Mass Effect: Andromeda had a couple of rough weeks thanks to high-profile technical issues, animation wonkiness, and general fan disappointment. In response to that feedback, BioWare has announced improvements to Andromeda that will start easing out the visual kinks, while also teasing some major changes yet to come.
Below are the full patch notes for version 1.05, per the BioWare blog. Most notable are the “improved lip-sync and facial acting during conversations”, though we don’t know to what degree they will make conversations feel more human:
Improved tutorial placement
Single player balance changes: Ammo crates, armour, weapons, nomad, profiles, attacks, and progression
Multiplayer balance changes: Weapons, cover, and enemies (check back for detailed notes on balance changes)
Added option to skip autopilot sequences in the galaxy map
Improved logic, timing, and continuity for relationships and story arcs
Improved lip-sync and facial acting during conversations, including localised VO
Fixed various collision issues
Fixed bugs where music or VO wouldn’t play or wasn’t correct
Fixed issue where global squad mate banter sometimes wasn’t firing on UNCs
Fixed issue where player was unable to access the Remnant Console Interface after failing decryption multiple times
Fixed issue where fast travel is sometimes disabled after recruiting Drack until the player reloads a save
Fixed issue where Ryder can become stuck in the start of Biotic Charge Pose
Fixes issues related to some saves
Fixed issue where objective sometimes becomes un-interactable for players in multiplayer
Streaming and stability improvements
These tweaks will go live on Thursday. Beyond that, Bioware teased major changes coming down the line, including, vaguely, “Improvements to male romance options for Scott Ryder”. As we reported last month, BioWare was criticised for having disappointing gay romances that did not match the quality of the game’s straight romances, though it seems that BioWare is going to address that shortcoming somehow. We have reached out to inquire about specific details. Here are some of the other proposed changes.
- More options and variety in the character creator
- Improvements to hair and general appearance for characters
- Ongoing improvements to cinematic scenes and animations
- Improving the appearance of eyes for humans and asari characters
- Improvements to male romance options for Scott Ryder
- Adjustments to conversations with Hainly Abrams
Hainly Abrams, for those who don’t know, is a trans character that previously told the player about her pre-transition name almost immediately after meeting her. It was a jarring piece of dialogue that some fans felt did not accurately portray the realities of being trans, as real people do not always tell strangers something as personal as a “dead name”.
Bioware’s announcement comes after an ugly and unfair fan campaign waged against a single developer who was blamed for the entirety of Andromeda’s faults. Hopefully the upcoming changes can do some work in changing the narrative around a game that is actually pretty decent despite all the controversy surrounding it.