The Mass Effect game series, first released in 2007, is known most for its main character, Commander Shepard. As a member of the world Navy on the N7 crew, throughout the first trilogy of Mass Effect, Shepard and his crew went through life changing adventures for the better of Mankind. The choices they made altered the timeline and affected the relationships with not only the crew but the other alien races. The newest addition to the Mass Effect series is “Mass Effect: Andromeda.”
In this new game, players take on the role of Scott Ryder, an appointed Pathfinder and the humanity’s new hope. The setting for the game takes place in a new sector of space, the Andromeda Nebula, 200 million lightyears from the Milky Way, and 600 years in future. The new goal is to find habitable worlds for humanity to strive on and to discover other races, such as Turian, Krogan, Asari, and Salarians. However, only the human ark has arrived; so now the job of the Pathfinder is to find worlds while investigating what happened to the other Arks and the other hundreds of thousands of passengers.
The new game stays true to the Mass Effect feel, but also adds new aspects that give the game a somewhat fresh feeling to it. There are Easter eggs of the original trilogy, including weapons, armor, ships, characters, historical objects, and even certain pets. The fighting style is virtually the same as before, while the interaction with characters, and that certain decisions can change the story still carries the Mass Effect feel.
Some of the newer aspects of the game is that now the maps are more free roam on the planets, there are new enemies, and there is a new character ability that only Ryder has access to. Some of the new enemies include the Kett, a mostly inorganic enemy that is terraforming planets and seeming to abduct the different habitants in the game. The Outcasts, a group of colonists that were exiled due to a mutiny that they started; and the Remnant, an enemy that is strictly animatronic. As the player continues through the game, the player learns more about the enemy the player has to face and about the past of the new planets. Ryder has an AI with him named SAM; SAM and Ryder are one. Due to SAM, Ryder is able to tap into Profiles. These Profiles enhance Ryder’s abilities in a number of different ways and certainly has a weighting factor in battle.
There are also new weapons and armor in “Mass Effect: Andromeda,” as well as some familiar ones, such as the N7 Armor set and the Omni-Tool. Each weapon has effects on the character, the heavier the weight the longer it takes for abilities and shields to recharge; and the lighter the load the faster they recharge. The attachments that can be found and bought to decrease the weight of weapons and help increase stats on them.
On the flip side, there are some aspects about the game that makes the experience less enjoyable, for example, the facial graphics and the space travel. The facial graphics are a little rugged; in fact, the characters seem like they are in pain through dialog at times. The space travel is very appealing to the eye, but it is a waste of time because there is only a small cut scene in it during times of travel between planets and galaxies.
This new game certainly has the original Mass Effect feel to it and adds a whole new aspect to that feeling. “Mass Effect: Andromeda” is on sale now for $60 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Mass Effect gets a 4.5/5 rating.