On paper, Mass Effect Andromeda sounded like it might end up being a complete disaster. The creator is no longer involved, the development team is different, and the storyline has completely removed itself from the original trilogy. We’ve seen this dance before, but somehow Mass Effect: Andromeda manages to surprise and rise above everything that threatened to stand in its way, even if we have seen some of these tricks before.
Mass Effect: Andromeda takes place between the events of Mass Effect 2 and 3. In a response to ongoing threats, the Citadel council wishes to populate homeworlds outside of the Milky Way, in the Andromeda galaxy. You play as either Scott or Sara Ryder, members of this Andromeda Initiative, as they explore the new and vast Andromeda Galaxy for viable locations for a new home. There is, of course, a hostile threat – a strange race known as the Kett, who wish to enslave those who have come to Andromeda. The Kett are lead by the Archon, a mysterious figure who provides the bulk of the core mystery to the story.Mass Effect: Andromeda is a pretty dramatic step back from the last game’s story in terms of scale – the nihilistic, darker themes of Mass Effect 3 are nowhere to be found, and instead we have what feels like a much more personal story. In this Galaxy, humans are the aliens which leads to some interesting situations in the story. While slow to start, Andromeda’s narrative is packed with mysteries and intrigues to the point where it’s hard to not be interested in seeing at least one of many plot points end.
Those lured into the franchise by its likeable characters and their interactions will be pleased to hear that Andromeda is no different. At first, it’ll be hard to forget the greats like Garrus, Thane, Liara and Wrex, but you’ll slowly grow with these new guys just as you did with the original crew of the Normandy. It’s interacting with them and the many denizens of Andromeda that really brings things home – whether it’s moments of galactic, political intrigue and negotiation or bittersweet discoveries, Mass Effect Andromeda’s story harkens back to the very best moments of the original Mass Effect. This feels like a Space Opera again.From the moment you step into the shoes of whichever Ryder sibling you choose, you’ll notice a few things that are slightly different about Mass Effect: Andromeda. Continuing the series’ transition into action territory, there’s a breadth of changes with respect to how your character moves in the battlefield. Mobility is extremely high – your character can now dash in any direction as well as while in the air, hover to line up the perfect shot and grip edges.