Video Game Challenge (Special Edition) Progress Report 2: Mass Effect – Andromeda

Playing any RPG game like Mass Effect: Andromeda will require a ton of time and investment. Sometimes RPGs can be both vast and overwhelming to figure out what to do next. It’s a feeling I constantly confront every time I spend a few hours with the game. My journey through Andromeda continues with another special edition report of my video game challenge.

In my last progress report for the game, I mentioned how I was going through sidequests on the planet Havarl. Since then, I’ve completed most of what Havarl had to offer and even progressed the story further. I traveled to the icy planet Voeld, activated more Remnant vaults, fought the Cardinal, and rescued the Moshae for the angarans to gain their trust and assistance for the Andromeda Initiative. The Cardinal was really the first major boss fight you encounter in the game once you play through Mission 3: A Trail of Hope. What surprised me about this boss fight was how easy it was, but it just took too long to finish. I touch upon my experience with the Cardinal in a separate post I did not too long ago.

Vera Ryder with the Moshae.

BioWare games are perhaps the few games I’m willing to 100% it or get close to that completion. This typically means I’ll be spending a lot of time going through the important and not so important sidequests. I think Andromeda is probably the biggest in scope with lots of ground to cover than the original Mass Effect trilogy. It’s expected for RPGs to have plenty to do and lots of time to explore the world you’re in. It’s one of the reasons to play an RPG. Games of this nature will occasionally have the dreaded and useless fetch quests every gamer will be familiar with. I don’t mind doing maybe two or three of these, but I think Andromeda suffers from having way too many than what’s necessary. These sidequests are maybe one of my biggest issues with the game along with what has made the game a bit unpleasant and frustrating for me to play sometimes––glitched sidequests.

When I first started the game, everything ran seemingly smoothly. I didn’t really notice any issues with the facial animations that plenty of game sites reported on back in March. Two months after the game’s release and finding any spare moment I can to play Andromeda, the game’s current issues started showing up that became hard to ignore. BioWare has released some patches for the game in those two months to fix what players have reported on. Unfortunately, the game being as big as it is, there are still issues with glitched or broken sidequests.

Among the glitched sidequests I’ve experienced so far, and as of the writing of this post, are:

  • Roekaar Manifestos (Voeld)
  • Naming the Dead (Eos)
  • Earn Your Badge (Nexus)

These glitched sidequests are among the ones other players have had issues with after searching the Internet for more information about them. Most of the issues stem from being unable to complete one final part of these quests. For Roekaar Manifestos and Naming the Dead, the item or person you need to obtain or scan doesn’t show up in the spots the game guides tell you they should be. Earn Your Badge suffers from not being marked complete after you go back to the original quest giver to turn it in. It’s disheartening to have these quests glitched, especially when you’re one task away from actually completing it. I’ve even gone back to these quests after exiting the game and reloading it again with the hope that maybe what’s missing in spots would magically reappear. Or doing other quests or more of the story will resolve the broken sidequests. It doesn’t.

I read Andromeda can be a buggy game, but I didn’t think it would be buggy to the point that so far three sidequests are broken. It makes me wonder what other issues I may encounter. I don’t regret getting games like BioWare’s on release day, but it’s becoming a bad trend in video games to release games that are less than perfect or aren’t entirely finished. In fact, glitched sidequests aren’t the only problems I’ve seen in the game. Delayed dialogue being played in less than appropriate spots, scanned items not registering correctly, or the screen freezing from time to time when driving around in the Nomad. Dragon Age: Inquisition had a few bugs in their game, but at least they weren’t as many or as distracting as Andromeda. I’m hoping the developers will catch these other issues and fix them in their next patch, but I am annoyed that I can’t really do a full completion of the game when parts of the game are riddled with broken game mechanics.

At 22+ hours in, Andromeda’s biggest bright spot are the crew’s loyalty missions. Each loyalty mission is different and it uncovers more about Ryder’s Tempest crew. I’ve only completed the loyalty missions for Liam and Cora so far, but a definite favorite of mine is Liam’s loyalty mission entitled All In. It’s really one of the funniest missions to play through, despite it being a bit of a dire rescue mission. There are some really great dialogue moments, especially when you pick the joking/sarcastic comments for Ryder. I had Vetra round out my team of two (because Liam obviously needs to be in your squad to complete this quest) and she just made one scene in particular absolute comedy gold for me. There’s a scene where our three heroes are hanging for dear life from being sucked out of the airlock. There’s two choices in the dialogue wheel you can choose Ryder to say in that moment, and one of them is asking Liam about getting a hug. I chose that one, especially because I’m currently locked onto pursuing a romance path with him. Ryder’s delivery of the line was comically dramatic with Liam laughing and saying something along the lines of he would hug her. Then Vetra cuts in with a deadpan line of wanting to punch both of them in that moment. My description of the scene really doesn’t do it justice. You would have to either play or watch the scene unfold to really get why this mission has become one of my favorites to play.

A scene from Liam’s loyalty mission, All In.

I may have progressed much further into the game, but I don’t think I’ve put much of a dent in it. I know I’m not quite close to finishing the game just yet. At the moment, I’ve landed and have been doing missions and quests in Kadara Port, a place overrun with criminals and unsavory individuals who were exiled from the Nexus after a failed uprising. It gets tricky writing these reports at the end of the month because I still never really touch upon everything I wanted to discuss. The game is really big and a lot happens during the month I play. For now, stay tuned for another report in June and maybe some smaller posts about Mass Effect: Andromeda in between, in case certain talking points don’t make it into the progress reports.

5 thoughts on “Video Game Challenge (Special Edition) Progress Report 2: Mass Effect – Andromeda

  1. I’ve encountered my share of wonkiness with this game; sorry that it’s been buggy for you as well. The last patch I received seemed to have cleared up a number of things, so it’s been mostly smooth sailing, however…I also have that issue with not being able to complete “Earn Your Badge.” I’ve been back to the Nexus multiple times to meet with that Angara, but I can’t interact with him! So the mission remains in limbo. 😦 I’ve also had problems with the map markers in some assignments and tasks. Either they don’t show up at all or they show up in unreachable places. It’s bizarre.

    Meanwhile, the loyalty missions are awesome. You’re right about Liam’s – it was hilariously intense! I should probably get around to working on the game’s main story, but the loyalty mission are far too compelling right now. 😀

    1. I don’t think I’ve encountered issues with map markers, thankfully, but the bugged sidequests are definitely a problem. After I wrote this post and continued playing more of the game, I encountered more bugs with sidequests. Much of it has been contained within the fetch quest bunch, but it’s really annoying when you want to 100% it. I know I’m definitely not going to be able to. 😦

      I’ve been trying to tick off most of the loyalty missions lately and I think this is the game’s strong points. Any chance to dive deep into character backgrounds is an A+ in my book! 🙂 And the big bad in Liam’s loyalty mission is really hilariously over-the-top dramatic. None of the crew and even the player can take this dude seriously, which is the whole point. 🙂

  2. What system are you playing on? I haven’t had any issues (yet?), and definitely no problems with dialogue, freezing screens, or anything like that. Hm..
    I love the loyalty missions! Definitely something they did right, and for me it’s a nice throwback to what I loved so much about Mass Effect 2. I’m at/putting off Hunting the Archon because I’m trying to get some sidequests and loyalty missions done, because ME2 trained me to know that loyalty is important and the Archon is the main antagonist so I want to be ready haha.

    1. I’m playing the game on Xbox One, so maybe some of the bugs depends on what platform you’re playing on? The bugs have been frustrating and it does mar my gaming experience a bit but there’s still plenty to like about Andromeda. 🙂

      The loyalty missions definitely remind me of ME2’s and I’m glad they were brought back for the new game. I’m also delaying the Archon main quest for now to get the loyalty missions as completed as I can. I also realize you can’t level up your crew’s final skill tree points until you completed their loyalty missions. Definitely want to get them all ready for the final battle.

      1. Definitely! Ugh I don’t want a repeat of the sad little suicide mission the first time I played ME2… There are definitely things to like! I’m on PS4, so I’ve had a few pop-ins, but nothing major. That would be interesting if some bugs were console specific… But yeah, despite its flaws, I’m still enjoying myself!

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