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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Mass Effect: Andromeda's biggest problem is colonialism, not animation

Opinion by Matt S.

Note: This article will have some light spoilers, so please don't read on if such things matter to you.

I’m about 20 hours into Mass Effect: Andromeda now, and while that’s not far enough to form definitive opinions on the game (hence this is not a review), it is enough to have a grasp of the game’s fundamental ideologies and themes. With that in mind I can say this; unless there are some absolutely massive revelations coming up, Mass Effect’s animation and presentation quality, which is where so much of the game’s criticism is, is the least significant of its problems.

Related reading: For an example of just how deep Mass Effect's originally trilogy was, here's one way to interpret the events of the games, where the Reapers are not the "Evil" ones.

Based on what I’ve experienced so far; the real problem of the game is that it aggressively promotes the same kind of horrible ideology of stuff like Ghost Recon Wildlands. We were promised in the lead up to the game’s release that Mass Effect Andromeda would look at the idea that “humans are the aliens,” and based on the previous trilogy, many of us thought that the game would therefore create a discussion about colonial and imperialism, and work through the various moral and ethical conflicts associated with such things.

But, nope. Again, short of some really startling revelations later on in the game, what Mass Effect does instead is assume that humans, by virtue of being human, have every right to take whatever they like from Andromeda, and the natives are required to capitulate or be subservient to the humans in this, else the humans have the moral authority to destroy them.
Mass Effect: Andromeda's biggest problem is colonialism, not animation
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