Mass Effect: Andromeda launched with a laundry list of issues and oversights, but the game’s most publicized (and hilarious) problem are its freaky facial animations and clunky cutscenes. BioWare has promised to fix the faces and cinematics, but it’s been a slow process, with each new patch offering a few more touch ups.
The recently-released Mass Effect: Andromeda update 1.09 promised further “improvements to facial animations and cinematic scenes,” without any further detail about what that entails. Thankfully, YouTuber YongYea, who has made a number of posts about Andromeda’s wonky faces in the past, has delved in and identified some of the changes that have been made. You can check out his analysis, above.
For the most part, it seems like cinematics have been remixed to simply omit particularly embarrassing expressions or moments. For example, the early scene where Sarah Ryder flashes an off-putting smile when she first sees her ship The Tempest has been changed so you no longer see her smiling. The expression hasn’t been fixed, it’s simply been tossed on the scrapheap. Meanwhile, it seems like some characters have had their mouth animations improved – previously, certain characters had weird rubbery lip that puckered and pouted in an unnatural way when they talked. There’s also been some totally random changes that nobody particularly asked for, such as a number NPCs having their eyebrows lightened up. Sure, why not?
Will Mass Effect: Andromeda’s animations ever be brought fully up to snuff? Probably not. It seems like there’s some major underlying problems that need to be fixed, and I don’t think BioWare is devoting many resources to the project any more. Following Andromeda’s unfortunate launch, word is BioWare has put the Mass Effect series on ice and called off planned story DLC.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is currently available on PC, Xbox One, and PS4. You can check out WWG’s latest coverage of the game here.