First, let me start with the positives. The gameplay of Mass Effect: Andromeda is a significant improvement upon the first three games. The combat is significantly sharper and more mobile than ever before, and the focus on exploration is a welcome one. While there\'s not many planets to visit, the sheer size of the planets in the game and the number of sidequests pretty much ensures that you\'ll get your money out of the game in terms of time spent. But the writing is glaringly bad. It is not only sub-par by the standards set by the series, but beneath Bioware as a whole. Bioware has proudly been one of the most socially conscious developers in the industry and have gone above and beyond other developers to respect women and their LGBT Fanbase in their works. So why do we have such spectacles like a trans character deadnaming without prompting? Why is there so little content for players interested in M/M romances? Why did Bioware boast about the polyamory options, but then treat them as cheating or have so little content as to not be worth bothering? Even the Andromeda Initiative\'s purpose has a White Man\'s Burden tinge that is never shaken. From any other company this would be offensive, but from Bioware this thoughtless writing is beyond belief and feels like a betrayal of the fans who support Bioware for their inclusive and socially conscious writing. Yes, I know some of this has been addressed by patches, but in some ways that is even more insulting. Writing problems are not gameplay bugs. They should be fixed in the rough draft stage, not after the game releases. You could blame the allegedly Troubled Production or Executive Meddling for technical and gameplay issues, but this sort of Unfortunate Implications filled writing is simply inexcusable. Outside of that, the rest of the game just feels uninspired. The original trilogy had fantastic world-building, vivid art direction, and sharply written characters and factions that made it feel interesting and believable, and nothing in Andromeda ever reaches those heights. The antagonists are Scary Dogmatic Aliens taken Up to Eleven without the mystery and menace of the Geth and Reapers. The other new alien race, the angara, are bland Rubber-Forehead Aliens. The new companions just don\'t have the charisma and wit and depth that made the original cast so enjoyable to be around. There is a distinctly \"budget\" vibe to the presentation in general, not the least is the Uncanny Valley facial animations, and the work of Jack Wall and Sam Hulick is sorely missed on the soundtrack as well. Andromeda is not without good moments, but it is such a flawed game in important aspects that it really makes me think twice about Bioware and their future.
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