Mass Effect: Andromeda - Comparison with The Witcher 3
PC Gamer compares Mass Effect: Andromeda with The Witcher 3:
How The Witcher 3 succeeds where Mass Effect: Andromeda falls short
Comparing quests from the RPGs reveals remarkable design similarities, so why is one revered and the other divisive?
Fairly or unfairly, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has become a yardstick to measure other open-world RPGs against. It certainly manages to get some important things right—it balances a central storyline with sidequests that mostly seem important enough to engage with on the way, has characters and subplots who weave in and out of both, and reuses locations in a way that adds significance to them. I helped someone track down a lost goat over here, and won a round of cards over there.
But as well as being a useful yardstick for comparing games, The Witcher 3 is a convenient stick for beating them with. In comment sections it's a weapon of choice for whacking games that were created in different circumstances and lineages, as well as with very different aims. However, when it comes to Mass Effect: Andromeda there are a surprising number of things in common.
Both games involve a learning period early on during which players have to decipher which icons on the map point to things they'll find worthwhile, and which are distractions for completists. (Clearing monster nests in Velen is as boring as scanning more rare minerals on Eos; swimming out to every salvage point in Skellige as redundant as climbing to every mountaintop cache in Kadara.) And both games have similar quest design, the way they lead you from scene to scene by making you examine the environment, keep you updated with logs written in-character by an NPC, and have dialogue scenes that either alter how you portray the protagonist or become morality plays with unexpected outcomes.
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