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BioWare promises to improve Mass Effect: Andromeda over time

Starting with a patch to improve facial animations

Mass Effect: Andromeda - rocky planet BioWare/Electronic Arts
Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

The criticisms of Mass Effect: Andromeda have been numerous and emphatic so far. BioWare said today that it has heard that feedback, and in response, the company laid out a plan to fix the game’s technical issues and improve its overall quality.

In a post on the Mass Effect website, BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn stopped short of issuing any sort of apology for Andromeda’s problems, but said the studio “has been poring over your comments and feedback, looking to discover what you like about the game, as well as areas we can evolve or improve.”

Flynn noted that BioWare is releasing a patch this Thursday, April 6, that will fix a number of bugs and introduce some improvements that fans have been asking for. The version 1.05 patch will resolve problems such as saves not working properly, incorrect playback of music or voice-overs, Ryder becoming stuck in a pose, and Ryder using a zig-zag running animation.

The update will also make it possible to skip ahead when traveling between planets in the galaxy map, which addresses one of the biggest complaints from players. Other changes include increases in the inventory limits, better-looking eyes for humans and asari, cheaper and more accessible remnant decryption keys, and “improved lip-sync and facial acting during conversations, including localized [voice-over].”

That last issue has made Andromeda something of a laughingstock among the gaming community; GIFs and clips of poor facial expressions and animations flooded social media shortly after the game became available on EA Access and Origin Access.

Andromeda has also taken heat for deeper problems, and Flynn said BioWare is working to address those issues in patches that the studio is planning to release “over the next two months,” as well as technical problems.

People playing as a male Ryder have complained about the lack of same-sex romances, and one of the items on the docket is “improvements to male romance options” for the character. BioWare is also working on “adjustments to conversations with Hainly Abrams.” Abrams is a transgender woman, and the writing of her character has been roundly criticized for being out of step with the actual experiences and preferences of transgender individuals. Other planned updates to Andromeda include further improvements to cinematics and animations, more variety in the character creator, and additional upgrades to characters’ hair and appearance.

BioWare is also considering adding free cosmetic items to the single-player campaign. As for Andromeda’s multiplayer component, the studio plans to add to the APEX missions that are currently available in the game, along with new maps, characters and weapons.

“We want to hear from you about your experiences, both what you love about the game and what you’d like to see changed,” said Flynn. “We’re listening, and we’re committed to partnering with you as we continue to explore the Andromeda galaxy together.”

For more on Mass Effect: Andromeda, read our review.

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