No matter what part of the world you’re living in we can all collectively agree that the times we’re in now are filled with uncertainty, upheaval, and malcontent. It’s a constant struggle to stay hopeful and optimistic when the barrage of breaking news stories serve to make us even more cynical about the direction humanity is headed in. While it’s easier to sit back and continue to watch the world burn all around us, I take comfort in knowing that there are still some safe spaces left to retreat to when everything gets too overwhelming. In times like these I go back to the video games that offer me some escape.
In the land of sequels, reboots, and remakes it’s beginning to be difficult to see anything having a definitive and decisive ending. We stretch out experiences for as long as we can. At times it can enhance a story to build upon what’s already there. Or it can be at the detriment of an already solid experience. Video games are the perfect entertainment medium to keep coming back to for new missions and boss fights to face at any time. Games like Destiny, Overwatch, and Fortnite are wildly successful because they’re games that don’t have an “ending” in any traditional sense of the word. Instead, they’re video games that are great for short bursts of gaming with the occasional new maps, characters, or events to participate in every few months or so. But as huge and popular these games are, does this mean we’re beginning to move away from video games that are mostly singular and conclusive experiences?
Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to get together, share a meal, and reflect on what we’re most thankful for in our lives. What I love about this holiday is the opportunity to spend time with those we love and care about the most and eating until our stomachs can barely make room for a slice of some good ‘ol pumpkin pie. Big gatherings, like the ones we have on Thanksgiving, often needs a person or two who can liven things up. Thinking of some of the video game characters who have made the biggest impression on me, I couldn’t resist picking who I would want to have at my Thanksgiving feast if it were possible. Two characters from my favorite video game series of all time immediately came to mind—Varric and Iron Bull of Dragon Age.
A staple of most BioWare games are the romance options and paths you can choose from. Whenever a new game is announced from the developer, one of the things fans instantly think about are the potential romances players will get to experience. Mass Effect: Andromeda is BioWare’s fourth game in the Mass Effect series, but with a brand new story and a whole new cast of characters. Andromeda has very loose ties to the original trilogy and is meant to stand apart from it. The game’s sort of blank slate gives players the opportunity to follow the adventures of Pathfinder Ryder and his/her team as they travel the galaxy in search of a new home. Finding viable home worlds is a tall order, but no one ever said a little bit of romance couldn’t be on the table either. Andromeda has a number of romance options for a female/male Ryder to choose to cozy up to. My first playthrough of the video game led me to choose crisis response specialist for the Andromeda Initiative Liam Kosta as my Ryder’s love interest.
You may be wondering why I have a progress report up earlier this month, instead of at the end of the month like I normally would. This can only mean one thing––it’s mission accomplished on Mass Effect: Andromeda! I decided to get this done sooner rather than later. Why wait until the end of the month when I can detail my final thoughts on the game now? I will be avoiding spoilers for the end of the game and key plot points in this report.
Out of all the tasks Mass Effect: Andromeda has you doing, and there’s a lot, the best part about playing this game is the loyalty missions for your crew. What I noticed about playing Andromeda this month is how a huge chunk of my gameplay time has been spent on diving deep into who my Ryder’s crew is as individuals. What their strengths and weaknesses are. What they hope and fear for themselves and for others closest to them. It’s time to conclude this month with another video game progress report.
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.
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.
Time flies when you’re having fun and April has been a great month of video gaming ever since Mass Effect: Andromeda came out. As April draws to a close this week, it’s time to start the first of many special edition video game challenge progress reports (spoiler-free unless stated otherwise) for Andromeda.
One of the most highly anticipated games of the year, Mass Effect: Andromeda, finally released last week and there’s already so much to say about the game. It’s a new adventure, story, and cast of characters. It may feel familiar, but there’s a lot about Andromeda that already feels different. Mostly in a good way so far.