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Wonky facial animations in ‘Mass Effect: Andromeda’ might not be fixed

MASS EFFECT™: ANDROMEDA – Official Launch Trailer
Mass Effect: Andromeda is the first game in BioWare’s science-fiction series to make use of the Frostbite 3 engine, allowing for beautiful environments and hyperdetailed characters. Unfortunately, the facial animations we’ve seen thus far are off-putting at best and downright disturbing at worst, and it’s unclear if the studio will be improving them through future updates.

Replying to a question on Twitter, Mass Effect: Andromeda lead designer Ian Frazier said that there would be no “Day-One” patch to improve the characters’ facial animations, and that the team hadn’t decided what would be going into future game updates.

Fans first noticed that oddly stiff facial animations late last year, when the official Mass Effect YouTube channel posted a video that featured the female Ryder protagonist aiming a gun while holding a facial expression that looked like a cross between a smile and a constipated grimace. Responding to the lukewarm reception to the animations, producer Michael Gamble reassured fans that the game was still being polished and that the team would work on it “until someone comes and rips it from us.”

The game is now available to EA Access subscribers in a special 10-hour trial, and unfortunately, the characters still look like androids pretending to be humans. A video of a character (contains some early-game spoilers) uttering the phrase “my face is tired” while her eyeballs move like they’re fake cutouts in a haunted house painting has begun making the rounds, as has a still of the character Peebee holding — and firing — her pistol with the barrel pointed at her face.

The animations in 2014’s Dragon Age: Inquisition weren’t anything to write home about, but they weren’t distracting like the ones we’ve seen from Mass Effect: Andromeda thus far. We’re hoping the rest of the game is polished enough to make up for it.

Mass Effect: Andromeda is out for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on March 21.

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