Mass Effect Andromeda is almost at its release date but while some loved the trial, others are canceling their pre-orders. Over the last 2 weeks, players have been experiencing the game in a 10-hour trial which amusingly acts like you alt F4’d as soon as your 10 hours is up.
Mass Effect Andromeda is the kind of game you really shouldn’t judge too harshly until a legitimate play through. Certainly, it takes more than 10 hours to achieve that and experience the beautiful world developers have built. However, it’s also fair to expect an important factor like animation and especially facial animation to be reasonably polished after 5 years of development. Even more so when you have characters modeled after real humans and voiced by people like Natalie Dormer.
Considering the impressive planets, amazingly detailed ship interiors, and interaction options Mass Effect Andromeda looks and feels good. Most people who’ve played through the trial only have minor complaints and really enjoyed their first taste of Andromeda. But it is true the animations are lacking and in areas where a gamer should have been drawn into the story line, many found themselves laughing instead.
What’s wrong with the animations in Mass Effect Andromeda?
The most common complaint is the cold, lifeless stare of NPCs and how easily it snaps you out of immersion. There is a whole collection of funny animation bugs and weird clipping issues online now. Character creation is also a little lack-luster and strangely missing pale skin options almost entirely. Lead Designer on Mass Effect Andromeda Ian Frazier commented that the skins had a limited tone range based on the texture of the scanned heads. Another odd feature is the ‘drunk’ camera that sort of sways your screen around slightly even when you’re just standing around.
Now, my first assumption was that of course, they will fix the animations before release. Why would they polish so much else and spend time on details to leave such a major part of gamer’s immersion very clearly lacking? Sadly, it seems as though the animations are staying as is at least until a future patch. In response to a Mass Effect fan on Twitter, Frazier confirmed the changes would not happen before or on launch day.
@JohnCharling At day 1? No, that ship has sailed. We’ll have more patches later on, but exactly what goes into them is still in discussion.
— Ian Soon Frazier (@tibermoon) March 16, 2017
It is also confirmed that the day one patch files are already included in the Early Access files. Sadly, this news has just fanned the flames of those already ranting about Mass Effect Andromeda’s animations and ‘ugly’ characters.
There is a whole range of articles surfacing on Andromeda’s women and the opinions are as funny as the graphic glitches. Some go as far as saying not including ‘supermodels’ in Bioware’s games is a punishment to gamers. I think a few key changes would help people feel better about the overall look of all the characters. Improvements on:
- character creation including skin tone range
- character animations and particularly facial animations
- skin and face textures (you can still have makeup in space right?)
But hey, at least we’ve got a ponytail option now, right? Mass Effect Andromeda also has achievements for romancing 3 people. Fortunately, the ‘Matchmaker’ achievement can be completed over multiple playthroughs.
Mass Effect Andromeda releases March 21st in the US and March 23rd for most other countries, on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.