ok so after 6 days and 70 odd hours, i finished andromeda. and i really liked it. there were also some things i didn’t like as much, but i’ll go at it by parts.
what i liked:
- the overall hopeful tone. it has a really great star trek-y vibe, which as a massive star trek fan, delights the fuck out of me. that might not appeal to everyone, i don’t know what’s the tone of the original trilogy, i never played it, but i suspect it’s much darker. if you like star trek tho, you’ll enjoy andromeda to hell and back. that’s the best compliment i can pay. if you’ve always wanted a star trek open world game, andromeda scratches that itch something fierce.
- the combat. this is the first mass effect game i’ve ever played, because a) i dislike sci-fi games (sci-fi is my favourite genre of everything else, just not video games) b) i dislike 3rd person shooters ( the only other shooters i’ve ever played are fallout and bioshock, and that’s because they’re what i call “fun shooters”, they make shooting up mooks fun, and andromeda blissfully does this too, albeit not to the enormously satisfying level of bioshock, but on par with fallout)
- the loyalty missions. it’s a bioware game, this one is a no-brainer. and in terms of action and duration, they are a lot deeper than in dragon age games, but, i’ll say, some of them don’t do much in terms of satisfying character development. all companion quests in the dragon age series do this a lot better. but over the course of the game, and through main, and secondary quest reaction cutscenes, most of the tempest crew does get some sort of character development.
- lots of cutscenes, even for secondary quests. what can i say, i love cutscenes, and having the opportunity to be a smartass as often as possible. seeing as the lack of secondary quest cutscenes is one of my biggest gripes with da:i, i was really happy that there were so many in andromeda. there could be more tho, i’m talking da2 levels of unnecessary cutscenes to send me to my happy place.
- kadara is amazing, has some of the funniest side quests in the whole game, one of the most engaging and rewarding questlines, and some really well-written characters. plus, sloane kelly is voiced by indira varma, the same actress who voiced vivienne, and reyes vidal is voiced by nicholas boulton, the same actor who voiced hawke. enough said. all aboard the kadara dlc train
- the turian ark rescue mission, i uhm…needed to walk away for a moment after that one. really atmospheric quest.
- the missing memory questline is surprisingly rewarding, i say surprising because it was a pain getting some of those memories.
- ryder is ryder, i can only compare andromeda to dragon age games, but ryder resembles hawke, a lot more than the warden or the inquisitor, you can make different dialogue options, but the tone is set, and you can’t really go against it. ryder is ryder, but that’s okay, because much like hawke, i happen to like ryder. instead of the sarcastic option you have the casual option, which when paired with the emotional option, leads to what i like to call: bleeding heart asshole, and it’s amazing.
- so much background dialogue, it can become a little bit of a cacophony at times, but i like hearing it nonetheless, makes the world feel really alive.
- lots of banter, no one shuts up in my game, between my squad, SAM talking about the weather, and ryder pointing out every single thing that came up, i don’t think i’ve gone more than five minutes in silence…but that also leads me to:
what i didn’t like:
- lack of romance specific banter. i romanced jaal with scott in this playthrough, and was disappointed that there was no acknowledgement by any of the crew during banter. i didn’t realise this, but jaal was made available very recently as a bisexual option with patch 1.08, so that might be the reason for it. but i did a few searches and there were other ppl complaining about the lack of romance banter for other characters so it might be a general thing. i live for this, and there was so much of it in da:i, and da2, i really felt its absence. it seemed that when i was romancing sera in my first da:i playthrough it was all my party wanted to talk about, and i.was.living. - still, in my next playthrough with sara i’ll romance either peebee or vetra and then i’ll be sure if it is as lacking as i suspect.
- the prologue. the only reason i even played as scott in the first playthrough was because my first save with sara got corrupted when i was playing during the origin installation, don’t ask me how that happened. but the sheer prospect of playing through the prologue again was so daunting that it made me start over with scott so it wouldn’t be all the same. the game is very worth it, but the prologue is uhm…a trial.
- the nomad. listen i got better at driving the damn thing, but why the fuck do i need to steer with the keyboard instead of with the mouse? what’s the damn point, but it’s fine, it became fine eventually…except, being in the nomad, and the fact banter really only fires in the nomad, meant i had no desire to get out and explore, unless it was for a specific quest. points of interest? i drove right by. and this really frustrates me, because i actually loved exploring every nook and cranny in da:i, but there’s just no tangible reward for it, your party won’t talk, the planet will try to kill you, and you might end up not doing anything more exciting than killing some enemies.
- the archon. unfortunately went to the corypheus school of bland villains, fortunately the remnant plot holds its own, and he’s more of a nuisance keeping you from discovering its secrets.
- none of my choices really mattered, at least not immediately, there’s a few i feel will have some serious repercussions in further games and dlc, but as of finishing the game, the consequences were minimal.
- none of my companions betrayed me/ left forever. what the fuck is up with that? honestly this might be my biggest gripe with the game. how am i supposed to pine if they don’t backstab me/ leave for tevinter/ disappear to study eluvians? not one of them blew up a building. 0/10