Can we talk sensibly abut Mass Effect: Andromeda for a minute? EA’s decision not to output single player DLC for the game is a slap in the face to the people who love the franchise and furthermore has come about because of bloody minded stupidity. Mass Effect Andromeda isn’t a bad game, that being said it’s not a great game either. It’s good, solid at best it by no means bad.
It’s almost like they’d retained none of the original Mass Effect staff and gathered together a whole new staff to build an approximation of the vision the original team devised. Oh wait, they did. The problem is this new team almost had it, they were so close to having something great on their hands, ten pence short.
Where EA fell down is that they so obviously left holes for the big fat DLC buys for us unsuspecting sheep to buy that they essentially left out some of the best bits of the story? Who killed Director Tann? What happened to the second wave of arcs? Will the Archon find the station? Well now, we’ll never know because to go along with canning the Dingle player DLC the franchise is on indefinite hiatus presumably while EA sack all this team, hire a new team and scream at a picture of the Mass Effect 2 box art waiving their arms frantically.
I’ve read the the first Mass Effect Andromeda prequel book, I said read I got it on audible but it was engaging and interesting and it served to not only build up my hype for the game but it built up a steaming great pile of interest in the Nexus, it’s characters and the Andromeda Initiative, large swathes of which are ignored in the game. In fact the scale of the trouble encountered by the first arrivals and the scourge is never really brought across in the game it’s just assumed that something went a bit south and we’re supposed to just decide that’s OK. In fact I recommend the book it puts the struggle that the Nexus crew and the importance of your mission as the pathfinder into greater perspective.
So the baby has taken to the drains along with the bath water, EA has decided to keep its focus on the multiplayer aspect of the game, presumably because that’s the only aspect of the game EA can still monetise. Well screw you EA, screw you right in your corporate capitalist fat hoop. This game was closer than you think and it’s closer than they think too. I get the impression they started out with Mass Effect: No Mans Sky, couldn’t make it work so we’re forced to dial it back to something that wasn’t tortuously dull and technically arduous. So they dialled it back to three separate sand boxes and lovingly crafted a story of intrigue with murder and a fight for survival.
Then EA came down from on high, told them they didn’t have time to build this because of the precious EA money they’d wasted on the project to that point and to just put something out and flesh it out with more sandboxes with side quests to disguise the fact the plot has had huge holes taken out of it so they can use it as DLC and finish the game faster!! You don’t even have to visit the three of the extra sand boxes to finish the game to a decent conclusion, they’re filler to disguise the fact THIS GAME ISN’T FINISHED! Everything about this game feels rushed or commercialised and the unsuspecting sheep have turned on the wolf and revealed their shot guns!! Character animations were rushed and the Bioware team were forced to subcontract out parts of the development and generate the facial animations via procedure, short cut the drawing quality of some of the NPCs and in general rush it!
Now that the EA overlords have decided to not put out any DLC for those that have bothered to lovingly get to the point where some DLC would actually give us a decent payoff they’ve decided TO NOT BOTHER FINISHING IT!!!! I mean EA re no strangers to giving Mass Effect DLC for free, now would have been a great chance because one decent piece of DLC with a couple of story arcs and maybe some Elcor or Quarians could have saved this game.
It was so close! There were 5 pieces of DLC that were free with Mass Effect 2, 5!! , Almost every copy bought of Mass Effect 3 came with something free including a patch for the ending and even the first one came with a free piece of DLC.
Here’s a tip EA, don’t plan your DLC by removing constituent parts of the game, it’s like selling me a horse and keeping one of the legs for ransom!! Instead collect data from play throughs, survey the players and find out what they liked and give us more of it!! Sell me a full game and then offer me more!! Sell me the cherry on top of the cake, don’t sell me half a cake and see whether I like it before giving me the chance to buy the to buy the god damned butter cream!! When EA released a statement saying there would be no season pass for he game, while I originally thought EA and Bioware we’re going to be altruistic and maybe throw something in for free and maybe a few £7 DLC choices what it actually meant was they had no faith in the game and thought offering a season pass would mean they’d have to commit to something they weren’t happy with!
Despite my rage, as I previously stated, this isn’t a bad game. Despite all it’s faults I can forgive most of this because it was all in there plenty of potential and you’ll be surprised how much your imagination will fill in for all but the most jarring animations but what I can’t get past is why EA decided to scrap that potential to go chasing dollars. EA have essentially told me that I’ve wasted over 100 hours of my time and offering me zero payoff for my troubles. I feel short changed by not given the option to buy something, which is an odd place for a consumer to be.