Not sure why Mass Effect Andromeda gets so much hate

This weekend PSN has a deal on Mass Effect Andromeda. After reading all complaints about the game, I’d decided I’d play it much, much later…like when it was ‘free’ on EA Access or something. But after a friend of mine finished a 100 hour playthrough and started a 2nd playthrough just a week or two later, my curiosity (and an $18 discount) got the better of me, so I snagged a copy.

So far I’m digging it. Now it’s hard to be completely unbiased this far after the launch. I’m influenced by friends liking it, but I was also braced for absolutely horrible character models and facial animations. AND I just finished playing Sleeping Dogs which has not held up well in terms of character models. So all in all I was going into MEA expecting something horrible and was prepared to just deal with it.

So from that point of view, the game is fine. I mean yes, it could be lots better and I was unable to create a character that wasn’t kind of hideous (my dude came out looking a little like middle-aged John Travolta) but it’s not an issue to where it is really detracting from my enjoyment of the game. Ditto the voice work. Yes, there are some clunky lines and some weird cadence/pacing issues here and there but I actually enjoyed smart-alecking my way through a battle with Liam at my side. It actually felt pretty authentic. Here’s two guys in a horrible situation who decide to deal with it by being cavalier about the whole situation, even if that attitude is forced.

What has really surprised me about MEA is how much I enjoy the combat; it’s really fun. I mean its not a Destiny-level shooter but for an RPG it’s pretty great. My Ryder is a techie kind of guy who can leech shields and fire some kind of incendiary beam. And that’s at level 2. Who knows what he’ll grow into. I also find the jetpacks stupidly fun and I spent a lot of time jetpacking up to the top of things just because.

In fact my only complaint so far is that at one point someone pointed me to a weapons cache and I accidentally replaced my assault rifle with a shotgun and couldn’t switch it back. I guess you can only tweak your loadouts at specific areas and in that first mission I couldn’t find one. Having to take on the first big battle with a shotgun (I hate shotguns, I’m a hang-back-and-kill-em-from-range kind of guy) was a little frustrating. But now I know.

Now I’m back at the Nexus, which thankfully doesn’t seem to be as big as the Citadel. I tried to play the original Mass Effect 3 or 4 times and the Citadel always crushed my desire to play that game. It was so big and dull and confusing and tedious.

I mean clearly this is a very very early opinion. I have maybe 4 hours in so far? Essentially that game hasn’t even really gotten going yet. So I may change my mind. But so far, I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I’m enjoying myself.