Since critics and fans alike picked up on Mass Effect: Andromeda's seemingly awkward facial animations, the game has not been able to escape the ensuing pejorative pile-on, with said animations chafing against the immense rage-humiliation of the internet.
Though the game contains embedded technical hiccups, it does feature well-thought combat and firm narrative points, both of which, in addition to other elements, deserved more attention than the purported snags. But the internet crowd is oft-unforgiving, and the commentary around Andromeda has inevitably reached Ian Frazier, the game's lead designer, who now has some things to say about the criticism.
Mass Effect: Andromeda's Lead Designer On The Game's Feedback
Frazier addressed concerns pitting the latest Mass Effect outing to past installments, which have been very highly regarded.
"Our intent was to always be flexible because you don't know how fans are going to react. You don't know what they're going to get super-attached to, positively or negatively," Frazier said, adding that the team approached the development thinking of elements that might rub fans in different ways, both pleasant and not.
As to the criticism itself, Frazier spoke about the difficulty swallowing such a reception.
"...I spent quite a bit of my time on Twitter and various forums and such. And I won't lie, it's hard," he said. Frazier notes that the difficulty stems from wanting to help players who post on forums that might be having difficulty with the game, but ending up slogging through the trove of criticism.
"[Y]ou have to wade through a lot of crap. And that part is not a lot of fun."
Andromeda was released back in March, and while many of its issues have been smoothed out via a patch, the aftermath and impact of that frenzy are still very much in circulation.
Despite Negative Commentary, Feedback Remains Crucial
Amid the negativity, however, Frazier still finds appreciation in the ways he can reach fans of the game directly.
"Our ability to get feedback from fans on such a broad spectrum is great." Frazier offers the availability of multiple channels as an example, stating that previously, forums were part of the limited number of media available to foster communication more effectively. But in today's array of connections, that's no longer the case.
Frazier's comments are part of a larger interview, one that discusses how BioWare aimed to "fulfill the promise of the original Mass Effect."
"The original trilogy had a lot of powerful imagery. Things like the Citadel, the Normandy, and even Shepard's armour. We wanted to go through and find the right elements to bring forward into this one."
Mass Effect: Andromeda
Mass Effect: Andromeda is a BioWare-made, Electronic Arts-published action RPG, the latest installment of the Mass Effect series following 2012's Mass Effect 3. The game begins with the Milky Way during the 22nd century, a point where the human race is attempting to achieve extraterrestrial diaspora, trying to inhabit different home worlds in the Andromeda Galaxy.
Reception for the game has so far been mixed, with much of the negative feedback targeting the game's animations, dialogue, story, and other technical issues.
Thoughts about Mass Effect: Andromeda? Have you played the game? If so, do you think its negative criticisms have any legitimate value? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!