Mass Effect: Andromeda released, in some countries

Given that hot takes, early access impressions, reviews, and (not very positive) Wot I Thinks have been flying for a week, it feels like Mass Effect: Andromeda [official site] has been out for days. Nope! Today is the official launch day of BioWare Montreal’s sci-fi RPG, rolling out through Origin across… certain corners of the world. For some ludicrous reason, the European launch isn’t for another day or so – even digitally. Wah wah. But much of the world can now blast off to explore a new galaxy with new spacechums. Here’s the dramatic launch trailer:

Andromeda leaves the Milky Way far behind on a mission to find a new home for humanity. Also left behind are the Reapers, now focusing on new enemies and allies. It’s quite a disappointing game, John will tell you. As per his Wot I Think:

“I’ve a very strong feeling that people are going to buy this anyway, and many will milk from it what they can in order to feel rewarded. That’s great. But as a follow-up to the previous trilogy, it’s a timid and tepid tale too heavily reliant on what came before, too unambitious for what could have been, trapped in a gargantuan playground of bits and pieces to do.”

If you’re lucky to live in the right part of the world, you can now nab Andromeda now. If not, visit its Origin store page and the countdown at the top will tell you how long you need to wait. Here in the UK, that’s 11pm on Wednesday. It’s all so ’07.

EA certainly are capable of simultaneous worldwide launches, as we’ve seen in recent months with Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2. And yet, for some games, releases still suffer divisions which don’t matter in digital distribution. If you fire up a VPN and pretend your computer’s elsewhere, you can play Andromeda now. But nope, officially in Europe we’re still waiting because of a daft hangup of physical releases.

Oh, and both AMD and Nvidia have released new drivers to boost performance in Andromeda.

55 Comments

  1. Carra says:

    Since I’ve played every Bioware game since Knights of the Old Republic I’ve preordered this one.

    Time to shoot and flirt with some aliens. Mmm, maybe the other way around.

    • JohnH says:

      I was in the same boat. I’ve also played everything since the good old days. But this is where I draw the line. I’m giving MEA a pass.

    • mavrik says:

      Why… are… you… still… preordering… digital… games?! The bits aren’t going to run out.

      • qrter says:

        The ability to pre-load can sometimes be a reason.

        And as this is an EA game, you can get a full refund within 24 hours from when you start playing.

      • Carra says:

        Two reasons:
        – It’s Bioware and so far, I’ve always enjoyed their games. And yes, that includes Dragon Age 2.
        – I’m buying through cd key resellers and noticed that prices can go up by quite a bit the days or weeks after release.

        • Ghostwise says:

          One problem arises when you try to define “Bioware”. Beyond “it’s a #brand”, I mean.

        • LexW1 says:

          Despite all the stick it gets for it’s very real flaws, DA2 actually had a better story and characters, and was certainly riskier and more interesting in terms of structure than other Bioware games (or most CRPGs), and is my favourite DA game (having finished all of them).

          I doubt ME:A will be the same, but I suspect I’ll enjoy it more than enough.

          • ooshp says:

            /highfive

            Bioware apparently completely misunderstood which bits they fucked up in that game, and I doubt we’ll ever see another storyline that isn’t HERO SLAYS THE DRAGON/SAVES THE GALAXY!

            Damned shame, DA2’s story was their best in a long time.

      • fish99 says:

        You can save a lot of money by pre-ordering. Games can be as much as a third cheaper if you buy them a few months before release. Not talking about Steam here but places like cd-keys. So even if one game in five is a duffer you’ve actually saved money.

        Also if you prefer to pre-order on Steam/Origin there’s always the refund option, so the risks are reduced.

        • April March says:

          A third cheaper! What amazing savings! Please, take a seat and tell me more about that. Here, let me sweep this giant pile of games I bought at a 90% discount of a price that already was a third of their launch price off this chair so you can be more comfortable.

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            Nauallis says:

            This is one of those times where, instead of sounding clever and/or ironic, you just come across as a dick.

      • pip3dream says:

        If you know you’re going to buy a game, you might as well pre-order it so you get the little happy meal toys/pre-order bonuses. Nothing wrong with people wanting to have the little bonuses. Whats wrong with pre-ordering a game?

        • drewski says:

          The argument against it is basically that it helps publishers get paid for bad games as long as they hype it enough that people pre-order it. Then they make enough money from the pre-orders that by the time everyone realises the game is duff, it’s made enough money that the company doesn’t need to make better games.

          It rewards marketing campaigns over game quality, in other words, from an industry perspective.

          • ShinjiKing says:

            You can’t not reward marketing schemes. You either buy a game base on their pre-releasing marketing, launch marketing, holiday marking, GOTY-COMPLETE version marketing, the list goes on. Marketing doesn’t just exist pre-release. Calling a game “bad” attempts to argue that quality is objective when it’s really mostly subjective.You don’t like ME:A, Ookay. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t pre-order Persona 5 or Shadow of Mordor. This pre-order witchhunt you people have is just absurd.

  2. Syt says:

    I hear the steamer with the game codes for Europe has passed Iceland and should make it to London in time for all serial numbers to be telegraphed to the customers on the continent.

  3. Canisa says:

    Here I thought that cryogenic suspension was a plot device, not a suggestion.

  4. Xaos says:

    Any of you gentle people can recommend a decent VPN for this? :)

    • laggyluk says:

      And will it work with my current account if I just fire away VPN and pretend to be elswhere?

    • DrPolito says:

      Exactly the questions I was gonna ask :) (Living in Germany.)
      Any tips or warnings? Never did this before…

      • ZippyLemon says:

        Yeah, a tip: if you’re living in Germany and you never electronically circumvented copyright law before, don’t get careless on your first foray just so you can play Mass Effect: Andromeda a day early.

        EA is the kind of company to have the kind of lawyers to care about that kind of thing. Why not do something else today and game carefree (and fine free) from tomorrow :)

    • Technotica says:

      I am from germany and am playing since yesterday, VPN set up as per this helpful guide:

      link to reddit.com

      And EA itself stated that they don’t ban people for playing early:

      link to answers.ea.com

  5. 1singur says:

    Don’t hesitate to comment on how the new video drivers improve the game.

    • Technotica says:

      It’s like night and day! Since I downloaded the new graphics driver using that nice “Update your drivers or your PC will explode” popup, that my browser gave me, the game is so much better!

      All the facial animations are gone now!

      • ravenshrike says:

        Sooo, you’re now talking to a bunch of unmoving doll faces?

        • Technotica says:

          Yes! I can sleep now at night, no more haunting spinning eyes and melting faces! The voices aren’t gone yet though, they are so presistent… even after I turned off my computer!

          • ZippyLemon says:

            Just relax. The improvements are working as intended. Do not turn off your computer while they install. Everything will be better tomorrow.

    • ZippyLemon says:

      Don’t hesitate yourself. Do the new video drivers do much for the writing?

      • Otterley says:

        No doubt the subtitles will now be rendered with superior font anti-aliasing, taking the edge of the worst bits.

      • Ghostwise says:

        They’re planning to increase the Depth of Field on the philosophical conundrums addressed by MEA, I think.

  6. Shazbut says:

    EA definitely have an interesting perspective on the interplay between game releases and countries.

    • Jay Load says:

      Choose:

      *mild laugh response*

      *Slightly less mild laugh response*

      • Shazbut says:

        I choose the former!

        *taps two land and sacrifices a goblin*

    • Otterley says:

      Alternatively choose:

      “Come over here and I’ll make you a believer!”
      or
      “Your the first Pathfinder to discover this treasure trail…”

  7. CartonofMilk says:

    well this article had the benefit of teaching me bioware has a studio right here in montreal…. i guess that’s how much i care and pay attention to bioware that i didnt know that until now. How many is that now? Ubisoft, Eidos, Bioware, Square Enix, Bethesda, WB, EA…wait…EA just changed to bioware didnt it? Yeah that makes sense. Anyway I really should have got in the industry. Too old to work on that now.

  8. Aetylus says:

    Oh you poor Euros make me giggle with your couple of days delay. If you want to really get beaten over the head with Geo-blocking, move to Australasia:
    link to cnet.com

  9. Biggus_Dikkus says:

    This Andromeda doesn’t have Kevin Sorbo in it?
    Win!

    • Ghostwise says:

      You could make a Player Character who resembles Dylan Hunt, I suppose.

      • Tuor says:

        You could make a *female* character that resembles Dylan Hunt. :/

        • Ghostwise says:

          Or an Asari Player Character with a wig. A Kevin Sorbo wig.

          • Biggus_Dikkus says:

            i want crew of Brian Blessed clones manning all stations

  10. Kingseeker Camargo says:

    I live in a small country in South America that no one gives a crap about, and it’s available for me. Can’t help but have a sensible chuckle about it, especially considering how often I get region-locked out of gaming-related stuff. Maybe it’s some kind of rebellion of the colonies?

    Can’t say I care much about the game, though, after reading the reviews and such.

    • Korakys says:

      Must be Paraguay. That’s the only South American country I couldn’t care less about. All the others are at least somewhat interesting.

  11. April March says:

    Mass Effect: Andromeda released, in some parts of this galaxy