Mass Effect Andromeda reviews are out, and the game is proving as divisive as we anticipated. Our reviewer Brittany Vincent's review-in-progress launched a scathing attack on many subpar aspects of Andromeda, and her opinions have been shared by many others who have reviewed the game. However, some reviewers were a bit more kind in their assessment of BioWare's latest Mass Effect title. Our Mass Effect Andromeda review round-up shows just how polarizing this game is among reviewers.
Mass Effect Andromeda Reviews: The Good
A few publications bestowed upon Mass Effect Andromeda a hearty recommendation. Stevivor reviewer Steve Wright gave the game a 9.5 citing the scope of exploration being the game's key draw. Wright summed up the protagonist's role in Andromeda as, "Everything Ryder does is of utmost importance, from charting star systems to first contact opportunities." Wright also found the crafting and Nomad to be well done and compelling. I'm not sure if I played the same game as I felt the opposite of this review, but I'm glad that someone liked it.
James Mitchell of Press Start gave Andromeda a 9 out of 10. I really wish I had played the version of the game he did, as he lauded the interactions with the brand new cast debuting in ME:A. Mitchell did have issues with the removal of the power wheel from the original trilogy stating, "This decision feels like a baffling dumbing down of the system that has remained largely prevalent through the original trilogy’s changes in design."
Forbes' Paul Tassi gave Andromeda props for its more open format in comparison to the original trilogy. He found Ryder and crew to be likable and felt as though the game held true to the Mass Effect name and thought the game deserved an 8.5 out of 10. Tassi enjoyed the tone of Andromeda as well, saying, "Mass Effect: Andromeda is one of the most hopeful, optimistic games I’ve ever played, and I quite like that about it." Chris White's review at God is a Geek had much of the same praise for ME:A. White gave Andromeda an 8.5 out of 10, though multiplayer had not been factored into that score.
Mass Effect Andromeda Reviews: The Okay
Most reviewers fell in the 7-8 score zone. PC Gamer stated that the pace and script suffer from the constant need for exposition and that some of the writing was inexcusably bad. They ended up giving it an 8 out of 10, stating that Andromeda gets better as you play it further. I agree that the beginning 10 hours was much more hamfisted and dissatisfying than the time that followed, but I don't agree with the notion that anyone should be expected to "get through" a poor introduction.
Joe Juba of Game Informer gave Mass Effect Andromeda an 8 out of 10, but was disappointed by the new alien designs and the primary antagonist of the game. Juba did praise the wealth of content, especially the improvement in loyalty questlines. IGN gave Andromeda a 7.7, stating that the voice acting helped make up for the poor facial animations, but criticizing performance issues on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Andy Hartup scored ME:A as a 3.5 out of 5 for GamesRadar+. Hartup felt the same way many other reviewers did and thought Andromeda's massive amount of content was one of its high points. However, he was disappointed in the combat, poor mission design, and clunky gameplay systems.
Mass Effect Andromeda Reviews: The Bad
Some reviewers were majorly disappointed in Mass Effect Andromeda. Kat Bailey of USgamer praised the loyalty missions but was disappointed in the Kett's design and place in the game. She was also unhappy with the switch from the Paragon/Renegade dialog system to the more vague interactions available in Andromeda. Bailey ended up scoring ME:A a 3 out of 5 citing interface, visual flaws, and weakness of the main quest as being some of the deciding factors.
GameSpot's Scott Butterworth scored Andromeda a 6 out of 10. Butterworth was unimpressed by the lifeless dialog, technical issues, and poor design of some of the missions. GamesBeat's 55 out of 100 review by Jeff Grubb had many of the same complaints, as did Digital Trends' 5 out of 10 review by Phil Hornshaw.
The Bottom Line
The complaints about Mass Effect Andromeda seem universal: poor acting, bad animations, and tedious and clunky gameplay. However, reviewers were a bit more divided on what they liked about the game. My experience with it shows that Andromeda can be enjoyable if you're willing to look at it with rose-tinted lenses. I feel like Mass Effect Andromeda is like a bad episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (more of a The Outrageous Okona than a Silicon Avatar, though). It's not particularly good, but it's familiar in a way that sparks memories of something greater and makes a nostalgia that somewhat silences the concerns you have for its actual quality.