Game impressions: Mass Effect Andromeda
Enjoyed, highly recommended.
published 2022-Jan-23, updated 2022-Jun-19
Very good. Solid sequel. Worthy successor. Note: the game got patched, addressing many release problems such as faces.
Multiplayer is non-functional. This article is about single player only.
- Consistently good writing.
- Has tiny blemishes that got overexposed by critics.
- Good background work.
- Many cool ideas. Easy to overlook.
- Many competent characters.
- Few plot holes. Many potential holes are successfully plugged.
- Good mechanics.
- Advancements over ME1/2/3.
- Sold on the premise.
- Before playing, I thought going to another galaxy was just a cop-out after ME3.
- They managed to make the premise work.
- The premise lends itself to a different kind of Mass Effect game.
- Sold on Ryder.
- Good writing.
- Good female voice acting.
- Enjoyable character.
- Not sold on most companions. They lack charisma.
- They crammed two games into one. I wish there was MEA 1 about initial exploration and first contact, where the environment is the enemy, and MEA 2 about conflict. MEA has both, not nearly enough of the first, and too much of the second. Missed opportunity.
- Love the ambient music.
- Hate the combat music.
- Developers: please let us disable automatic combat music.
Competently done but lack charisma compared to ME1/2/3.
Enjoyed squad banter. Would prefer it not limited to Nomad.
Subjective grades: click to expand
- Cora. Writing: neutral; voice acting: neutral; character: flanderized asariboo; appearance: Tumblr diversity hire (unfuck with ). mods
- Liam. Writing: neutral; voice acting: like; character: dislike. Jacob 3.0, more immature.
- Vetra. Writing: like; voice acting: like.
- Peebee. Writing: like; voice acting: like; character: grew on me; face smudge: dislike (unfuck with ). mods
- Drack. Writing: like; voice acting: like.
- Jaal. Writing: like; voice acting: dislike (too many pauses, inconsistent fake accent).
- Suvi. Writing: neutral; voice acting: got used to it.
- Kallo. Writing: neutral; voice acting: neutral. Not enough dialogs.
- Gil. Writing: neutral; voice acting: neutral; visual: uncanny valley.
- Lexi. Writing: like; voice acting: like. Not enough dialogs.
- Movement options: jetpack, dodge, aim hover.
- Hotkeys for everything.
- Ability to remap all hotkeys including UI actions.
- Quality of Ryder animations.
- Finally got specialized female animations missing from ME2/3.
- Buggy: many moves start male, switch to female mid-animation.
- Hold button to interact (partially unfuck with ). mods
- Loot popup (unfuck with ). mods
- UI animations and delays.
- Voice interruptions.
- Developers: always implement a voice queue!
- Unskippable things: various cutscenes, some dialogs, Tempest transitions, etc.
- Delayed jump animation.
- Slow recovery from landing and dodging.
- Lack of animation canceling.
- Lack of animation overlap, like reloading while sprinting.
- Separation of crafting and loadout UI.
- I-X gear ranks.
- Constant re-crafting.
- UI bloat.
- Inventory micromanagement.
- Slow progression of gear and skills on first playthrough.
- Sucky melee.
- Automatic camera rotation.
- Inconsistent camera sensitivity.
- Unskippable ladder climbing.
- Inability to jump in hubs and Tempest.
- Mods can fix this for hubs, but not for Tempest.
- Manual door opening.
- Choppy loading of NPCs in hubs. Can see them briefly T-posed.
- Updated dialog options remain greyed-out.
- Banter triggering on fast travel before loading finishes.
- UI bugs that crash or softlock the game.
- Limited life support recovery inside Nomad. Makes no sense.
- Despawn when falling X meters (unfuck with ). mods
- Kadara doors (unfuck with ). mods
- Slow loading of character previews.
- Lackluster voices for female krogan and salarians.
Credits, resources, gear progress, skill progress can be tiresome, especially on the first playthrough. Consider using CheatEngine. Credits and resources can be easily found as 4-byte integers. XP and skills require mods, see below.
Use mods to unfuck the game. Requires Frosty Mod Manager. My mod list:
- Hub Exploration Enabled, No Fatal Fall
- Quick Loot (all in one)
- Hyper Mobility (Mk 1)
- Better evade, one of:
- Less Interaction Time and Less Omni Tool Interaction
- Shorter Landing and Departure Cinematics
- Faster Kadara Doors
- Research No Level Requirements
- More Skill Points (version F)
- Inventory tweaks. Only one will work:
- No Profile Switching Cooldown
- Shut up SAM (Exploration, AVP)
- No Scope No Problem
- MEA Fixpack (requires mod manager 1.0.6 or higher)
- Skip Bioware Logo
- Peebee Tweak (version 2.0, scroll down in files)
- Better Cora appearance, combination of:
- Nomad improvements. Only one will work:
- General Augs Rebalanced
- Larger Enemy Groups
- No Combo Cooldown
- Skip Intro Straight to Waking up from Cryo (only for new playthroughs)
- Smooth Planet Approach
- Straight To 100
- Better Backup Life Support
- Cheap Research