Mass Effect: Andromeda is the recently released addition to the Mass Effect Series. Taking place in a far different setting than the original Mass Effect trilogy, Mass Effect: Andromeda begins with a group of travelers launching into an entirely new galaxy.
Mass Effect Andromeda opens with massive ships departing to colonize another world. These ships encounter a massive space anomaly that sends them off course, and soon the people within the ships are being attacked by a hostile, alien race. The game takes place in this setting, with the people aboard the colony ships setting out to find a new home for themselves. Along the way, they begin to form independent governments composed of five major races from the series: the Krogran, Salarian, Turian, Asari, and the humans. Though the plot and story take the Mass Effect into a brand-new galaxy, the game continues to cover some of its previous themes, including the concept of an ancient, departed civilization that left behind incredibly powerful technology.
The story is rooted in the time between the first and second Mass Effect games, when the Andromeda Initiative sent 100,000 cryogenically frozen people into space. The point of the initiative was to find home planets in the Andromeda Galaxy. When the mission goes wrong, it’s the player’s job as a Pathfinder to determine what’s gone wrong and find a planet that will make for a suitable home. The biggest problems with the game’s storytelling is that the game hopes to focus on character relationships, but doesn’t invest the time necessary to make those relationships powerful. When big plot moments happen, there’s not much of an impact because the game doesn’t spend enough time developing the characters.
Gameplay retains some elements from the previous Mass Effect games. The inventory system includes different tiers of weapons and armor. Each of these pieces can be found, purchased, or created, but the crafting system takes a significant time and resource investment. Other parts of the gameplay include its third person shooting and RPG elements. You can meet companion who come with their own skills and abilities, but they tend to operate independently and you don’t have much control over them in a fight. The best you can do with these characters is determine what powers they have. However, properly guided, your companions can make fights easier.
Mass Effect: Andromeda has a good cover system, and your character, Ryder, is very mobile. This makes for some exciting gameplay that helps make up for some of the game’s other shortcomings. As you progress, new combat powers will unlock, which you can access through the game’s skills tree. This makes your character highly adaptable and lets you tailor the combat to your own style, which makes Mass Effect: Andromeda worth a purchase.