants, and other warped, astronomical oddities make Andromeda as majestic as it is hostile. But the further you progress through the game, the realization begins to dawn that you're fighting the same five color-swapped alien creatures over and over, despite being on planets light years apart.

You'd have thought BioWare would have let its imagination run wild on Andromeda's creatures, but instead, we just get missed opportunities. You will get to scan color swapped alien gorillas, rhinos, and velociraptors, that inexplicably appear on planets light years apart. It makes the exploration aspect miserably underwhelming.

At least the music and sound design are incredible, buzzing with signature otherworldly Mass Effect electronica. Biotic combos rip through the air with a satisfying thunderclap, and each weapon has a unique, impactful voice.

As beautiful (and repetitive) as Andromeda's worlds are, they can drop the Xbox One's frame rate to a crawl. Speeding across the wastes in the Nomad planetary rover also can causes the game to hitch, freezing while it loads additional terrain. It's clear that BioWare hasn't spent enough time optimizing the game's engine.

Mass Effect: Andromeda should have been delayed to repair these issues, because underneath it all there lies a wonderful space adventure begging to be treated with respect.

Combat gameplay

The best aspect of Mass Effect: Andromeda is its combat. It has been completely unshackled from the narrow lens of the third-person corridor shooter and takes advantage of its open-world verticality to deliver something far more versatile. You can now leap, aerial dodge, and melee attack from above, and even hover mid-air while aiming. You can create the ultimate space wizard of your dreams, or live out a Boba Fett fantasy with jet packs and a flame thrower. Or hey, you could do both at the same time.

I can upload this fun clip of hilarious biotic combos now. My in-progress Mass Effect Andromeda review is live: https://t.co/D16zv1STNu pic.twitter.com/97zdCK6YGh— Jez 🎮🦂 (@JezCorden) March 20, 2017

Owing to plot reasons, Mass Effect: Andromeda is far more lenient with its class-based structure than previous games.

Mass Effect: Andromeda's combat is as fast-paced, satisfying and engaging as ever.

As you level up, you gain access to points that you can spend on any class's abilities. These include franchise staples such as the tactical cloak's invisibility, biotic techniques like throw and singularity, and also a whole range of new ones, such as the flamethrower. The more points you spend in any class increases your proficiency with those abilities, whether they're tech, biotic "spells," or different types of weaponry.

You can go all-in with a single class, too. I'm building myself up as a "Biotic God" at the moment, and have unlocked several ranks of passive damage boosts to my skills. If you prefer versatility, that's just as viable a strategy, and you can limit the impact of any shortcomings using armor and weapon mods.

Skill combos have returned with gusto. You can set an enemy on fire with "Incinerate," then cause an explosion with a biotic throw. Many abilities also have alt-fire modes as well. Biotic pull allows you to hold an enemy in mid-air, and use him as a projectile against other hostiles.

The active cover system has been replaced with something more automated. Ryder and your two squad mates will crouch behind appropriate objects dynamically, which can be a little awkward at times. There are plenty of skills and abilities you can use to mitigate the need to use cover, though. Most of the time, I found myself jumping around, dodging, and aerial shooting instead of ducking down. Certain enemies, though, pretty much force you to at least hide to replenish your shields.

When it comes to enemy types, Andromeda mostly follows the previous game's formats. Some enemies have armor, while some have shields. The game's various tools and abilities allow you to circumnavigate enemy defenses, forcing you to change strategy on the fly. Sadly, combat isn't immune to the game's general lack of polish, and enemies can become stuck in terrain, freeze up altogether, and can even disappear randomly. Nothing has been too game breaking, though, and the infectious fun far outweighs the issues I've experienced in this area. And there are always patches.

Mass Effect: Andromeda's combat is as fast-paced, satisfying and engaging as ever, and serves as one of the game's greatest aspects. However, the same cannot be said for its open-world gameplay.

Open-world gameplay

BioWare went on record to state that Andromeda would draw upon inspiration from The Witcher 3 when it comes to designing a "meaningful" open world, complete with impactful side objectives that build on criticisms leveraged at its previous game, Dragon Age Inquisition. Seriously, if you're going to compare your open world to The Witcher 3's, you better be able to back it up.

Despite BioWare's claims, Mass Effect: Andromeda's open world falls straight into the black hole that is quantity over quality. None of Andromeda's side quests are even vaguely interesting, nor memorable. Sometimes, they are just plain idiotic. They amount to go here, fetch this, click on those, scan copies of this, with little narrative, intrigue or flavor to back them up. Some feel as though they'd been thrown in haphazardly to nod at events from previous games, even if they made virtually no sense. Andromeda is also addicted to sending you to scan things, repeatedly, with droning MMO-like abandon.

Andromeda is addicted to sending you to scan things, repeatedly, with droning MMO-like abandon.

The few quests on the game's first world, Eos, that were interesting, reappeared again on the game's second world, Voeld, practically copied and pasted. Despite assertions that BioWare "listened to feedback" concerning its previous game, Dragon Age Inquisition, I'd say Andromeda represents a step backwards for its repetitive, grinding quests that are little more than filler.

Thankfully, the game's combat and main story missions more than make up for Andromeda's open world maps. And the vast majority of the open world missions are entirely optional. When you prioritize story ops, you will find a huge abundance of quality missions, and character-specific quests that speak to the quality Mass Effect fans will expect. Liam's loyalty mission is suitably hilarious and well written, granting insight into the character with some genuine laugh-out-loud moments. These are the best aspect's of Andromeda's mission delivery.

I have fond memories of exploring Mass Effect 1's planets in the Mako. Sometimes driving around in space, grinding mindlessly, is simply fun for the sake of it. Open world fans may disagree, but I feel as though it only detracts from the experience in Andromeda. It needlessly stretches the gap between the game's higher quality content and adds virtually nothing of value in between. It even has Ubisoft-style "unlock several of these" on every planet, which just feels so dreadfully uninspired. I find myself sorely missing Mass Effect 2 and 3's mission structure.

Story and setting

Mass Effect: Andromeda is, as its name suggests, set in the Andromeda galaxy. A movement known as the Andromeda Initiative, sought about building a flotilla of human and alien colonial ships, set to travel for over 600 years across dark space to leave the Milky Way. The events of Mass Effect 2 and 3 are largely unknown to the colonists.

A lot of emphasis is placed on the pioneering spirit of the Initiative's citizens, of which there are tens of thousands. Some are scientists seeking new knowledge, others are businessmen seeking profit, and others are simply adventurers seeking a new frontier. The main character, known by his or her surname as Ryder in the game, came along with their father and twin, inspired by the explorers of old.

The Andromeda Initiative is led by a Pathfinder, which in true BioWare fashion, serves a special place in the narrative. The Pathfinder's job (your job) is to inspire the Andromeda Initiative by discovering new worlds for Milky Way species' colonization.

Mass Effect: Andromeda continues BioWare's tradition for great character writing. But it's not all good news.

Very early on, however, the Initiative identifies that much of the worlds they thought were habitable turned out to be ... a little less so. Something nefarious is taking place on Andromeda, and if the Milky Way pioneers are to survive, it falls on the Pathfinder to solve the mess gripping the stellar cluster.

BioWare could have done the cheap-and-easy thing and banked on nostalgia, but Andromeda diverges quite heavily from the events of the previous trilogy. So far, I've found only minor references to previous characters and circumstances, save for important lore aspects. Andromeda is a truly standalone experience, requiring no prior knowledge of the franchise.

It's crazy to think, but Mass Effect came out almost 10 years ago. The rich characters, malevolent villains, and unique world propelled BioWare to the top of the RPG pile, and Mass Effect: Andromeda continues BioWare's tradition of great character writing.

But it's not all good news.

I've seen some outlets bash Andromeda's writing, but I've found myself laughing out loud at certain quests, genuinely intrigued by the stories of certain characters, and fully engaged with the game's plot. The narrative team did a great job with Andromeda over all, with a shift in tone from the previous trilogy's tendency towards relentless bleakness, delivering something a little more hopeful and light hearted.

Without giving too much away, you discover early on that your target location — the Heleus cluster of Andromeda — is beset by a malevolent nation known as the Kett. The Kett bases I've invaded offer tantalizing (and horrifying) glimpses into one of the franchise's most evil villains yet.

Led by an entity known only as the Archon, the creepy reptoid aliens attack humanity at first contact, offering no explanation or mercy. Solving the mystery of Kett's aggression and motives has so far formed the main arc of Andromeda's story, complete with the signature BioWare curveballs.

Andromeda has the building blocks of an incredible story, but it's wreathed in systemic issues.

The other part of the narrative discusses the complexities of setting up a new nation, sharing parallels with the likes of Battlestar Galactica (2004), and the difficult lives humans suffer in Star Wars, living on the frontiers of the Outer Rim.

Andromeda has the building blocks of an incredible story, but it's wreathed in systemic issues that probably stem from overexertion. The game would have benefitted from a sharper focus.

My biggest criticism of Mass Effect: Andromeda's story, beyond the bugs, pertains to the lack of branching narrative. Very few of your decisions seem to have impactful consequences, which is a stark contrast to previous games in the series.

For Andromeda, BioWare ditched the binary Paragon/Renegade dialogue choices the series was known for. Instead, it went for a personality-based system, similar to Dragon Age Inquisition. I feel as though I can no longer play the way I want to as a result of this, because my decisions tend to no longer straddle moral extremes, and instead lie between fairly unbinding, practical, and "safe" choices.

Don't expect to play the bad guy in Mass Effect: Andromeda. You can't.

It's subjective, but it bugs me how nice Ryder is, and how little control you have over his personality. So far, it feels like there's a missed opportunity to be an imperial colonialist versus an intrepid explorer. Simply put, don't expect to play the bad guy in Mass Effect: Andromeda. You can't.

Warning: There are minor spoilers in this paragraph. Additionally, Mass Effect: Andromeda just feels all too familiar. You're in a completely new galaxy, but there are very few new alien races and civilizations to get acquainted with. Much of the Heleus Cluster is populated with the Kett and Angara races, and tens of thousands of misplaced Milky Way races that came along with the Andromeda initiative. Why is Kadara Port run by humans, and not some crazy Andromeda squid-like alien people? Why are you fighting benevolent Krogan warlords again in an all-new galaxy? Who settled at New Tuchanka no less, named after their planet from the previous game. Kadara Port feels like Omega from Mass Effect 2, only lacking in depth and ambiance.

Considering it's an all-new galaxy, not a great deal of Mass Effect: Andromeda's story feels new. In fact, much of it just feels the same, only worse.

A lot of the story's factions should be new aliens, rather than anarchistic Milky Way races from the previous trilogy, with vague motivations. Even the two new races are humanoids, wielding assault rifles, complete with familiar cultural norms and societies. I can't help but feel this lack of creativity is a compromise from switching the game over to ambitiously large open world segments, reducing the focus the game sorely needed to get to a higher level.

Final thoughts

Despite these complaints, Mass Effect fans will enjoy what Andromeda has on offer. The main characters are interesting and diverse (albeit familiar), the plot is suitably mysterious, and the gunplay and powers are as satisfying as ever. But I also feel as though those same fans deserve better for their hard-earned cash.

This is by far the least optimized, most buggy entry in the series. The sheer volume of glitches, animation problems, frame rate issues, and weird hitching lag plagues the entire experience, and it's a damn shame.

I was hoping to be able to say that BioWare's last minute patch would fix the bugs I was experiencing, but it's not the case. The company has shown a willingness to repair the issues with the game, but if you want to play it unspoiled, I'd wait a few months.

An amazing game lurks beneath the surface of Mass Effect: Andromeda.

I enjoyed upgrading my gear using the game's crafting system, smashing enemies with biotics never gets old, and exploring the game's large galaxy map is as inspiring as ever. That is, at least until you land on a planet and find yourself forced to scan 10 space weevils.

Right now, Andromeda feels like a victim of its open world ambitions, chasing The Witcher 3 rather than playing to the franchise's strengths. Creativity and polish have undoubtedly suffered due to the game's diffuse focus.

Pros:

  • Great characters and story.
  • Fun, engaging "classic" main missions.
  • Industry leading third-person shooter combat.
  • Surprisingly rich multiplayer.

Cons:

  • Huge amount of content, but most of it is bland filler.
  • Insane amount of bugs, glitches, and optimization issues.
  • General lack of creativity, including few new alien races.

This game simply might not have been ready to emerge from its cryo-sleep, but the building blocks of an amazing game reside in Mass Effect: Andromeda. Hopefully, it will improve with future updates.

Mass Effect: Andromeda is available now for Xbox One, PC and PlayStation 4.

This review was conducted on Xbox One using a copy purchased by the writer, with early access provided by EA.

Jez Corden
Jez Corden

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

49 Comments
  • Am I the only one "not soo excited" about this game? I mean will play when I get it but I'm kinda not too desperate for it or even wanna play day one.
    Anyways nice write-up Jez....maybe your full review might change my mind.
  • Cheers matey, stayed up all night to do it... been awake 36 hours. Think I earned bed now. Over all, I really like it, but I think BioWare is chasing the open world ghost needlessly. Bottom line, it's a great space RPG with tight shooting mechanics. The bugs wreak havoc on the story, but I'm praying the issues I've screenshotted up there get patched out before launch. Game could've done with a polish pass, if nothing else.
  • Yeah the way the game is anticipated by most gamers with the game being a potential hit, they really have to polish before release with a day 1 update on something or else it'll be a massive failure. Will wait a bit and see how things go....and oh you need to sleep now before reaching the point of too tired to do anything.
  • But it's not done by Bioware, just a subteam who never made a full game before.
  • You realize BioWare is a bunch of sub teams, always has been. So yes, it's made by BioWare. Just with more new people, with some original people who worked on the first three sprinkled in.
  • Where were you seeing the most fps drops. I'm playing on pc and the only drops I'm seeing are during the cut scenes.
  • Xbox One is the reason why heh. Not very well optimized on this system.
  • To be fair there was an Nvidia driver update for the game and that may have helped as the trial had some issues on the pc
  • I'm not excited unfortunately. And reviews are coming in. It's looking likely it will be in the high 60's metacritic. When all previous games were 90+.
  • I'm in the same boat. For me, the combat in Mass Effect was always kind of 'meh' and it just kind of rubbed me the wrong way. The stories, characters, landscapes, and musical scoring were always top notch. But since the majority of the gameplay was combat, it just wasn't as much fun and was actually frustrating at times. I hadn't planned on picking this one up until it dropped significantly in price, or at all if the reviews were really bad, but I believe my wife may have pre-ordered it for my birthday. If she buys me the game, she can't complain when I sit around playing it instead of doing dishes, right? Right?
  • I have never been too optismistic on this game and BioWare in general...beside the facts that basically the "old" BioWare that delivered their trademark games disbanded after that both founders left (basically most of the names that worked on the previous ME weren't even involved in this new game)...all in all I was pretty happy with the game as a trilogy. I didn't felt the need of "more of the same"...or at least not so soon.
    Maybe resuming it after few years with a real fresh take (Crystal Dynamics first Tomb Raider) but to me it was still too early for a new ME.
    On the other hand I understand the commercial need for BioWare to defend its acquired position in the action-rpg arena while some younger software house keeps raising the bar (The Witcher 3 of course)...so well..I will hardly buy ME Andromeda at full price, I'm more interested in the RPG aspect than the combat and anyway I have stopped few years ago to pay full price for products which besides personal likings, are not up to the technical standards expected for a finished product.
    In other words, I'm not going to buy a car with three wheels instead of four, just because has a sleek design ;)
    These days in gaming industry seems like that to truly get what you pay for you are expected to wait one year and aim directly at GOTY editions... XD
  • You can find it cheaper than origin https://www.g2a.com/r/mass-effect-best-price
  • Funny, seeing as on PC it doesn't exist outside of Origin.
  • They sell you a cd-key that you can use with Origin.
  • Much more positive than most reviews in progress out there. Based on most of them I'm predicting a 75 metacritic. Everyone has their own opinion. As always good article Windows Central.
  • Thanks. My thinking is 7/10 at the moment, based on my current experiences. I'm ... hoping it will blow my mind or something. 45 hours in... 2 planets to go.
  • Ouch. I was right. It's getting smashed in reviews. Reviews are out. Not good people. The metacritic on Xbox One after 18 reviews is 77. This may finish on less than 70!!!!!! http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-one/mass-effect-andromeda
  • If we converted that 77 to the five star scale on Netflix then that would mean a lot of people "really liked it". So that's a great scored. Anything under 60 is were mediocrity starts.
  • This doesn't really apply to videogames. Review scores are so overinflated in the videogame media that an ok game scores 8's. It should be that a game on meta scoring 70 is an above average game. But that's not the case. A game can have game breaking bugs. Poor technical issues and massively bad dialogue and writing and get 80 average. The best way I compare a sequel like Andromeda is against its predecessors. Of which it could be nearly 30 points less overall. That's a sever quality drop for the series.
  • BioWare plans to issue a new, last minute patch on the day of launch!
    ​Where is this info from? I loved the first 10 hour trail. But the ting that is keeping me from buying it right now is the terrible framerate, framepasing and inputlag on xbox one. And on top of this: SO MANY BUGS.
    ​Wonder how long I must wait until i feel its playable :(
  • No not true. The patch they are talking about is already out on the trial. What we have is final. https://thegamefanatics.com/mass-effect-andromeda-day-one-patch-wont-fix...
  • There was a patch, but it's just to fix issues with corsair RAM on PC. :/
  • Not just RAM. I only have a Corsair keyboard. It is Corsair's software utility causing issues with startup. At least it was for me. Had to uninstall Corsair utility engine
  • Jez there is no patch coming mate. Should change that bit in the article. https://thegamefanatics.com/mass-effect-andromeda-day-one-patch-wont-fix...
  • Boycotting this simply because they kept a racist developer on the team.
  • hahaha, reminds me the situation with Uber and Trump vs liberals who uninstalled the app.... after 2 months, everybody is back on the boat because hating a service just because somebody said something is stupid and childish
  • ????  What are you talking about?  And why does it matter?  It is a GAME.  And a GAME put together by a team of developers.  My issue is I hate being a Beta Tester for the first six months of a product.  I'll pass till later in the year.
  • ..you mean you are going to investigate the political views of anyone involved in the making of any product you will buy? :D you pay for the product, and that is what you are entitled to own...is not like you are buying the people who worked to built it so they will have to behave following your moral views. Jeez, you scare me more than racists people now... XD
  • I don't think you should be getting downvoted for your comment, it's fine to not buy/support something to stick to your morals or principles. 
      Re: Pappale
    the uber thing was more than simply about someone saying something, it's also about actions (which may or may not result from what was said).  Re: murphcid
    It doesn't have to affect the product itself for it to matter. Re: oneiros
    He/she didn't say or imply your first question or your last statement about making other people follow his/her moral views. If this is an important issue to him/her, then it's fine for him/her to not buy/support the product.
  • They gave a score of 8.0 in a spanish game webpage not bad at all
  • Oh well, I will form my own opinions as my copy just shipped from Amazon.
  • Andromeda always seemed troubled with its lack of gameplay trailers, story missions and a general lack of exposure and marketing so close to release. And now ... it seems there was a reason for this.
  • "warped, astrological oddities ​" Astronomical​. Seriously, this is elementary school stuff. Astronomy is a scientific study of things in space, whereas ​astrology ​is a stupid superstition according to which the movement of planets as seen from Earth and the date of people's birth somehow determines their future. ​Also, Helios/Helius cluster.
  • In my defence, I was awake for 36 hours when I wrote this.
  • Been playing it over the weekend. Enjoying it so far. I'm fine with scanning stuff. Combat is fun once you get used to it.
  • I'm loving the jet pack mechanics during combat so far.
  • "pointless fetch quests, copy-and-pasted formulaic missions, and color-swapped creatures" sounds craptastic
  • Five years since the last ME game and the facial design (not just the animations) are worse. The faces are unfinished, and aside from the main protagonist siblings, there are no decently attractive characters in the game, IMO.  I'm not asking for CD Projekt Red model-material characters like Yennefer or Triss.  But Cora, Peebee and Liam just aren't attractive and look beyond wooden.  The original ME trilogy had tons of good looking to mix with the not-so-much.
  • The 4k faces look good on PC, but actual talking and facial expressions are wooden
  • I have been playing the game for about 6 or 7 hours now on Xbox One and can say that it has a lot of issues, but overall I still like it despite all my concerns.
    issues: --buggy as all hell (freezing frames both in and out of dialog and cinematic events, unpredictable collision issues, random AI behavior issues); facial animation is all over the place; dialog choices don't really reflect what your character will say in even the slightest way; voice acting is bad (actors change tone and inflection mid sentence --no, I don't mean after you choose a different dialog option, I mean mid sentence); story so far appears week; combat mechanics is wildly swimmy making gun play practically useless (I played the previous games very tactically, with thought and precision in each engagement, here I'm lucky if I can line up a shot); one of the worst part about the combat is that most of the time, they are triggered events with the enemies spawning in after you do something (like COD or Battlefield when you get to the present start point and all hell breaks loose). the maps have high risk areas that it tries to keep you out of, but does nothing to let you know so you just wander in and find out after 10secs, that you need to travel all the way back to a safe zone because you crossed an invisible barrier it didn't want you crossing yet. the game has a massive amount of customization in all the ways that don't feel like they matter and was just added because it was an expected element of an "RPG". despite all the glaring issues, I still like playing the game (most likely because of how much I liked the originals). I truly hope they fix as much of this as practical, but this is just more evidence that these companies are releasing games way to early, and I am getting sick of paying $60-100 to be a beta tester for a product that never gets fixed.
  • I haven't had any issues on PC, as far as lip sync its been pretty much correct.
  • the issue isn't lip sync, it is the facial animations themselves; eyes looking no where near the point of focus, main character smiling even in "stressful" and emotionally charged situation, expressions not matching the dialog. --i.e., uncanny valley issue that break your ability to believe the elusion. The worst part is that the previous titles did not suffer this clear lack of direction.
  • I agree.  What made the original games great, gameplay aside, was the immersiveness of the narrative. Everything from the character models to the conversation mechanics really made you feel immersed in the story as if you had been sucked into a movie. The sporadic fights, while enjoyable for me, were just filling between the major plot elements, delivered via these interactive, cinematic moments. The new game, thus far (about 3 hours in), doesn't do the trilogy justice. It definitely feels like a step back, which shouldn't get the case given the new game engine and hardware resources available. At this point I would rather have had it written with the ME3 engine so that at least the appealing features of the franchise would still be present. Quantum Break was a phenomenal game that used a similar story-delivery mechanism and actually had believable looking characters and faces. This game ... does not.
  • So does this mean if they make another Jedi game one day it will suck balls as well?
  • You know, I'm just going to wait until things settle down a bit.  Not going to play early releases, not going to purchase or make judgements based on "maybe there will be a patch".  Grrr..... I realize the state of things as they are, but I don't like it. Just fix the things that are borked and let everyone make their decisions/reviews based on that.... Stop trying to get everybody making a review on an f'ed up game; if it's releasing in an incomplete beta state, then OK, it's releasing in an incomplete beta state and let's all agree to review based on that and revisit later....    
  • I played it about an hour, and haven't seen any bugs. Minor framerate and strange facial expressions are all I've seen so far. I found the combat and story so far exciting and fun, but if the rest of the game is as buggy and bland as everyone says, I don't know if I'll get it. I also can't start the game whatsoever without it crashing so eh
  • It's definitely a mixed bag. My copy of the Deluxe Edition arrived yesterday. I loaded up and there was already a 2GB Day One Update (tm) which wasn't too bad. I just selected the male Ryder character to start with. So far so good with a nary a noticable bug or glitch to be found. Definitely some weird facial/eye animations tho'. I plan to try female Ryder next (although supposedly horrendous in the character animation department) and fool around with customizing (albeit limited) characters as well. I have never finished the first ME game, 2 & 3 are still in shrinkwrap after all these years as well. I think I will finish Andromeda and who knows...maybe by then EA/Bioware will have released Enhanced Editions of the trilogy for Xbox One and I'll tackle them.
  • the music, the environments, the drama...the dumb goofy faces staring back at you
  • The writing is so bad. Animations during conversations are terrible. It's soooooooo buggy, making Bethesda titles look like perfected releases. I don't like some of the voices. Pointless, unskippable cutscenes when moving between locations. Actual choices during conversations don't seem to matter. And this kills me as it could have been a damn fine space shooter, and possibly one of the strongest releases by the company. It's difficult to overlook the time they had, the money invested and the fact they're using an entirely new galaxy. I expected better.