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Mass Effect Andromeda. © Electronic Arts

Mass Effect Andromeda is another installment in the popular Mass Effect series, an action role-playing third person shooter published by Electronic Arts. The game was developed by BioWare and will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Announced in June 2015, it hit the stores in the second half of 2016 and brought new characters on stage.

Key facts about Mass Effect Andromeda

  • Mass Effect Andromeda will be available on all consoles as well as Microsoft Windows powered devices.
  • The action role-playing third person shooter will introduce a multiplayer co-op mode called Galaxy at War.
  • Mass Effect Andromeda already has 6 free DLC packs and more are expected
  • The latest installment in the franchise introduces micro-transactions, with players acquiring gear and weapons using real currency.
  • Commander Shepard doesn’t return in Mass Effect Andromeda, which features a brand-new cast.

The Mass Effect Andromeda games

The game developers challenge players to explore a different type of gameplay and compete against their peers in multiplayer games. This is a welcomed addition and those who choose to play the Galaxy at War mode will have a chance at completing the single player campaign with a flawless record. Players have the option of skipping these Mass Effect Andromeda games altogether, as they won’t influence the outcome of the standalone mission pack.

The multiplayer modes pit players against unique challenges and each mission was designed for co-op play, rather than being altered to be suitable for this mode. The downloadable content packs for multiplayer introduced new maps and bears many similarities to the Gears of War modes. Reapers, Geth, Cerberus and the Collectors are the enemies in this Mass Effect Andromeda games and the difficulty level is scalable ranging from easy to very hard.

Each game mode has 10 distinct rounds and players need to defend against incoming enemies, with increasingly powerful waves to fend off. Mass Effect Andromeda games are supposed to be truly different, so players shouldn’t be surprised that no characters from the single player campaign appear in the multiplayer modes. Customization is particularly important under these circumstances, as players can create their own characters from scratch.

While there are plenty of similarities between single player and multiplayer Mass Effect Andromeda games, there are also a couple of differences. In co-op players can only carry two weapons at any time, as opposed to multiple guns in the single player said. Multiplayer in-game credits are used to purchase kits featuring random weapons and gear, but players can also do that with real currency.

What is Mass Effect Andromeda?

Mass Effect Andromeda is the latest action role-playing third person shooter developed by BioWare, building on the popularity of the franchise. It is supposed to take space exploration to the next level, with great graphics, a compelling storyline and a new set of characters. The events in this game take place many years after the ones in the original trilogy, with new planets and solar systems to explore.

Screenshot of Mass Effect Andromeda. © Electronic Arts
Screenshot of Mass Effect Andromeda. © Electronic Arts

Gameplay of Mass Effect Andromeda

Mass Effect Andromeda allows players to choose between a female or male character, wheeled an impressive set of weapons and pilot different vehicles. In the previous installment, players had the choice of importing their game files from previous Mass Effect games, so their previous choices will impact the current game. This is no longer the case in Andromeda, but many of the popular game mechanics are still in place, considerably improved.

The Mass Effect Andromeda gameplay hasn’t changed much when it comes to the manner in which games are saved and players are still in charge of their game progression. Upon finishing important missions, players get to enjoy one of the numerous cut-scenes and BioWare is famous for creating some of the best looking cinematics. The character progression is impressive and gets players fully immersed into the gaming atmosphere, with intelligently designed skill trees.

A bridge between installments

In the previous games, the campaign modes included action, story and RPG most, with the emphasis on either conversations or combat. Mass Effect Andromeda is expected to follow the same path and as players level up their characters, they unlock increasingly powerful skills. Weapons are acquired as the game progresses and they are highly customizable, something that adds a new layer of complexity to the gameplay. Some missions are easy to complete with a certain type of gear, so these choices are important.

Mass Effect Andromeda is expected to bring back the Effective Military Strength system, which prepares players for the final mission. It factors in the total military strength win the readiness rating and depending on the resulting value, players will have a better chance of completing the final mission. In the latest installment, there will be plenty of items to discover and acquire by scanning planets, scavenging through debris but also by getting involved in casual conversations.

Plot of Mass Effect Andromeda

Fans of the franchise should bid farewell to their beloved Shepherd, because action in Mass Effect Andromeda takes place many years after the events of the previous installment. The developers went to great lengths to make sure that the main storyline remains shrouded in mystery, but made it clear that this is a brand-new narrative.

Screenshot of Mass Effect Andromeda. © Electronic Arts
Screenshot of Mass Effect Andromeda. © Electronic Arts

There are plenty of questions still left unsolved after the events of Mass Effect 3 and plenty of hints that Commander Shepard has survived. In the wake of destroying the Reapers, it looks like his legacy still lives on in the future, but there is no chance for him to return in Mass Effect Andromeda. A new cast will be at the cornerstone of this narrative, with a brand-new solar system to explore and conquer.

Development of Mass Effect Andromeda

The first rumors about Mass Effect Andromeda surfaced in the final months of 2012, when developers started to work on the new game. By staying in contact with the fans of the franchise, they made it clear that they are willing to listen to what these dedicated players had to say. Some of their suggestions were implemented and new concepts were put to good use by using the next generation Frostbite 3 engine.

Additional information about the upcoming game emerged in 2013 and the early conceptual footage of the game was revealed in 2014. Mass Effect Andromeda already spent a lot of time in the making and its release was pushed back twice. The game was revealed at the E3 2015, with the trailer capturing the hearts and minds of franchise fans, but very little information was shared with the audience ever since.

Where can I download Mass Effect Andromeda?

Mass Effect Andromeda will be available for download from the official website and this is the place where the fans can already purchase the game. There are no freebies or bonuses for those who make a preorder, yet thousands of copies were already ordered by the fans. The downloadable content is going to be free and this applies to multiplayer and co-op missions as well.

Screenshot of Mass Effect Andromeda. © Electronic Arts
Screenshot of Mass Effect Andromeda. © Electronic Arts

What are others saying about Mass Effect Andromeda?

The critics and fans alike are anxiously waiting for the official release date, while trying to come up with some conclusions by watching trailers and playing a few missions. With little information about Mass Effect Andromeda, the reviews are sketchy and it is virtually impossible to say if the game will meet the high expectations. On the bright side, all previous installments met these high standards and it definitely helps that developers paid attention to the suggestions made by players.

Mass Effect Andromeda tournaments

Mass Effect Andromeda will have a multiplayer mode and will provide players with the possibility of competing against each other in co-operative missions. It is a great addition to the single player campaign, but this action role-playing third person shooter is unlikely to grow into an eSports phenomenon like Dota 2 or League of Legends. It has the depth necessary to keep players hooked for many hours, but not the structure needed to produce Mass Effect Andromeda tournaments.

My rating of Mass Effect Andromeda

Each time BioWare released a new installment in the franchise, I was frightened that the developers will be unable to meet the high expectations. They set the bar very high with previous titles and Mass Effect Andromeda needs to be nothing short of a gem to please everyone. I will surely miss Commander Shepard but I’m anxious to discover the new crew and quite confident that the upcoming missions will be just as exciting. From what I can tell, a rating of 9/10 is the least we should expect from this game.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall Score
9
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