Written by Jonathan Lee. April 16, 2017. 9:00 PM. Tweet to: @Writerscube
In a galaxy far, far away… faces are tired. People talk out of sync with their lips. Some aliens hold their guns backwards. And other aliens seemingly ice skate/hover across fields whilst trying to shoot you. But that was before Patch 1.05 of Mass Effect Andromeda.
Bioware had a bit of a rough start when they released Mass Effect Andromeda. Even during the EA Access phase where EA allowed players to check out the game before the rest, players had already begun to ridicule the lip syncing, the occasionally odd turn of phrase in dialogue, and some of movement animations either quirking out or simply stopping. It created a media storm–and not the kind that Bioware wanted.
Nor was it a kind of media storm that I wanted! I was hoping for fanfare. We already had the There, this was to be the And Back Again. A return to a galaxy of action, laughs, aliens (some bang-able, some not), and bad guys to kill. I consider myself a pretty die-hard Mass Effect fan. It’s hard for Mass Effect to not please me. This time around, I got concerned.
Bioware Has Heard You
Well, thankfully, Bioware was quick to recognize the fans concerns and they got onto making the first of many patches and improvements. You can find the whole list of improvements here! On April 6, Mass Effect Andromeda characters were able to get their faces back. I’ve been playing my New Game Plus since the patch dropped, and I can tell you that the character facial animations have certainly improved. There are still parts where certain characters are still having a bit of a weird muscular spasm whilst talking to Ryder, but I’m sure that Bioware will continue to address the issue. The point is: Things are getting better. And I can get behind that.
Also improved are the eyes. The characters don’t look like dolls anymore (except some NPCs that Bioware simply might not have gotten to yet). You can see the life in them, you can see light reflecting off of them, they’re not just matte orbs.
But that’s not all. Certain sequences have been fixed, like your first encounter with Peebee. Her gun’s no longer facing her, well, her face when she’s shooting a Remnant Observer. Ryder’s movements have also been addressed so he/she doesn’t look so awkward when you’re running in a zig-zag pattern (many a meme and gif has been created because of that one.)
And maybe the best one yet: You can skip the transit between planets!! (Though between systems, you still have to sit and watch. It’s pretty, but after so many hours of it…)
Some Final Thoughts: It’s Not Finished. The Fight for Andromeda. And the Fight for Patching Up.
There are still issues. Ryder gets stuck during his dash moves at times. Some quests never allow themselves to get resolved when you reach a certain point (I’m looking at you, Kett’s Bane!). But at least all the main missions seem to be working just fine now. More importantly, I think it’s wonderful that Bioware listens to fan feedback. There’s been a growing sentiment that people should wait until a AAA game patches itself up before you buy, instead of buying when it first comes out.
Granted, there seems to be a trend with AAA titles going on where companies are finding it’s okay to launch sooner than later (maybe not okay by the players). Whether media coverage like this regarding Mass Effect Andromeda‘s will affect other AAA developers and publishers to take their time, we’ll have to wait and see. But for now, I think we can give Bioware a chance to patch up what needs patching.
Despite the different oddities that have been popping up throughout the game, they never actually detracted from my enjoyment of the game. Sure, they were details that stood out as odd, out of place, and certainly not right. Some made me laugh out loud even. But I was able to complete my first playthrough feeling satisfied and excited for a sequel (there’s enough loose threads that there’s just got to be a sequel, right?)
I look forward to seeing Bioware continue their work on Mass Effect Andromeda. With the sheer volume of dialogue and content, I would guess that certain techniques and shortcuts were going to be attempted in order to keep the workload manageable. While it didn’t all work out, Bioware was able to begin tweaking things in the right direction.
Bioware’s responsiveness to player feedback is something to admire and encourage. With the growing complexity of video games, I think it’s only going to get harder to have a totally bug-free experience on release day. It’s a change of the times. We’ll have to see.
And a Final-Final Note
I just had to take pics of some of the best things about this game. The ships. But particularly the Tempest. Such a cool ship design! A bit of the Normandy there, but it’s still it’s own.
And points to Bioware for bringing back:
Patch 1.05 Notes
Improved tutorial placement
Increased inventory limits
Single player balance changes: Ammo crates, armor, weapons, attacks, and progression
Multiplayer balance changes: Weapons, cover, and enemies (see below for detailed notes on balance changes)
Improved matchmaking and latency in multiplayer
Added option to skip autopilot sequences in the galaxy map
Decreased the cost of remnant decryption keys and made them more accessible at merchants
Improved logic, timing, and continuity for relationships and story arcs
Improved lip-sync and facial acting during some conversations, including localized VO
Fixed an issue with Ryder’s movements when running in a zig zag pattern
Improved the appearance of eyes for human and asari characters
Fixed various collision issues
Fixed bugs where music or VO wouldn’t play or wasn’t correct
Fixed issue where global squad mate banter sometimes wasn’t firing on UNCs
Fixed issue where player was unable to access the Remnant Console Interface after failing decryption multiple times
Fixed issue where fast travel is sometimes disabled after recruiting Drack until the player reloads a save
Fixed issue where Ryder can become stuck in the start of Biotic Charge Pose
Fixes issues related to some saves
Fixed issue where objective sometimes becomes un-interactable for players in multiplayer
Streaming and stability improvements