Mass Effect Andromeda is the fourth in the popular series of sci-fi RPGs from developer Bioware and publisher Electronic Arts. Rather than continuing the exploits of Commander Shepherd from the original trilogy, this game tasks players with setting up a whole new civilization in a whole new galaxy, called Andromeda. Something goes wrong pretty much immediately, and the hero Ryder and his (or her) crew will have to battle a fearsome enemy force for the future of the galaxy.
Mass Effect Andromeda keeps many of the things players loved about the original game like branching conversations, a unique combat system, and exotic sci-fi locales; but it also changes things up considerably. Read on to find out if Mass Effect Andromeda is worth your time and learn about a few other games you should try out if you like it.
What Is Mass Effect Andromeda?
The first three Mass Effect games were story- and character-driven action RPGs loaded with intrigue, mystery, galaxy-ending threats, and cinematic firefights. Mass Effect Andromeda strives to rekindle the franchise, but with a slightly different approach. Rather than featuring several small, contained levels and locations to explore, this game offers players a smaller handful of much larger, more open environments.
Of course, it wouldn't be Mass Effect without a handful of charming characters on your crew, and players can interact with and build relationships with all of them. In typical Mass Effect fashion, they can romance them too. Mass Effect Andromeda also adds a jetpack to the players' arsenal, making combat more movement-focused and dynamic.
Mass Effect Andromeda is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. If you have a PlayStation 4 Pro or Xbox One X, you can play it in 4K resolution. On a PC, you'll need an Intel Core i5 3570 or AMD FX-6350 processor or above, 8GB of RAM, an NVIDIA GTX 660 2GB or AMD Radeon 7850 2GB graphics card, and at least 55GB of free storage space.
Mass Effect Andromeda can certainly be a beautiful game, but it comes with its fair share of technical issues. Texture pop-in is common, and character animations are sometimes glitchy. The frame rate can slow to a crawl in busy situations, and when the shipped there were even some broken quests included. These issues won't ruin the experience if you're patient though.
Mass Effect Andromeda is available on Amazon for around just $12. If you're a fan of the original trilogy and have been itching for a new epic space adventure, this impulse buy price makes it worth the leap.
How It Compares
We selected three other games that share some similarities with Mass Effect Andromeda to see how it compares.
- Dragon Age: Inquisition
- Bioshock Infinite
- Fallout 4
- Chart your own course in a dangerous new galaxy. Unravel the mysteries of the Andromeda galaxy as you discover rich,...
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Ease of Use
The Mass Effect games have always been user-friendly, and Andromeda is no different. The long introductory sequence does a good job of showing players the ropes, from selecting upgrades to blasting alien enemies. The controls can sometimes be a bit stiff, and framerate issues sometimes cause frustration during heated moments.
Serious space adventurers can spend upwards of 50 hours exploring the Andromeda galaxy, following the main story and hunting down side quests and odd jobs. Each of the game's planets are huge but sparse, and you'll spend a lot of time driving around in your vehicle, the Nomad, and taking down enemy encampments. For such a low price, you could hardly ask for more content.
Mass Effect Andromeda has a handful of standout quests that could easily sit side by side with the original trilogy's. Missions like a murder-mystery in space are standouts, but there are far too many filler quests that task players with killing a certain number of enemies or retrieving an item. The fast, fluid combat, with its mix of satisfying weaponry and fun biotic powers like telekinesis, is a blast, but even great combat can get old when it's repeated too many times.
Fans of the original Mass Effect trilogy will be disappointed to learn that the Andromeda galaxy contains only two new alien races, and only one of them can be befriended. Your crew, one of the highlights of every other Mass Effect game, is disappointingly dull this time around, with many of the characters feeling like rehashes of beloved original trilogy characters like Garrus and Wrex.
The story itself, meanwhile, concerns another ancient civilization and another faction of bloodthirsty alien enemies. The main villain has some good moments, but the player's actions throughout the story don't end up feeling like they add up to much. All in all, Andromeda offers a familiar tale for Mass Effect fans; one that's not as interesting as what came before.
- Story Packs: Jaws of Hakkon, The Descent, Trespasser
- Item Packs: The Black Emporium, Spoils of the Avvar, Spoils of the Qunari
- Multiplayer Pack: Dragons layer Multiplayer Expansion
Like Mass Effect Andromeda, Dragon Age: Inquisition is the latest in a beloved series of games from Bioware. Dragon Age is a fantasy RPG. Its combat is focused much more on strategy than Mass Effect's though; players can pause the battle at any time, zoom out, and issue commands to each of their party members.
In this game, players take on the role of a revolutionary trying to bring sweeping changes to a fantasy realm, and you'll have to manage many different aspects of that revolution. The world of Inquisition is vast, but packed with things to do and see, so much so that players can easily spend 90+ hours exploring everything it has to offer.
Ease of Use
This game has a lot of moving parts, and if you're a gamer who's more inclined toward action than roleplaying, you may find yourself at sea with the combat, leveling system, gear, party management, and other systems you have to juggle. Once it all comes together, it's a ton of fun and feels very smooth, but RPG newcomers might find themselves lost at first.
Dragon Age Inquisition is filled with things to do at every turn, and the main quest is a lengthy journey in and of itself. If you finish all 90+ hours of content and still want more, Bioware and Electronic Arts have released a small handful of downloadable expansions that will keep you busy.
This game's world is varied and exciting to explore, and in true Bioware fashion it's packed with great characters you can befriend, kill, or romance. Much of the fun to be had here can be had on your own: turn the Inquisition's war room into a mini-drama and have fun running your revolution, or venture out into the wilderness in search of people to help and monsters to slay. It's brought down by a handful of bugs, but nothing game-breaking.
Dragon Age: Inquisition comes up short in the story department. The world in which it takes place is rich in detail and nuance, but the story beats aren't well-connected and the overarching plot is frustratingly vague. The bland villain doesn't help matters, either. Luckily, your supporting cast is interesting and fun to interact with, and you'll love adventuring with them enough to see past the story's flaws.
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- Tear Through Time - Open Tears in time and space to shape the battlefield and turn the tide in combat by pulling weapons...
Bioshock Infinite is the third game in 2K's beloved Bioshock series. Unlike the first two, this one takes place in a massive city in the sky rather than the underwater city of Rapture. Also unlike the previous games, this one focuses heavily on run-and-gun action, with massive set pieces worthy of a modern-day AAA shooter. Lovers of the previous games' slower, more horror-themed approach might take offense, but if you want a fun, vibrant, exciting shooter with light RPG elements and don't mind the dated graphics, it's hard to go wrong with Bioshock Infinite.
Ease of Use
Bioshock Infinite is simple to pick up and play, with great shooting mechanics, a fun and varied "tonic" system that allows players to light enemies on fire, hurl angry crows at them, or knock them around with telekinesis; and a hook mechanic that allows players to move around battlefields on sky-rails like they're a human roller coaster car. If you've played any first-person shooter, you should feel more or less at home with this game.
This game takes around 15 hours for a thorough play through. That's a decent amount of time for a first-person shooter, but nothing compared to the more involved RPGs on this list.
The skybound city that serves as Bioshock Infinite's setting is spectacular to look at and listen to, and it's laid out in a way that feels natural while still making it clear where the player is supposed to go. It's filled with nooks and crannies with secrets and extra supplies to ferret out. Enemies are aggressive and often frightening, particularly larger boss-type characters, but combat is always fun thanks to satisfyingly punchy gunplay and great special powers. If you're a fan of the slower, more methodical pace of the previous Bioshock games, this one might disappoint, but if you love fast and furious action you're in for a treat.
The story, which centers on your protagonist, Booker, heading to a city in the sky to rescue a mysterious girl named Elizabeth, isn't as center-stage as it was in the first Bioshock game, but it's still a great tale. If you've never played one of these games, the third act might leave you baffled, but for those who love this series it serves as a shocking and very cool payoff.
- Freedom and Liberty! Do whatever you want in a massive open world with hundreds of locations, characters, and quests....
- Be whoever you want with the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. character system. From a Power Armored soldier to the charismatic smooth...
- New next generation graphics & lighting engine brings to life the world of Fallout. From the blasted forests of the...
Fallout 4 has a lot in common with Mass Effect Andromeda: it's the fourth in a long-running series, but the first in its franchise to appear on current-generation gaming consoles. It features huge, wide-open spaces and real-time combat. But Fallout 4 is a much more methodical, slow-paced game when compared to Andromeda. Players search for scrap and loot, build weapons and outposts, and amble across a post-apocalyptic wasteland at their leisure. There is a story, but it's far from the best thing about this game. If you love games that give you a handful of tools and set you loose to make your own fun, Fallout 4 will appeal to you.
Ease of Use
Fallout 4 is a deep game, with tons of crafting and building mechanics for hardcore players to dig into. Luckily, much of its more complicated mechanics are optional, and it's a blast to simply wander the wasteland of Boston and shoot monsters. If you do craft, some systems are a little frustrating and obtuse. Building settlements, in particular, might send you running to the internet to look at a FAQ.
Players who want to wring every last drop of content from a game will spend well over 100 hours with Fallout 4, and even more if they move on to the additional post-release content. It's a vast game with tons of nooks and crannies, side quests, secrets, errands, and optional activities to keep you busy.
As fun as Fallout 4 is, it's also packed with glitches that can occasionally break the game. The dialog system has been overhauled from Fallout 3 too, offering more vague options and less control over the flow of a conversation. Gunplay is better than in Fallout 3, but isn't as impactful as it is in games like Mass Effect Andromeda and Bioshock Infinite. The real star of Fallout 4 is its huge world, ripe for exploration.
The game's story, which revolves around one man's quest to find his son in a nuked-out Boston overrun with not only monsters, but mysterious human-like robots, is fun while it lasts. However, the joy of the Fallout series lies in exploring its environments, and too often the story sticks players into corridor-like levels that suck the exploratory fun out of the game and turn it into more of a shooter. Luckily, there's a huge amount of content outside of the main story to keep players busy well after the credits have rolled.
Mass Effect Andromeda has a lot going for it: deep lore, great combat, and beautiful environments. Unfortunately, it also suffers from numerous glitches and the bloat typical of many modern open-world games. Missions become repetitive, and the story-based sections with your crew aren't as fun as they could be because your crew isn't that interesting. Players who love to explore, chat with in-game characters, and get into firefights will find a lot to like just as they do in other Bioware games and action RPGs, though. It's a solid game and great for sci-fi fans, but it's not up to the level of quality of the rest of the series.