Developers discarded a huge opportunity of new and engaging story in another galaxy, instead decide to play safe and made an awkward clone of a previous games, even going as far as reusing previous assets (models, animation, mechanics).
Writing is abysmal. Logical errors and plot holes the size of the supermassive black hole.
- After travelling 600 years to another galaxy you visit first planet in a prologue, completely unexplored, with recon mission. On that planet there are mysterious alien installations, thousands of years old. Guess what you find there? A scope for your rifle. Not a technology, that you have to research first ot use it. just the damn thing, that you can slap on your weapon. Another galaxy, folks!
- First contact with an alien race, an important and frightening event (remember First Contact war from the lore of the series)? Nope. Instant understanding and cooperation.
- Hero is the last hope of colonists, tasked with finding new worlds for the survival of everyone must buy his equipment for credits... Come on, there are million ways to circumvent this stupid situation, there could be requisition points, new tech research for gradual upgrades. Nope, credits.
- Research and crafting. There is no reason to explore planets and collect resources, when you can forfeit research and development entirely and just buy things for credits. Takes away the exploration spirit everyone hoped for.
This is just a surface scratching without going into details.
Dialogs seems to be written by 10 year old. Characters spew exposition like in a bad movie. Mindless and numb droning of the NPCs will force you to skip the conversations entirely. Blatant mis-casting of the voice actors, which make characters dull and forgettable. Dialog options regressed even further, than infamous Renegade/Paragon system from previous games. Simplified romance options always show up in the wheel with "heart" icon, not unlocked through conversation and interaction. Just choose "heart" repeatedly and you get the romance scene. That easy. No engagement whatsoever.
Developers tried to create the open worlds, but instead got generic, empty and forgettable planets with dull quests. Uninspired and repetitive alien installations, awkwardly respawning enemies, overall lack of creativity throughout gameplay: these are the flaws that should never be in the first place, with the foundation like previous games and high project budget.
Horrible design decisions, not just one step back, but a giant leap from established and comfortable interface from previous installments. You easily get lost in the menus, sub menus and tabs even when trying to do simple things, such as change quest tracking. Crafting menu is even worse. Unintuitive key mapping - to open a map you press "M" once, to close it press "Esc" twice. Map is buggy, half of the time you can't even locate your position, the marker just dissapears, making you take a wild guess. Minimap is no more, instead we got Skyrim'esque compass with markers that is just awkward to use, especially when driving in the vehicle.
It's bad. Forget about stiff faces and bad syncing everyone are talking about. We have awkward movement, disappearing weapons, disappearing helmets, characters sliding instead of walking, NPC models suspended in midair, models clipping through the ground, invisible textures, madly rotating eyeballs, impossible gestures, just to name a few. It looks and feels as if it is an early alpha build. Even minimal quality control should have noticed and reported these massive issues, but alas...
An insult for the veterans of the series and tedious, boring experience for the newcomers to the franchise. Rating: 20/100