Shortly after colonising an icy planet and ticking off most of the busywork that it had to offer, I made my way back to the Tempest for a little break. Perhaps Jaal and I could talk about our feelings, maybe Peebee would stop being awful.
Once back on the ship, I was informed that Gil wanted to see me, despite the fact that I had literally just played poker with him. On my way towards his part of the ship, I bumped into Drack, who wanted me to follow a trail of crumbs. Fine, that can go on the list. Not long after, Liam wanted me to craft him some armour. Sure, I can do that while I’m in the area. On the list it went. Once I’d seen Gil and received a new quest, I went to my emails and was given four other quests.
It was at this point that I decided I wanted to crawl back into stasis and never go out again.
So goes the life of a Pathfinder, Mass Effect: Andromeda’s interplanetary hero who has more chores than a single mother with a part-time job. For all of Andromeda’s missteps, it could never be argued that it’s lacking content; things to see and creatures to kill across the stars.
But I think it might be too much. There’s an overwhelming amount of content that slowly feels more and more like a never-ending checklist. Once one quest is completed, it’s as if another five are added to the pile, made all the more stressful by the distances between each.
Playing the game for review purposes, I feel like I need to delve into as much of it as I can, the added meat on its bones. I’ve placed myself in a losing battle. No longer do I feel like the man of the people, the human that could bridge the differences between species’ and help to establish a harmonious galaxy.
For all intents and purposes, I am a nanny.
Whenever docking at a new planet, exploring a new area, or even just walking around a ship, Andromeda acts like an attention-seeking child, throwing stuff at you to look at without restraint. A blue icon on my radar is now an unwelcome sight as I know it’s going to be another request to go across the galaxy and fetch A to bring to B. These kinds of side-quests may have been worthwhile filler a few years ago, but since a certain Polish game came along, the “worth” has faded away.
It seems almost impossible not to compare any action RPG to The Witcher 3, such was its impact less than two years ago. As well as boasting a narrative worth sticking with despite its prolonged diversions and convolutions, it also provided the player with meaningful side content to get lost in. From hunting down werewolves to discovering the secrets of a village filled with pigs, its quality never slipped and they didn’t once feel like an obligation. You wanted to go see what the NPC had in-store for you; perhaps there was a game of Gwent you could fit in along the way.
That isn’t the case with Andromeda. Very little of the side content I’ve played so far has much consequence or had love poured into its threads. In their quest to go bigger than everyone else, Bioware have forgotten to make any of it captivating, something that Dragon Age: Inquisition’s critics pointed out in their droves. It doesn’t seem like they’ve learned a very simple lesson: quality over quantity.
For the rest of my time with Andromeda, I’m going to treat any sad-looking NPC like the scourge itself and get away from them as fast as I can. It may be the only way to get out of this thing alive.
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