Now that Origin members and EA Early Access has officially gone live Mass Effect: Andromeda, gamers have been able to get a taste of the introductory gameplay alongside the media officials who were given early copies. However, early impressions for the game might not be what BioWare initially envisioned, as the Internet has exploded with mixed reactions about the gargantuan space epic.
While nitpicks abound, some of the more pointed criticisms of Mass Effect: Andromeda include shockingly shoddy facial animations, seemingly cookie-cutter dialogue, and occasionally awkward character movements, all of which have given fans pause ahead of the game's release next week.
With most of the writing staff from the original trilogy no longer involved in the series, hearing such negativity about both dialogue and character interaction animations is a worrying sign for what is intended to be a celebrated return to the series' roots. Of course, the heavy criticism isn't confirmation that the game won't ultimately be enjoyable - but it's a rough start for the typically polished content from BioWare, especially for a game that spent 5 years undergoing the development process.
While Shepard did have his/her awkward moments, they were nothing on a comparison of this scale. And with facial animations having improved tremendously in the time since Mass Effect 3, issues like those pointed out by early access players are even harder to overlook.
Here are just a few of examples that highlight BioWare's uncharacteristically poor character animations that have caused the uproar:
Okay, I take it all back.— Mom (@truongasm) March 15, 2017
Mass Effect: Andromeda looks like it's going to have the best writing in gaming this generation. pic.twitter.com/jE6zXd15V3
More like Mass Effect: Androids because— Nibel (@Nibellion) March 16, 2017
It's been an odd week leading up to the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda, as the studio has been releasing several hype-building videos that show off plenty of positives, but also feature sloppy mistakes like Peebee holding a gun backwards but firing it forward, or the new Krogan squadmate Drack having some serious clipping issues with his default wardrobe.
With the graphical issues and dialogue facing heavy criticism, gamers can only hope that the game's epic scale combines well with its gameplay and overarching plot to deliver the tantalizing experiences that we all know Mass Effect is capable of.
Mass Effect: Andromeda releases on March 21, 2017, for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.