Image Source: Gamesradar
So, remember when I said that Mass Effect Andromeda has some odd design choices–well, it also has glitches. I’ve seen the effects of rushed games before Assassin’s Creed Syndicate was particularly bad (the patches for Assassin’s Creed Unity, however, made the game quite stable and glitch free, but Syndicate was just as buggy and crash-prone as Mass Effect Andromeda. Here are two fairly egregious examples:
This glitch came about when I was on the ice world of Voeld (?) and I happened across to “Resistance” fighters who had been “fused” together into one animation rig (take a close look at the aliens head, arms, and legs). They “phased” in and out of each other but had two heads and you could clearly see that their bodies overlapped one another to create a “Double-headed” character. Again, with more time in development this would have probably been caught by the Q.A. testers and put on what’s called a “glitch” list to be patched out either before the game shipped, in a day-one patch, or in a successive patch released down the line.
The second glitch I want to highlight came about on the desert world of Kadara where a “raider” was supposed to be running at me firing her weapon. However, this was kind of hard for her to do as neither of her arms worked correctly and were twisted out to her sides. Her running animation also did not trigger, so she just “hovered” around the surface of the planet as if she had invisible skates. It was both pretty funny and pretty painful considering that I spent the full asking price for the game. Again, this is something, with enough time, that could have been seen and fixed before release.
EA, Anthem (another BioWare Game) and Quality Control
So what happened? EA, the publisher of ME:A had another game by Bioware the company that made ME:A under development (Anthem). Anthem is one that they are positioning to be a competitor to Destiny, a rival game from rival publisher. This is where much of the focus went. This new game was developed by a different “division” of Bioware, has a huge focus in terms of resources and talent, and more importantly was working towards a fixed schedule in terms of release date–2018. EA also has another big game, Star Wars Battlefront II, in which they’ve invested a lot of time, energy, and marketing in coming out Fall of 2017. So for EA to have done the right thing by consumers by delaying ME:A would have affected the publishing schedule of these two other games in the pipeline. So they chose to release a game that was “not fully baked” because they didn’t want to impact the sales of these other two games. So, in essence, EA sacrificed the fans of the Mass Effect brand in order to satisfy the fans of the Star Wars brand and to “win” (or at least make in-roads) against the fans of their rival in business (i.e., Activision and their game Destiny) having built up this fan-base all through the Playstation 3/X-Box 360 era of gaming.
Now I am a Star Wars fan, still a Mass Effect fan, (& based on the trailer) I will probably be an Anthem fan, but I’m no longer a fan of EA. Doesn’t mean that I won’t buy EA games, but it does mean that I will be both more selective in the EA titles that I buy and I will be sure to wait both on reviews and patches on EA products. I will probably no longer buy EA games immediately simply because I cannot trust EA as company to have my best interests as their customer at heart–ME:A proves that EA is more committed to sticking to their production schedule and releasing a game that isn’t fully polished just so they won’t risk cannibalizing sales of upcoming products–ME:A needed 6 more months of polishing, but that would have put it in and interfered with their plans for Star Wars Battlefront II and that is NOT the way a company should treat its customers.
Think I’m the only one who feels this way? I’m at least committed to finishing the game. Check out YouTuber gamermd83 take on why she “left” ME:A and why the game was such a disappointment to her.