When you play video games long enough, you become acquainted with fighting all types of boss fights. Easy boss fights. Average boss fights. Damn hard, WTF boss fights. Gamers will know and learn them well. Most video games aren’t complete with at least one major boss fight at the end of each level. Gamers come in always anticipating and expecting them. What will this boss fight be like? What strategy do I need to execute to get the best result at defeating the boss? Sometimes it’s almost easy to figure out your opponent’s go-to moves and attacks and then adjust accordingly. But once you figure out what you need to do, a fight should be quick and easy to get through, right? Not always, as I learned when fighting against the Cardinal boss in Mass Effect: Andromeda.
Without getting in to too much spoilers about the game, Ryder and her crew encounters the Cardinal during a rescue mission on the below freezing and icy planet of Voeld. The kett are a hostile alien species that don’t come in peace and are conducting some shady experiments involving stealing other races’ DNA and combining it together with their own kett DNA to create a new race of abominations to carry on their work. The Cardinal is the byproduct of this experiment, a former angaran, who is brainwashed into thinking she’s doing good for the entire planet and eventually the universe.
If you’re playing the game on Normal, like I am, the Cardinal boss fight is barely difficult to get through, even with the waves of kett you’ll fight from time to time before refocusing your attention back on the boss fight. The issue becomes more about the amount of time it takes to actually KO the Cardinal.
The Cardinal uses a really powerful shield to protect herself from oncoming attacks. The key with this fight is to shoot the revolving sphere that is the source of the shield’s power to force it to power down. You can’t really do much damage to the Cardinal without breaking her shield first. Once the Cardinal is unprotected, you let the attacks fly until the Cardinal is able to repower her shield. Then it becomes a rinse and repeat process until the boss is defeated. Unfortunately, if you aren’t equipped with the right weapons or powers, the boss fight does take longer than you might like to finish her off.
I found myself getting really impatient with this boss fight because of the necessity to disrupt the Cardinal’s shield before she can take any kind of damage. This boss fight requires you to attack her from a distance, manage your ammo wisely, and be quick about attacking the Cardinal as much as possible to whittle away her health before the shields go up again. The boss fight felt ridiculously easy once I understood how her attacks worked.
One game guide said the Cardinal has one nasty power that’ll instantly end your game if she catches your Ryder. Luckily, I never experienced this unfortunate event. I always kept my Ryder at a distance from the Cardinal and knew when to dodge her energy spheres from disrupting Ryder’s shields and taking some of her health along with it. I can’t say for sure if I’ve ever dealt with a boss fight that felt too long to finish. I’ve certainly played through boss fights that were frustratingly hard and it may have contributed to the length of time it took to actually finish it. But this boss fight? Piece of cake, but it requires a lot of waiting to disrupt the shield, which took far too long to get it down to zero.
When I read game forums after I defeated the Cardinal, I learned that certain weapons and powers were better than others at draining her health faster. How much time it actually took them to finish the boss fight with the right equipment wasn’t mentioned. All I know is that it felt like an eternity to get through this one and it didn’t feel insanely hard to me at all. If I played the boss fight on Insanity, then I may have a different opinion entirely.
I acknowledge that I’m not always a patient gamer, but I also don’t want to play through fights that take longer than it should to complete. Give me a challenge, of course, but don’t make me feel as if the fight is more of a chore to finish than actual fun.
Have you ever experienced boss fights that felt easy to play through but took way too long to finish?