Anthem: What Mass Effect Andromeda Should Have Been


Fans were in awe when EA released footage of their new game Anthem. Multiple environments all filled with life. Dense jungles filled with strange creatures, a jet pack that let you experience the world at high speeds. All this in contrast to the city market filled with all kinds of different alien races and a cacophony of sound. It was truly amazing and one of the standouts of E3 2017 for sure. People were interested and excited, except one group. That group was Mass Effect fans, because Anthem is everything Mass Effect: Andromeda should have been.

It's already known Mass Effect: Andromeda wasn't received well across the board. It had it's high points but animation glitches, strange customization limitations and the emptiness of open worlds were some of the reasons why. Despite that it still managed to make a lot of people happy for what it was. What a lot of people don't know is that the development for Andromeda could be described as tumultuous at best.

Kotaku has a great article with a lot of details but I'll cover some key points to you. Andromeda was in development for five years and were all horrible. The game changed directors, Bioware Montreal was understaffed for a game of it's size, entire elements of the game were scrapped and re-worked from the ground up. Sure, a lot of games have these issues but there's even more. Majority of the game was built in the last 18 months before release. Initially the game had randomly procedural generated planets to explore, but after No Man's Sky failed to capture audiences this was scrapped from the game. Switching to the Frostbite was supposed to allow for beautiful planets to be created, but that didn't work because they had to build their own version of Frostbite from scratch because the version they were given couldn't handle standard RPG functions like managing a party or inventory. They were able to borrow a few pieces from the Dragon Age team who was also struggling with Frostbite. But how does this relate to Anthem?

Well here's what we know so far, Anthem also runs on that Frostbite engine and from what we've seen so far they share a lot of things. Both are set in distant space with multiple new alien races. The armor is similar in the sense that they all come equipped with jet packs. We've seen large enemies in the Anthem trailer that look incredibly similar to the Behemoth's of Andromeda except they're not fluorescent blue. The gameplay for both is similar, third person shooters with a focus on exploration. This is what Andromeda should have been.

I've gone on the record before, I don't hate Andromeda, I actually enjoyed it a lot and it's been one of my favorite games in recent memory. But, it's clear that it could have been a much better game and to some extent they've done that with patches that bolster the creation system, fix animations and more. I don't hate Anthem and I'm likely going to play it and enjoy it. It's just frustrating to see that this was EA's main focus in contrast to a series like Mass Effect that's drawn in millions of fans over a decade.

You can hear Darrell on the CP Time and Powerbomb Jutsu podcasts. He also plays classic arcade games on The Cabinet. You can also check out his playthrough of Sleeping Dogs or Skyrim
Anthem: What Mass Effect Andromeda Should Have Been Anthem: What Mass Effect Andromeda Should Have Been Reviewed by Darrell S. on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 Rating: 5

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