Regardless of whether you’re going into Mass Effect Andromeda with an open mind or are too busy laughing at the variety of broken animations, Bioware have rather boldly shaken up a lot of the core foundations, changing what we think of as a ‘Mass Effect game’ and converting what was once a very narrative-focused experience, into one of freeform exploration.
Now even your main objectives are plentiful and can be tackled in any order, squadmates and their respective loyalty missions will remain forever locked away unless you make the time to indulge their whims and conversations – even entire main planets riddled with side-missions and points of interest can be completely ignored if you don’t venture outside your immediate comfort zone.
Call it bad pacing and a lack of handholding to a fault if you like, but if all of this was intentional, it speaks to the setup of your custom-designed Ryder being an explorer; the latest to inherit the title of ‘Pathfinder’ and chart a course through a whole new galaxy.
Inside that appeal is something that taps directly into why we love Mass Effect so much in the first place, and although there are notable hiccups in animation, menu systems and overly laborious crafting systems, there’s still a lot to love inside Andromeda, if you know what to look for…
Note: Light spoilers for certain original trilogy characters’ appearances.