So this is why damn FUD is dangerous as hell. I was ready to write this game off as another mistake of my trigger happy buying fingers after I saw the shitstorm the trolls of the tube whipped up during preview week. When the game didn't warrant more than some mild turd flicking.
So there, I've needed to make that clear before delving deeper into the intricacies of the game. Because it's worth delving into, since it's a very good game, contrary to what they'd have you believe. And I'm not saying that as a rabid ME fan. I actually got called that for daring to look at the game objectively, instead trough the red cape which has EA written on it in blood.

I was reluctant to first start the game, as I was expecting a great disappointment which sadly I had part in quite a few recently (Dishonored II, Mafia III are the sorest thorns). But my first impression was that the game feels very polished. Some were describing it as no more than an alpha release, which is utter bullshit.
My first fear was the character generator. Which was heavily criticized and scorned upon by many. The game was dragged trough the mud for providing only ugly faces as the starting point. Of course that's not ideal, but it was exactly the same in all previous ME games. The default preset faces except for "canon" Shepard were terrible.
But to be honest on my first try I could get better results from this character creator than I ever could with any of the previous games in the franchise. So that's how much merit is there to the detractors. Which is not the exception to but part of a pattern.
Is the character creator great? Far from it. They even took away a few options that were available in the previous games. But if I can create a custom character that looks appealing to me, then I'm content. And as I said I could do that on my first try. So moving on.

The most scowled upon thing from the game was of course animations. And this is where some turd flicking is warranted at Bioware. Some facial animations especially concerning lip sync were weird to say the least. Almost crossing over to the uncanny valley at times. But curiously the worst of it is concentrated towards the beginning of the game,
Maybe the first 10 hours of the main story. Later the issues became less and less apparent, and by the end of the game I could barely notice any problem. Which could have something to do with the patch that was released during the middle of my playtrough. But I must emphasise that the lipsync and facial animation issues became less apparent later in the game even before the patch.
Like the developers were working their way back from the end of the game to polish these.

But it's hard to focus on facial animations alone, when you're looking at the environments the game is throwing at you. Your first steps in Andromeda felt amazing. That true explorer feeling. The first chapter of the game was a wild ride, and it was great. The designers went out of their way to make the first planet you land on really look something.
The graphics is quite beautiful, not ground breaking, this is not the next Crysis but it's nice to look at still. It's a huge leap forwards from Dragon Age Inquisition. However there are negatives concerning graphics that I must mention. Well not graphics specifically but still it falls into this category. There are two core issues here.

  1. The faces of most human NPCs are damn ugly, not all of them but about 90% of them. Which makes me believe this is a concious design choice aimed to appease SJWs. They should know that you can't please an sjw, no matter what you do you're sexist, misogynist and racist. Don't even try, which the example show greatly "You put a trans character into the game, that's not up to our standards? HOW DARE YOU?" Fucking lunatics infiltrate and ruin everything for everyone else. The most obvious example of ugly faces is the default female Ryder who they made into this goofy looking thing. It's absolutely distasteful. If I were the actress who gave her likeness to the character I'd sue their assess for this if I could. But I guess they put clauses in the contract preventing that. And I'm sure the goofy look of the character goes a long way to exaggerate the facial animation issues. So for the love of all that's holy don't go default look. And the second most obvious examples are the Asari in the game. Who were always portrayed as beautiful. Well not anymore. Their puffy faces hold no beauty anymore, and they also seem to be clones, which brings us to the second issue.  
  2. All and I mean ALL alien races use a single face model for all characters. (Except for a very few key NPCs) and that includes the Salarians, The Kett, the Krogan, the Turains, and the Asari as well, oh and I forgot the Angara, of course they're all clones too. They all have the exact same head. Even your own Asari doctor on your ship, who is supposed to be a key character shares the exact same copy paste face as 98% of all Asari in the game. They only try to differentiate some characters with face paint and It doesn't help. Unacceptable.  

While we're talking about characters I have a few not so nice words about sound design as well. Or more specifically voices. Alien voices that is. In previous ME games the Turians/Krogans/Salarians, all had very specific voices unique to their race. Here that's poof completely gone! It's absolutely weird that some characters sound right as they should, but many just speak in plain human voices.
Like the sound team didn't have time to give all the recorded conversations the necessary effects to make them sound like their species should. Because I can tell you it's absolutely immersion breaking when a Krogan female starts barking with a 100% undistilled human voice. (Or is that racist now?) I'm confused what is this, why?

OK calm down, it's not all bad. Let's look at the story. I didn't like it much at first, but it does pick up, and ends on a high note. I can't go into any details without spoilers, but the quality of the story can be defined with a monotonic nondecreasing function. What I especially like is that there is a proper epilogue to the story this time. I miss that from every game.
Novels used to have them, but movies / games almost never. They always end after the final climactic point, and poof nothing else left, out of bullets. Here there is a part showing the aftermath, and a time to reflect with other characters, and they also included a nice surprise.

And mentioning characters at first I was skeptical about them, they seemed bland and uninteresting. And that only changes after / during their loyalty missions. Yes there are loyalty missions again. Although I don't think they have the same consequences if not done as in ME2, but I'm not sure as I did all of them.
Unfortunately the loyalty missions only became available later in the game, if you're a completionist that could be as far as 50 hours in. So until then you have almost no real connection to your crew. Which brings us to another weak point in the game.

Pacing. The way missions are given and the way interaction options open, and the way some don't go away ever. All side missions and all loyalty missions in the game are tied to a very limited number of key points in the main storyline. Meaning they don't unlock gradually as you progress trough the game. But at certain points 15 missions became available at once.
And even messages you get suffer the same fate. In ME2 you got messages one by one gradually. Here nothing for 10-20 hours. Then BAM! you get 25 new messages all at once, you probably won't even bother to read. I'm sure as hell didn't I've skimmed some.

I have to mention the enemy AI as well, which seem to work well in close quarters, but in open areas they loose their way. If you're too far away they don't even react to you. You can pick them off with sniper rifles without them doing anything they don't even try to close in on you.
You can also circle around them, if you give them a wide enough berth they get confused, they don't even turn to fight you. I'd often go in closer because it would've just been too easy to exploit these shortcomings of the AI.

And to scrape the bottom of the negatives barrel the bugs. Yes there are some bugs. Some weird ones, some random ones, and some annoying ones. The most obvious bug is character spawning. Often they'd spawn 50 feet in the air and then fall down from there, or in some cases get stuck floating in the air.
This is a very immersion breaking issue, but it was already present in DA:I although it seemed to occur with less intensity. Another issue is that some quests simply won't go away, you can't finish them. These are the two main bugs, the rest is so random and occur so rarely that they're no more than minor annoyances, sometimes they only warrant a laugh.

Let's have a few words about the interface, yes I've said I've scraped the bottom of the negatives barrel, there is nothing left in it and I meant it. The interface needs some time getting used to, but it's not as bad as it seems at first, and it's certainly not the worst as some would have you believe.
I'd say it's about the same level as Skyrim in the interface department, maybe slightly even better than that.

I must mention the spaceflight sequences if nothing else then to antagonize the haters. Because I loved them. It gives deeper immersion that you're actually flying trough space and not jumping between points in a videogame. I didn't skip a single one of them even after they put the option in. If anything I wished the distracting "TAB to skip" text would go away.
It would've been even better if the sequences were shown looking trough the viewscreen from the bridge of the Tempest, and not just plain on their own.

The combat in the game (if you don't exploit the above mentioned issues) is fast paced and fun, I didn't find an issue with balance in it either. Some people found some brutal overpowered builds in the game, but that didn't affect me, you have to be pretty hardcore to get into that level. It only really affects NG+, where balance is an issue, but as I never ever played a NG+ in any game it doesn't concern me.
I like to start with a clean slate at all times. By the time I finish a playtrough I usually get bored with my character anyway so I'd rather start a brand new than use the same again. Which I'm going to do I mean start a new game right away, not many games can achieve that. I wanted nothing to with DA:I after finally beating it. But I didn't re-start immediately any previous Me game either, altough ME1 and ME2 did get at lest a dozen replays eventually. I'm not sure this game warrants that many, I see maybe 2 or 3 in it tops, as there is not that much to do differently in it.

And now that I mentioned combat it come to me, there is another negative in the game. At least something I hated. The favourites thing. Which means you can only ever use three of your skills at once. And you can only access your other skills by switching favorites which resets cooldown on your all abilities making it useless during combat.
So you'll end up using the set of skills that are the most useful at all times. Making levelling up in the game after about level 45 pointless, since by then you maxed out all your passive and your three favourite skills. And the same goes for profiles. Which I'd rather have made into specializations that are permanent. Rather than something you can change mid game.
Yes I understand that it's explained by the lore, but I still don't like it as a design choice. Basically it means you can be a vanguard and an engineer in the same playtrough. All you have to do is switch profiles. That detracts from replayability IMO.

I think I got everything out that needed let's have the shootout.


  • Graphics
  • Gameplay / Combat  
  • Story  
  • Proper epilogue  
  • Sense of adventure / exploration  
  • Warrants replaying  
  • 60-90 hours to finish depending on your pace  


  • Some facial animations
  • Ugly faces
  • Copy paste aliens
  • Bugs  
  • Profiles / Favourites
  • Some deus ex machina moments in the story  
  • Balance issues in MP / NG+  
  • The game should really have told me at some point that you can extract to the tempest from the nomad by pressing T. It would've saved me from a lot of backtracking.  

So let's see the final verdict

graphics/realization: 6/10
story/atmosphere: 9/10
gameplay/controls: 8/10

overall: 7/10

This game could've been a strong 8 if not for the bugs and other issues with it. They were blown out of proportion, it's still a great game despite them, but the issues do exist, but they don't exist in a vacuum, there is a ton of good things besides those in the game that far outweigh the inconveniences they present.