Mass Effect Discovery #1

by Tori B. on May 24, 2017

Story by John Dombrow & Jeremy Barlow

Script by Jeremy Barlow

Art by Gabriel Guzmán

Colours by Michael Atiyeh

Published by Dark Horse


To the public The Andromeda Initiative is simple, find a new home in another galaxy and to explore where no Milky Way species has gone before. As it turns out of course there are a lot of dark secrets behind the rather ambitious project.


If it wasn’t clear by the title, the story is a part of the Mass Effect universe, a largely popular video game series developed by notable developer Bioware. Earlier this year they released their fourth game of the series aptly titled Mass Effect: Andromeda. This ties into that game and takes place before events of the game occur but ties into a story that one might be already familiar with if they played the game.


It’s a rather niche audience this series is targeting and even then, there are some tough standards to meet. Mass Effect fans may get some enjoyment reading this and being able to pick up on tie-ins to the rest of the series; there are talk of geth and quarians-- two species notably not appearing in the most recent game despite how integral they seemed in the previous three, which will certainly make some fans happy though not quite sate their needs. And there's a quick cameo by another character from the second game for those who are in it for the world building.

Mass Effect as a series has set some amazing bars in both video gaming and science fiction, but this comic certainly doesn’t do justice to either. The art looks rushed, with most of the facial expressions looking constantly uncomfortable or swollen or just downright creepy. The colours as well are rather grey and gritty, which coming from the game which has been quite colourful, it’s a little jarring, though to be fair the colour grade is similar to that of Mass Effect 3, but it’s not really doing the art in this any justice.


Although there’s certainly an element of story building as they reveal the antagonist of the plot, there’s nothing particularly grabbing about them. Going back to standards Bioware is remembered for their characters and absolutely nothing is revealed beyond an incredibly generic sense of doom.


What should be the story’s saving grace though is the protagonist a turian by the name of Tiran Kandros, a beloved character from the most recent game, though his part in the game is minimal and has no real effect on the story itself, he was an instant favourite due to his ties to other characters fans may have encountered before (ironically his whole schtick is distancing himself from his family ties). But fans seemed to warm to him quickly so why wouldn’t they be invested in a series about his part within the Andromeda Initiative.


Unfortunately there’s nothing compelling about the story, a couple of the characters might be known from those who have already played the games, and for the other characters there’s absolutely nothing about them so far that makes them stand out. Had Kandros not already been a character one might have already developed a connection with, it’s hard to care about any of this at all especially when with something so expansive like the Mass Effect universe, it needs to truly be special to stand out or grab a fan’s attention, or else it just gets lost in space.


Perhaps the story does pick up, naturally the cliffhanger at the end has some interesting implications may lead to something a little more exciting but so far this is an adventure that has been rather lacklustre.

Our Score:


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