Well, that was definitely a Mass Effect game.
That's probably the best way to describe my experience with Andromeda, which is a game that I had mixed feelings going into. Like many fans of the series, I felt burned by the ending of Mass Effect 3. I wasn't one of the people who believed it was worth naming EA one of the worst companies in the world and it didn't kill my children or anything but it felt dissonant to have an uncertain ending when I'd put literally years of investment into my Shepard's relationships. I, really, felt like i was done with the series afterward and wasn't sure if I was ever going to look back.
|Sara Ryder, commander of Krogan.|
|Salarian bureaucrats are awesome...and racist.|
The premise of the game, as mentioned, is you are Sarah (Fryda Wolff) or Scott Ryder (Tom Taylorson doing a Nolan North impression) and you're the son of Alec Ryder (Clancy Brown) who is the Pathfinder a.k.a Chief Scout for the Andromeda Initiative. The Andromeda Initiative, despite being amazingly well-equipped for a private enterprise, ends up hitting dark matter pockets and scatters across the Helius Cluster. Many of the Initiative's leaders are killed and you discover the worlds you were going to settle have all been rendered uninhabitable by six-hundred-year-old alien tech. Worse, a hostile alien race called the Kett take umbrage to your presence. You are forced to step up and become the new Pathfinder who will find a way to colonize this cluster despite the fact it's a post-apocalypse hellhole.
|Yeah, the giant snake monster has no chance.|
|The Nexus is the center for your adventures.|
Despite this, I actually state I feel like the game succeeds in reminding me why I liked Mass Effect. Liam, Cora, Drack, Suvi, and the others don't have anything on Mass Effect 2's cast but they're all pleasant people I enjoyed hanging around with (as much as you can enjoy spending time with fictional people). They're sort of all blandly pleasant at worse (ala Kaiden and Ashley) and archetypically endearing at best. The romances feel a bit weak and I can't help but think fans will take them too personally. It strikes me Bioware may have been onto something just making everyone bisexual ala Dragon Age 2. Certainly, you just need to sacrifice realism sometimes for player enjoyment.
|Cora is my favorite character in the game.|
In conclusion, this is a fun game and I'm going to continue playing it until I've done just about everything but it's a very "safe" sort of game too. In terms of genre, I'd say this is the Star Wars: The Force Awakens of the franchise. There's a lot of the same beats of the original and very little risk taking but it washed a lot of the bad taste out of my mouth too.