Many people brought out the pitchforks for Mass Effect: Andromeda. The game is undisputed in its rushed feel, terrible writing, and negative gameplay changes. However, let's take a second to see why BioWare's widely acclaimed and beloved series took such a dive into the abyss, joining the likes of other games that rushed their release.
The Mass Effect series kicked some major ass on the Xbox when it was first released. No one is claiming the series is perfect because we all remember the original ending to Mass Effect 3, where our years of commitment got us a whopping three different colored Death Star explosions. At the same time, Commander Shepard was a driving force to be reckoned with. He/she instilled a great presence and leadership ability that was lacking in Mass Effect: Andromeda. Not to mention, the combat was second to the episodic and driving force that was the writing and the conversations the player controlled out of combat, which gave the entire game a sense of purpose. I was willing to assassinate people for Garrus because the character designs and interactions made me actually bond with this Turian Merc.
Mass Effect: Andromeda majorly lost sight of its roots, which is why the game was so poorly received by the gamers who supported the original series. Another important issue is the plot holes, which hurt an already fractured story. Here are the biggest ones that stood out, and left people questioning BioWare's decision to reboot the series. Spoilers Ahead! But let's be real, if you haven't played it yet, you probably don't care.
15 Ryder Is Not A Realistic Pathfinder Choice
His father choosing him/her seems to be the only reason that the whole Andromeda Initiative back on the Nexus approves of Ryder becoming the new Pathfinder. Let's be realistic, this makes absolutely no sense for a few reasons. First off, Kora is vastly more qualified; you have the only human Asari Commando and you'd choose to go with a guy who guarded a Mass Relay? Second, Alec Ryder transferred SAM in his dying moments, when he clearly was not thinking about what's best for the Initiative (which would have probably been to let his son die), making it an emotional, personal decision. Lastly, while Ryder does have the AI link with SAM (and apparently his Sister does too), it seemed to me like Alec very easily transferred SAM to his son. Why not have Ryder transfer it to Kora- literally the right hand lady, who was being groomed for Pathfinder.
14 Martyr Without A Cause
Alec Ryder, an N7 Pathfinder, makes so many dumb decisions in about 30 seconds and seems to use none of his Spectre training or basic survival skills, which opens up a handful of plot issues. SHARE THE HELMET! This doesn't seem like an insane concept for 3-4 minutes. Scuba divers can learn to hold their breath for long enough for their dive partners to take a breath. Yet freakin' galaxy jumping combat astronauts couldn't grasp the concept of sharing oxygen.
If the issue is the de-pressurization, I'd like you to turn your attention to Mass Effect 2. Shepard is literally jettisoned from a spaceship and pretty much turned into Krogan food. Yet the terrorist organization Cerberus was able to use the Lazarus Project to revive him. Where did that tech go? The Initiative is super well funded, by a whole galaxy, and no one figured out how to put someone on life support? Insanity.
13 The Time Sensitivity Of Missions Is Nonexistent
We spend a decent portion of Mass Effect: Andromeda chasing the Kett Archon. I'll explain what I did in my playthrough and how my option was plot breaking. We finally find the Archon's location. Now, any smart cookie is going to arm up and make sure all the gear and weapons are as upgraded as possible. I took that a step further and explored two new planets to get gear and experience. The issue I had with the plot was that the Archon never moved. All this technology and you're telling me the Archon realistically couldn't have figured out he was being tracked? Even if he didn't realize he was being tracked, he didn't move? He has a whole galaxy and he's waiting patiently for me to come find him.
There was a similar mechanic in the original Mass Effect games of allowing you to decide when you want to do the missions. The open world and choices are great, and I'm not complaining that I got to level up and explore, but for the plot to make sense, certain missions such as this need a time limit.
12 Why Was The First Stop Habitat 7?
The Hyperion made it! After 600 years of cryo, the Human Ark made its way to the Andromeda Galaxy. Now, we know the Nexus went first, ahead of the individual species' Arks, and that the administrative staff and inhabitants of the Nexus were there long enough for a revolt. Yet the Hyperion bee-lines it for the planned home for humanity. Once they're in orbit, they get scans indicating the planet conditions have changed and they STILL don't think "hmm better go check in with our superior officers, and see if they have gathered intel more up to date than ours." If you work at McDonald's, I'm sure when you arrive to work, the first thing you do is check in with the supervisor to see what's up. Why should space travel be any different?
Caveat: the Nexus knew some of the planned habitats were unlivable and that the Kett were aggressive. They could have saved at least two lives by checking in.
11 How The Hell Did They Hit The Scourge
The technology in the Mass Effect series is insane and Andromeda Initiative is the peak of the technology the Milky Way had to offer. Yet, when they came out of hyperspace, they had time to wake up, casually chat, and get seen by a doctor before suddenly crashing into a massive energy field. With all due respect, who the hell chose this team? They have a collection of common sense that rivals only that of kinder-gardeners. Which pilot, who must have been awake, was trained to see a massive energy reading on a scanner and then think; "let's boop it and see what happens." I would have taken Jar Jar Binks with me before these clowns. So either BioWare knowingly included Prequel level idiots in charge or they didn't think of a major plot hole like a GIANT SPACE ENERGY SOURCE.
10 Who's Idea Was The Car?
Ahhh, the Nomad. Don't get me started on why this vehicle makes no sense in the Mass Effect universe. Actually, you know what, I have to. It's the point of this article. With the level of technology involved in the Andromeda Initiative, whose idea for exploration was a car? Seriously? I'm supposed to believe in a world of hyperspace Mass Relays and spaceships, that my best means of conveyance is 4-6 wheel drive? It doesn't even go over hills well. What we needed was some fast as hell, Mass Effect Field generated repulsor tech to glide us over obstacles or just plain fly. What happened to the shuttles from Mass Effect 1 and 2? Quick, durable and painless. Nothing in this universe needs wheels. Hell, use my biotics to float the damn car.
9 Everybody, Let's Trust This Gun Toting Space Cowboy
While the Angaran race is initially hesitant about trusting Ryder, that lack of trust lasts about 30 seconds. Why would the Angaran trust another alien species on their home planet, when they have not only been completely betrayed by the Kett, but are actively fighting the Kett! Their homeworld should be locked down in a time of war. If I scanned a ship with unidentified, armed, aliens coming to my homeworld, during a time of war, I would confidently blow that ship out of the sky. Why take that risk? Not to mention the sensible thing would have been to use the vidcom on the ship. Make first contact over video, then if they are interested in meeting you, they can set their terms and make you come unarmed. This Pathfinder could have easily, and justifiably, been shot by Jaal, rather than been accepted into his community.
8 The Female Krogans
Now before you guys rip me apart; yes, I know that the Krogan lady above is Eve from Mass Effect 3 and yes, I know the goal in Mass Effect 3 was saving Eve specifically because she was a fertile Krogan woman (Genophage is really messed up Salarians). The part that doesn't make sense in Mass Effect: Andromeda is why the female Krogan are even there.
Now I'm a Krogan feminist and I'm all for lady Krogans on the battlefield. However, from the information I gathered on Krogan through my multiple playthroughs of the Mass Effect series, the Krogan are not as open minded as I am. Let's look back on Tuchanka. When Shepard arrived, was he met by a single female Krogan there? Never. Now what I gather from that isn't that there aren't female Krogan, just that in Krogan society we don't see the women out of the house as much. That being said, Krogans were pretty much brought on to the Andromeda Initiative as hired muscle. Krogans didn't get their own Ark like the Turians or Salarians. It doesn't make sense from the prior lore that the Krogan would choose to send females to the Nexus, when they seem to be protected and coveted in their society.
7 Crew Relationships Don't Impact The Plot
This is something that always bothered me. I spent the whole game with Drack and my Peebee, which the plot never addressed. My Ryder and Liam used to get in arguments and I could not stand him, yet in many of the cut scenes, me and him were still buddies. The issue here is that for a game where the relationships and choices are supposed to be important, why do we see no reflection of our character relationships in the plot? Nothing makes me scratch my head more than bouncing ideas off Kora, when she hadn't accompanied me on a single mission. Plus, there's the fact that Kora and Peebee were involved in my uh...extra curriculars... simultaneously... yet that decision never caused a fight or anything.
6 Is Ryder Really That Charming?
Apparently space is just like college because everybody is apparently getting together at all times. Ryder must have gotten his name from his reputation with the ladies. What doesn't make sense is how the romances effect the plot, which is not at all. Wanna romance PeeBee and Kora? Apparently they're both cool with an open relationship. What's strange here is that there's a romance option with almost every character. Last I checked, I signed up to explore the Andromeda Galaxy, not every alien's body. It's okay to have a romance option, but it doesn't seem to further the plot in any way. We wont address that the amount of control we get is "choose Flirt" or "don't Flirt."
5 To Paragon or Renegade; That is the Question.
Mass Effect: Andromeda got rid of one of my favorite features, which could actually have altered the plot and given it some depth. For the uninitiated (get it like the Andromeda Initiative?), the Paragon and Renegade choices would be either dialogue or pop up options. These options in the first game were the difference between killing Wrex and having him be your companion. At times, certain decision in Mass Effect directly influenced Mass Effect 3's plot in a major way. Now you can choose between a snarky response or a slightly more sarcastic response, with no change to the outcome of the scenario from it. This breaks the plot because the choices that do pop up, as seemingly Renegade or Paragon, have no impact on how you're viewed.
4 Omni Tool Tech Could Have Saved The Original Pathfinder
Omni-tools are an essential in the Mass Effect series. In Mass Effect 3, we saw the Omni-tool go from communicator and hacking tool to an iconic weapon made for any scenario.
Early in Mass Effect: Andromeda, we find Ryder's helmet has taken some damage from the high velocity fall. Ryder whips out his Omni-Tool, repairs his helmet and takes a deep breath of sweet sweet Oxygen. Awesome right? Except when Alec Ryder (Ryder's father), is dying from a slightly more severe helmet compromise, no one tries to fix it with the Omni-Tool. It might not have worked, but they should've tried. If it was my dad, I'm pretty sure I would pull out all stops and use the technique that clearly worked 20 minutes ago.
3 Choices For Outposts
When Ryder first gets to Eos, and the decision has to be made to choose a military or scientific outpost, the weight of the galaxy is on his shoulders. The player gets to decide a big message about what exploration means for that galaxy. Were we there to learn or to survive. Well, don't worry, as this decision literally has zero impact on plot. And, if you're like me, no, you don't get a chance to decide what you want the next facility to be. It doesn't make any difference in the endgame and it doesn't do jack when concerned with the plot, even though the whole point of this game was about viability of planets and having the Initiative survive.
2 Wait... Is SAM Not Required For RemTech?
Recognize this word? Interface. The whole reason Ryder could interact with the Remnant Monoliths (world terraforming technology) is that the AI in his head (SAM) could interface with their tech and learn the language. This makes sense. Until the Archon, late in the game, severs your connection with SAM. I immediately thought "Damn! Now I can't interface with any Remnant tech to help me get out!" Nope. Wrong. You can still interact with the stuff, it just causes nosebleeds. By this logic, why did the Archon even need your twin to interface with Remnant tech? Why was Ryder any more important as pathfinder than Jaal, or dare I even say Liam! This is one of the biggest glaring plot holes in the whole game.
1 Shock To The Heart
This was the most gaping plot holes in the game for a few reasons. Lemme break down my reasoning for you. I was an Emergency Medical Technician for three years, running 911 calls and such. I feel pretty confident in my understanding of how electrical systems in the heart work. So here's the scene: SAM needs to stop your heart because the bindings only hold living organisms. I'm going to skip concepts like Brain Death vs Cardiovascular Compromise, or how your body can still be "living" without a heartbeat (for a short time). However, to trick the restraints, you'd have to at least hit Asystole (no heartbeat-flat-lining.) Fun fact here, being Asystole is not a shock-able heart rhythm to revive. So all the TV shows where you see a flat-line and the Doc yells "CLEAR" and shocks the guy are also BS. Now, there are other ways to restart a heart; mind you none of them are anywhere near 100% successful, but the defibrillator sound and shock Ryder receives could not have revived him/her on its own.