A whole new galaxy to explore, with its stories, its threats and a huge load of characters as they groped assault on the collective imagination of the fans. You cannot just say that BioWare with Mass Effect: Andromeda is small challenge. A challenge born in the shadow of an epic played by millions of users who, over time, have elevated the Commander Shepard and his companions to the rank of true icons of gaming fiction.
Five years later, the Canadian team is ready to offer the public a new fictional universe that, starting at the baggage represented by the value of the space opera BioWare, aims to redefine the standards of the saga and to find a new home among the stars of Andromeda. Welcome to the year 2819, Pioneers, Andromeda is waiting.
The story of the new Mass Effect opens after the arrival of the ship-Ark Hyperion between the planets of Heleus, a particularly rich field of Andromeda galaxy for habitable planets and natural resources, all of importance cardinal elements for the success of colonizing initiative.
After 632 years of dreaming, in the cold embrace of the cryogenic sleep, a new life on an Eden between the stars, the crew members of the Hyperion, led by Pioneer Alec Ryder, are forced to deal with a great challenge beyond their expectations, it will jeopardize the future of this fragment of humanity launched at a time of infinity.
An unknown natural force, the Scourge, has undermined the livability of the selected habitats by Andromeda Initiative, which now threatens to have traveled centuries only to condemn its members to a miserable existence, made even threatened by mire of a new and mysterious alien faction, the Kett. But it is precisely when the unexpected seems to have precluded any possible way that the Pioneer (pathfinder in the original version) is required to find a new way, a new way to make real the hope of men and women of Hyperion, to find a home to millions of light years away from everything they know.
Just the spirit of the frontier, the search for a new beginning, a desire to expand their horizons beyond the borders of map are the key points of the narrative strand inaugurated by Bioware with Andromeda , which marks a pleasing tonal revolution than the first trilogy. Archived on the galactic scale extinction embodied by the threat of the Reapers, Andromeda moves away from the general - and sometimes forced - gloom epic Shepard to give the public an adventure with connotations less forlorn, which is in the desire to discover the stone once a narrative dimension strong and articulate.
A new perspective of which Pioneer is both symbol and creator, because of the importance, for many unpublished poems, the choices of the protagonist on the general tone of the adventure. Setting aside the polarity of the systems and dialogic options available to players based on the four character archetypes (Emotional, Logical, Cool, Professional) whose moral connotations do not adhere to the alignment stereotypes, but offer instead a personalizing spectrum decidedly more extensive and credible.
Even the choice-consequence relationship is simultaneously more nuanced, and the feeling is to have a deeper control of the characterization of the protagonist, the echo of which is clearly identified both in the scripted scenes, as in the perception that the other characters have to Ryder.
In our playthrough, for example, we had to turn the gang of Tempest (the heir of the legendary Normandy) in a colorful bunch of space adventurers, the kind of Guardians of the Galaxy, so to speak. Not just the irreverent attitude of our pioneer has given us moments of genuine memorability but, thanks to the skill of Bioware writers, we never felt out of tune than the epic feel that has always characterized the space opera of the developer, and that in Andromeda He has not lost a drop of his own imaginative power.
A fold easygoing that not all our fellow travelers have always approved in full, as it should be in a way that places such a strong emphasis on characterization. The crew of the Tempest consists of a group of multi-species adventurers with whom there's sure to forge strong ties and long-lasting, although the definition of the different characters - fortunately not conceived as mere offshoots of the hero pushes to develop net preferences, which are likely to have consequences on your romantic efforts.
In all honesty we found the romance of this Mass Effect particularly interesting, mainly because the interactions in this sense no longer seem based on excess soap opera (or the concept of " if I agree with you, repopulate? ") But on a shared location of trust and mutual support.
Of course you can still try it with any respirantibus entity but a general attitude provolone is no longer the only key to obtaining a cutscene piccantella. Writing Mass Effect: Andromeda is perfect? No, there are small qualitative fluctuations that occur throughout the adventure, but the overall balance is more than positive, so much so that Andromeda is not afraid of sorts comparisons within the general framework of the franchise.
After the first hour of settling except for Mass Effect 2, BioWare has never been the champion of the narrative beginnings effect), the story takes off and drags the player into a world full of intrigue, threats, games interplanetary power and unforgettable events.
If one of the greatest strengths of the saga of Bioware has always been to offer the public a space lore incredibly complex and suggestive, Andromeda is as much a confirmation when the promise of a bright future for the series, thanks to a story that convinces and not hard to keep up the pace of the narrative, in spite of a gargantuan amount of content. The conclusion of the game comes naturally and does not disappoint, especially because it manages in the double aim of worthily close the story of this first chapter, while allowing a number of mysteries and unknowns on which to base an inevitable and at this point hoped for - followed.
As anticipated, our journey among the stars of Andromeda opens with the awakening of the protagonist after a cryogenic sleep lasted the beauty of six centuries, the time needed to reach the galaxy that it is the scene the adventures of the Ryder brothers.
The facial features that we will see emerge from one of the capsules cryostasis the Hyperion ship-Ark will depend on the choices made during the phase of creating the character, characterized by an editor who, to be fair, is rather limited, the lower the level of customization, compared to that seen in Dragon Age Inquisition. Once defined gender and appearance of the main character, the game will ask us to select the class archetype that will define the basic equipment with regard to powers and abilities.
Foundations that we can overturn at any time (even by respec), thanks to the avalanche of options offered by what, in all likelihood, is the best progression system ever seen in the series. Freedom of choice is the salt of RPGs, and with Andromeda Bioware took the happy decision to improve the flavor of gameplay allowing players to customize their Ryder freely, enhancing the many skills related to each of the three main areas of competence of the title (Combat, Biotic and Technology) with no real restrictions.
At each level crossing, we will invest a handful of points in the enhancement of active and passive skills, each with its own development tree with lots of branches. Depending on how many points we place in each macro, you can unlock and select a class profile that will ensure the character of the further statistical bonuses and useful special abilities, giving more definition to the archetype product.
You can test the effectiveness of your preferences in terms of the progression in the field, where Andromeda sets a new standard with regard to the gunplay of the saga. Abandoned the cumbersome nature and slowness of the previous chapters, the combative gameplay of this new Mass Effect Series raises the bar by offering tps dynamics that would not look in the best exponents of the genre.
The clashes are frequent, fast-paced, highly rewarding, thanks to an effective dynamic cover system (albeit not perfect), to the great dynamism offered by jetpack supplied to the characters and mechanics gunplay oiled artfully, offering nicely credible feedback (nothing pew pew, for instance).
The quality of the combat system, among other things, allows us to perceive clearly the effects of the character advancement, offering galvanizing feelings from cosmic bogeyman but did not affect the degree of challenge of the game, that it seemed perfectly calibrated. The only real flaw on this front regarding the execution of melee attacks, linked to animations too lengthy which also show a managing impacts far from perfect.
In battle, you can use a maximum of three active skills to be chosen from those unlocked for your build (between biotic powers, technological and combative), a restriction which, though seemingly restrictive, means that the player's mastery over his opponents it is never total, and contributes positively to the overall balance of the game. Moral of the story: you will feel powerful but not invincible, and it is all well and good.
For good practice, the quality of your warlike exploits also are equipped by Ryder, selected among an avalanche of pistols, assault rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles and melee weapons that you can buy, collect or produce, by means of a good crafting system, from the raw material accumulated during the galactic explorations of the Tempest.
With Andromeda, the Mass Effect series seems to abandon its tradition of role-playing game in an identity crisis, finally getting a full playful profile and fully defined in each of its components, including exploration. In keeping with the aims of Andromeda Initiative, in the pioneer role you will have the opportunity to visit the area of a number of planets aboard the Nomad, the powerful ATV vehicle available to the Ryder team. The size of the free-roaming areas vary from planet to planet, but each of the stages of Ryder and company has " material " enough to meet the aspirations pioneering of each player.
On each planet you will find a ton of resources and enemies to be scanned for scientific purposes, threats to break down, to exploit mineral deposits and fantastic characters to share memorable moments. The amount of things to do, including primary missions, secondary and additional activities assignments, is at times overwhelming, so much so that we find it hard to define Andromeda chapter richer in content of the entire saga.
If the Priority Tasks that mark the progress of the plot does not betray, except in rare exceptions, the excellent standards which the series has accustomed us, secondary ones give way too often to the annoying canon of fetch questing. The average quality of secondary tasks stood still at relatively good, with some noticeable flash of creative genius.
Good part of missions, among others, seem to think getting players to explore every nook and cranny of the maps, but the truth is that you will not need any special incentive to take the scenic route, since each of the open-habitat world will titillate your curiosity with a substantial dose of landmarks and secrets to discover.
Turning to the multiplayer, we can only confirm the positive impressions reported in our earlier preview.
The multiplayer in Mass Effect: Andromeda offers cooperative battles high rate of fun, with all the potential to keep you glued to the pad dozens of hours after seeing the campaign end credits in the individual. There remain doubts about the stability of the online sector, largely due to the peer to peer choice, but during our tests we never encountered problems such as to affect the overall quality of the experience.
Although the overall quality of the technical sector of Mass Effect: Andromeda certifying at good levels, this is - hands down - the proverbial Achilles heel of the whole production. The Bioware game is more than able to enchant the eye of players with planetary landscapes dream (or nightmare, depending on the planet), thanks to a new graphic direction great sweep that is in perfect techno-cultural characterization of each galactic civilization the its most valuable.
Unfortunately, however, the new adventure of the Canadian team suffers more than its consistent glitches and problems of various kinds, which can adversely affect the quality of the experience. While setting aside the talk, now the subject of memes, the facial animation sometimes totally out of context, Andromeda repeats much of the historical problems of the saga, or substantial delays in the texture streaming and content, stuttering phenomena of different magnitudes, pop-in the limits of the tolerable and occasionally tearing, generally located at the top of the screen.
Stuttering aside, the frame rate is rather stable, although there are significant subsidence, made more evident by uncertainties on the front of the frame-pacing . Returning to animations, it is an obvious but no systematic problem, characterized by qualitative fluctuations so that, fortunately, does not affect the enjoyment ensemble with particular brutality.
Bioware could have done even better with regard to the menu management, inventory and, more generally, the user interface, sometimes rather botched. We close this section with the positive notes of dubbing and soundtrack: the first, despite ups and downs, stood at very significant levels, while the second, with its alternation between electronic and orchestral music, is one of the strengths of 'entire production.
Mass Effect: Andromeda welcomes players in a whole new fictional universe, and at the same time is able to reconcile epic conceptual references without granting space mannerisms or whatsoever cliché. It has filed the desperate struggle of a hero struggling with an undeniable threat. Andromeda drops the player into an incredibly rich and multifaceted galaxy, held together by a high-level plot, albeit a far cry from the dark tones of the trilogy.
The result is highly engaging narrative experience and very inspired, more than capable of sustaining the legacy of an unquestionable milestone gaming universe. It's Mass Effect, as you remember and how you have loved, with the addition of a frantic and rewarding gameplay, the best in the panorama of the series. Andromeda is a further step forward even on the quality of the effects exerted by the user choices on the game world, thanks mainly to a moral system finally free from moral pairs too restrictive.
While showing the side because of the weaknesses of a problematic technical sector, Mass Effect: Andromeda is a game that enchants and conquest, a new space opera are able to give the audience roaring laughter and moments of intense pathos, between the links of an adventure made of memorable characters and stories.