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‘Mass Effect: Andromeda’ sends players to explore the unknown

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An expansive galaxy and abundance of side missions pushes the new “Mass Effect” game past its technical problems.

The newest game in the “Mass Effect” series takes players out of the boots of the series’ main protagonist, Commander Shepherd, and puts them in charge of the Andromeda Initiative, led by the Ryder family.

The Andromeda Initiative seeks to help humanity and its allied alien races find a new galaxy to settle.

The protagonist Ryder,, takes on the task of settling new planets to set up colonies. Players can play as either a female or male Ryder twin sibling.

The task of settling planets is as hard as it seems.

Players must make sure the planets are safe from both environmental and alien threats.

Spoiler alert, none of the planets are initially safe of either.

The good news is, Ryder is not alone in his quest to find a new home for humanity.

There are six available squad mates and a dedicated crew who are willing to help do what it takes to complete the mission. Like previous games, players can have two squadmates go on missions with them.

These squadmates provide both helpful combat support and witty dialogue during missions.

Luckily, players aren’t stuck wandering the surface of hostile planets the whole time.

The Nexus gives players a friendly base to go back to for some downtime.

For veterans of “Mass Effect,” the Nexus is basically a smaller version of the Citadel space station.

Don’t worry, players also get their own personal ship too. The Tempest is Ryder’s main mode of transportation across the Andromeda galaxy. Unlike the Normandy of games past, there is no central elevator with loading screens when transitioning between levels on the ship.

The ship is one big space with ladders that help players traverse between sections of the ship.

While it may seem repetitive to go on each planet and clear the environmental hazards and alien hazards, the game switches up each approach slightly each time.

Also, while I don’t want to spoil too much, there is a new factor that will come into play early in the game, which opens up many new quests besides just settling colonies.

Despite the videos of weird facial animations, the environment and background textures aren’t that bad.

Sure, some characters stand around awkwardly in cutscenes, and despite their tone, their faces don’t show that much emotion, it’s not bad enough to ruin the game.

I have experienced some texture pop-in, though, leading to some awkward scenes on the Tempest where one door led out into an expanse of space.

Putting the minor inconveniences aside, “Mass Effect: Andromeda” offers players so much to do, it’s almost overwhelming.

The main missions are intriguing, but I like to learn backstory and complete the personal missions that my companions ask me to work on. The companion missions don’t affect the in-game like past games.

“Mass Effect: Andromeda’s” overall gameplay and abundance of missions makes me want to complete every task.

This helps keep the game interesting while not tiring me out, and that’s important in role-play games.

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The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe
‘Mass Effect: Andromeda’ sends players to explore the unknown