Andromeda Feedback pt. 2

Bioware wants feedback on Andromeda like a criminal wants to wait for the trial. They want to figure out exactly what they’ve been caught doing before they apologize and admit to something no one has noticed yet. So here’s what I’ve noticed so far, one problem at a time. (Note: If I’m mistaken and Bioware *doesn’t* know what problems their sub-opus has wouldn’t that be even more damning? They put out such a thoroughly untested product that even THEY don’t know everything wrong with it?)

A running theme in the Mass Effect series has been the [often strained] relationship between humanoids and AI. EDI was an important part of this in ME2. The Geth were major players back in the Milky Way. AI research is “illegal” in the Milky Way mostly because of them, in fact. The entire story arc of ME3 was ‘can organics and synthetics co-exist?’

So it should come as no surprise that Bioware continued to push the envelope by having a rudimentary AI write all the dialogue for Mass Effect Andromeda. Either that or a team of emotionally stunted middle-schoolers.

Every cut scene is like the first few episodes of American Idle. The performances are so bad but simultaneously taken so seriously that the result is lowest common denominator comedy gold. Everyone is either a cheeky Ryan Reynolds ‘quippy at all times’ type or the most serious business no-nonsense stick-up-the-ass drill sergeant imaginable.

And were it just the acting it could be chalked up to poor casting, but its so much more than that. The characters are so blandly unemotional I find it nearly impossible to sympathize with them. I’m a solid 20 hours in and I have yet to hear someone realize that everyone they knew and loved is 600 years dead. But that shouldn’t be a surprise given how your character reacts [read: fails to react at all] to the death of their own father.

“My father is dead…” said the faintly smiling psychopath as everyone in the room edged away from her.

In fact, the most believable scene is when your totally alien crew mate cries over finding out he’s been fighting borgified members of his own species all these years in the guise of the Kett. I’m not going to put a spoiler tag on that because its incredibly obvious from the jump. Especially given that the exact same twist was used 2 games ago.

The writing has the same overall problem the rest of the game does: under-development. Its all a decent first draft, but it really needed a few more takes to bring it from decent to good.

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