The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Mass Effect: Andromeda's Character Creation
As I’m sure we are all aware, customizing a character is a very fun process on any ARPG/RPG, well with Mass Effect: Andromeda it’s slightly ridiculous. Although you can create a normal character, don’t get your hopes up on having him/her look like you (it’s not going to happen) you can also create something silly or fun if that’s what you want. But here’s just a heads up about what you’ll be getting yourself into when creating your character.
I do have to say the good list is short when you hit the customization menu. But once you get past the presets and go to the face tab then you find that you have a few categories.
You can modify close to every part of your character's face -- skin tone, brow, cheek, chin, eyes, mouth, and nose. The downside to this is that you only get a couple of options -- width and height, or depth and height. Normally, you’d get to choose different options on facial features like different sets of eye shapes or different noses, etc. Sadly, not the case here.
Now we get to my personal favorite, makeup, tattoos and/or scarring. With the tattoos you have minimal options though you do get to choose how intense the colors are, there is a similar option for scars as well. I appreciate the fact you can choose whatever color you want, which also applies to lipstick, irises, eyeshadow, hair, and even different blush types.
After customizing your character you get a pretty big bonus too. The two playable characters are twins (male, and female), so when you find your dad, Alec Ryder, you’ll actually find that you both look like him. I find this completely fascinating, and it's a very nice touch. It feels like you are basically getting to customize your family. I know that I personally haven’t seen that in another game so far, so a big thumbs up to BioWare for that one!
Now what I didn’t agree with was the fact that we were all told that the customization of Mass Effect Andromeda was similar to that of Dragon Age Inquisition. Talk about a load of crap. In DA Inquisition, there were a greater degree of customization options. Whereas in Andromeda, what you get are 9 basic facial presets to choose from and limited customization from that point.
Do you call this hair?
Obviously, this is where I must bring up the hair options for the females… What is with these terrible hairstyles? Shall we go super short, short, shorter, or bald? What ever shall I choose? But seriously, I feel like Andromeda only got worse in their hair options. Especially since there's really not very many of them. So if you're wanting some super long pretty locks then you're screwed.
Now Let's talk about our skin tones we get. I noticed the fact that with skin tone, no matter what you choose, you always seem to have a tan. A tan in space? (Maybe I should just become an outer space adventurer. Apparently, I’ll always have a bomb tan!) But if you do enjoy the darker skin tones then you shouldn't have a problem picking a decent one, it mostly ranges from slightly dark to very dark -- what if I want to be a pasty white Pathfinder?
But aside from that, a major thing about this game that bothers me is the fact they removed crucial things, like being able to really size up and change the facial features. You don’t even get height, build, or voice change options. I, for one, would’ve loved to make my Pathfinder look as close to how I look as possible, like you can in Inquisition. The creation and customization of your character is a pretty crucial aspect since you have to stare at them the whole time you play. Especially because changing your characters’ look is only possible if you plan on starting the game over completely, and by then, what’s the point?
Here’s where we get to the ugly stuff; (Whoop!) a lot of you I’m sure love to come up with crazy looks for your character and be goofballs about it, well no worries because it seems that’s what Andromeda is all about!
You get some pretty crazy hair, color, and makeup options; (yes, the men can wear makeup too. Hooray!) but let me just say, you will NOT be able to take the story seriously when your character looks like a clown. I would be too busy taking pictures and posting them on social media to show off my ridiculousness and then wouldn't be able to stop laughing until I’ve died a million times, but if you like goofy then this game definitely has the character customization for you! Plus who doesn’t love all the bright color options! So much to choose from!
But don’t let any of the horrors of the facial presets on there chase you away from the actual gaming experience itself. Mass Effect: Andromeda is an incredible game, with amazing details, and if you’re as big a fan of the original trilogy as I am, then these are minor details. So have fun with it, get your game on, and create something funky and horrifying!