Mass Effect Andromeda will be out on March 21st, but in the meantime a few outlets have been getting hands on with the opening moments - the first five hours to be precise. So what do people think? Bearing in mind that this is only a brief cross section of the start of the story and impressions could change in the full game, let's take a look at what people are saying.
***UPDATED: March 16th, 13.30 GMT***
Now that the game is available to everyone who's signed up to EA's Early Access scheme, it's interesting – if a little cruel, given the game's wider ambitions – to look some videos that players are sharing where the Mass Effect Andromeda animation is being compared to Pingu, robots and gorillas.
"It’s nice to have Mass Effect back again, but it is a bit strange to have an entirely new galaxy as a setting where almost nothing but the “universe” crosses over. So far, there are almost no references to the past games at all because of the distance and differing timelines. Expected, but it still feels odd in practice."
"The new dialogue system is MUCH better. Now there are a many different types of responses, none of which are the obvious right/wrong/paragon/renegade choices. I’ve found myself picking liberally, depending on what felt right."
"Combat is more intense and kinetic, largely because of the added mobility. I can run, I can dash, I can get in the enemy’s face. On normal, the game seems harder, too - I’ve died in the tutorial mission / first real mission, which I’ve never experienced in a Mass Effect game before."
"Its cast of characters are an immediate hit. Ryder is a relatable main character and still green around the gills, giving your new Pathfinder a sense of vulnerability which Shepard never possessed. Squad member Liam is genuinely likable, affable, best buddy material. Cora is cooler, both in temperament and style - and there's a natural edge there, as she was originally trained for the Pathfinder job you got. Even at this early stage, Andromeda offers the tightest-knit crew to date. And there are, deliciously, already tensions. Peebee, your sometimes-a-little-too-wacky asari, is entirely focused on the technology of the Remnant - a race of machines left behind by an unknown creator, and whose origin may be one of Andromeda's biggest secrets. She's driven, and not by the same goals as others on the team. Vetra, your female turian, is charming but a little manipulative."
"The real treat is in how rich the game’s RPG mechanics are. It’s both more complex, and more fluid, than any Mass Effect game has ever managed. You choose a basic class at the beginning of the game – I went with Technician, for a very nifty ranged attack that drains shields and stuns enemies – but depending on how you spec your character, you can unlock new specialties. So, if you focus on, say, the sniper rifle, you’ll be able to become an Infiltrator. The trick is that you can spread your skills around, and unlock multiple roles, which you can switch between at will. I was a bit dubious about this when it was first mentioned by Bioware, but the in-game rationale is actually quite elegant. And it’s nice to be able to pick the right specialty for different challenges."
"Generic Grumpy Space Captain Lady is there, right up front. With a deft hand she begins by correcting your grammar from “who” to “whom”, and then in the same conversation says “less” when she means “fewer”. Whatever, but don’t play Grammar Corrector if you don’t know any."
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