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Mass Effect: Andromeda Isn't Making A Great First Impression

Fans have waited five years for the next great Mass Effect game. From the looks of things, they might be waiting a little longer. While Mass Effect: Andromeda's review embargo doesn't lift until March 20, press outlets are free to share footage and facts about the game's first five hours, while fans who subscribe to EA Access can play Andromeda's first 10 hours now—and so far, opinions are decidedly mixed.

For the most part, players and critics are none too pleased with the quality of Mass Effect: Andromeda's cinematics, writing, and general storytelling, and a number of videos and GIFs that show off the game's wonky animations are circulating on Twitter, Reddit, and other social media networks. Generally, people contend that the human faces look blank and unexpressive. Specifically, some of the more egregious examples of the game's poor animation include characters' Conor McGregor-like walk loops, punches that don't connect, and characters who hold their guns backwards.

The dialogue is also coming under fire, with many players pointing out that some lines are full of cliches, and many don't sound like anything a regular person would say. One scene, in which a character apologizes for her short temper by saying that her "face is tired," is getting extra attention because of how it inadvertently sums up all of the problems with both the game's character animations and its dialogue.

Given that the stories and the characters are BioWare's two major draws, fans are disappointed by Mass Effect: Andromeda's perceived lack of polish, although they shouldn't be surprised. In January, when fans started calling out Andromeda's iffy animations after watching the trailers, BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn said that the strange expressions were caused by a "facial animation bug," and promised improvements before launch.

Of course, as noted before, this is mostly footage taken from the early part of the game—Mass Effect: Andromeda promises hundreds of hours of gameplay, and things could get better as the game progresses. After the disappointing ending of Mass Effect 3, fans desperately want a good Mass Effect game, and we'll find out for ourselves just how big Andromeda's problems are when the game launches on March 21.