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IN THE past, Mass Effect has provided us with some great adventures playing as Commander Shepherd. This new outing, Andromeda, is set between Mass Effect 2 and 3 and is definitely more light-hearted than the previous trilogy, giving more emphasis to exploring the galaxy.

It's been a while since it was released but I waited until the patches came out for the many bugs, and I'm glad I did.

Update 1.05 includes fixes for eyes, lip-sync animations and facial movements that help the games look substantially better.

In-game, the Andromeda Initiative means 100,000 of their members head for the Helius cluster in search of a new home. Each of the seven "golden planets" are investigated by a single Andromeda ship led by a Pathfinder, which is run by either Scott or Sara Ryder - the choice is yours at the beginning as part of the ability to choose your visual look in a very in-depth character creation mode.

During the game, you will encounter two enemies, the Remnant and the Kett, who both want to destroy or disrupt the human race's hunt for a new dwelling.

Combat is sometimes excellent but can also feel pointless and hard to engage with enemies constantly running for cover. But considering combat was never Mass Effect's strongest suit, this shows an improvement if only slight and it's just as well that the new dialogue wheel works brilliantly.

Ryder is given up to four emotional responses to choose from while in conversation, which, depending on what you choose, will shape the future of the gameplay slightly and the immediate mood of the character you are conversing with.

The Mass Effect trilogy is a tough act to follow, and this 600-year journey to the Andromeda galaxy showcases many of the things I loved about Mass Effect years ago but with major improvements which is a huge plus point.

With exploration the key, it was slightly disappointing to learn of the decidedly sparse alien races I came across while playing but in the year that has already given us Breath of the Wind and Horizon Zero Dawn, it looks as if Mass Effect Andromeda has suffered in comparison. But it's still a great game and it will no doubt be seen as a success by fans and newcomers.



EXPLORATION Mass Effect Andromeda is more light-hearted than the previous trilogy

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 14, 2017
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