I’ve been to Andromeda

Since the Mass Effect trilogy had regaled me with many a happy/excited/angry hour, I found time to continue space travel with the newest addition to the franchise: Mass Effect Andromeda.

Spoilers will follow.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

I enjoyed this game a lot. Pacing was quite good, and the main story developed naturally, which included getting to know your possible companions on the way – so no need for reading walkthroughs there to find them all.

I even enjoyed most of the obligatory fetch quests since the NPCs are written and voiced so well; a compliment which I gladly extend to how the companions have been executed: since you spend a lot of time driving around in your land vehicle together with your companions after raiding ancient vaults, it’s really a blessing to listen to their various chatter which made me laugh out loud many times. 
I equally liked to run with Vetra (turian), Drack (krogan), Cora (human) and Jaal (angara) – Peebee, the asari, seems to be a fan favourite but her whole “Indiana Jones on cocaine” behaviour was too over-the-top for my taste, and I also didn’t interact much with Liam (human).
Vetra, Drack, Cora and Jaal each have a lot of background story – Vetra is taking care of her little sister while running black-market activities on the side. She had to survive tough shit to keep herself and her sister going, and is fiercely loyal to those she considers friends/family.
Drack, a grumpy old warrior who has seen metric fucktonnes of shit go down in his time (he’s been around since the genophage, after all), rightfully calls everyone “kid”. He has his hearts in the right place though as I learned when he told me about how, after being wounded and hurting and ready to give up, someone dropped a little child in his lap which made him a granddad. And yes, I do want him to yell “get off my lawn” while firing warning shots from his Ruzad.
Cora is a tie to the Pathfinder’s father as she was his second-in-command. She is also trained as an Asari commando and thus quite biotically enabled.
Jaal is a member of the new race encountered in the Andromeda galaxy. He joins the squad even if the angaran leader does not trust the Initiative at all, and proves to be a loyal ally who is eager to learn more about the aliens who dropped into his home system unexpectedly.

I also enjoyed interacting with my ship’s crew a lot.

Image 1: My Pathfinder having tea with Dr. Anwar on board of the Tempest.

 

I won’t summarise the story since there are enough articles out there doing that far better than I could, I will just say that I enjoyed how events unfolded, it felt epic and kept me losing lots and lots of sleep since it was hard to stop.

 

Yes, story and characters are important for me, but I’ll say a few words about the other aspects of the game as well.

Graphics are glorious, the planets are diverse and a pleasure to look at. The combat system works well except the auto-cover (on console at least), and I was particularly happy to see that Ryder is not limited to a single class anymore: one can level up all capabilities – soldier, biotic, tech – equally and quickly switch between selected profiles to get different bonuses (and yes, the story explains how that works). I however as a devout disciple of the Church of Eternal Space Witch/Wizard had a lot of fun with my vanguard build – Charge gets you anywhere you want, and fast, plus you also get some nice combo primers from your companions.

*sigh* It’s been three days since I finished the main quest, and I already miss the galaxy. Hopefully Bioware will decide to work on a sequel at some point in time.

 

Image 2: down the gravity well she goes

 

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