“Mass Effect: Andromeda” launched yesterday and my preorder arrived on schedule. I was unsurprised to find that my physical copy consisted of a plastic case and a piece of paper with a code on it. My physical copy had a code for a digital copy. As Wallmart intended. But I digress.

Alex, Ozzy, and Zamir wanted to play some multiplayer last night so I downloaded my physical copy and started the game. I explored the character creator, tugging on cheek bones, chins, and lips, moving eyes and noses, and generally trying to recreate myself in this tool. I failed miserably. The best way I can describe it is that I had the illusion of variety but ultimately couldn’t do what I wanted. I assumed that I had to create a character and upload it to their servers before we entered Multiplayer. I wanted to be prepared but the characters you create apparently have nothing to do with multiplayer. Lesson learned.

Multiplayer, at least in how we played and experienced it, is effectively survival mode against multiple waves of enemies. It starts out relatively easy, with machines or humanoids you can take out by yourself. By the time you reach the fifth or sixth round though you face enemies that easily overwhelm and overpower. When we combined our abilities in “combos” we did more damage and took out threats more effectively. I Pulled an enemy and Alex used one of his abilities on the floating body and they took substantial damage. I could combo off of my own abilities as well, but the synergy between teammates seemed to encourage teamwork.

After 30-45 minutes of play we learned how to level up our abilities and open loot boxes to get better weapons, boosters, or other consumables. I enjoyed the Adept role, Alex fit well as an Engineer, Zamir and Ozzy played as either Vanguards or Soldiers I think, and we eventually became more effective. Suddenly that fifth round wasn’t a breaking point but just a milestone. Leveling up our abilities made a noticeable difference in survivability and damage output.

The Takeaway

Because I, like many, am an adult and I get up early for work, I bowed out to hit the sack at around 10:15. They continued on conquering wave after wave of enemies. Without spending any time in the game prior to my multiplayer experience I can honestly say it was fun and relatively intuitive. I figured out how to use my abilities quickly. I resurrected my daredevil friends without much difficulty. The weapons and abilities were familiar to me from my previous Mass Effect gameplay. All-in-all I had a good time and felt like I really contributed to the team.

That last part is not always the case when I play with Alex and his brothers. Often we’re playing “Call of Duty or Titanfall” and I’m far more effective at drawing fire and attention than I am at actually killing anyone. This positive experience made me want to play “Mass Effect: Andromeda” multiplayer more. If you like playing with your friends and want something that’s easy to get into, I recommend trying ME:A. I’ll provide an update once I get more time under my belt, but for now I’m enjoying it and I’m confident in recommending it to you.