Mass Effect Andromeda PC Performance Review
Published: 17th March 2017 | Source: OC3D Internal testing | Price: |
Many of our readers have already heard about the multitude of complaints that some outlets have had with Mass Effect Andromeda, from the rampant reuse of animations during cutscenes and many other minor issues and bugs that can affect the title.
When considering these issues, we must remember that this is a large RPG, with even the most popular role-playing games like The Witcher 3, the Fallout/Elder Scrolls series and even older Mass Effect games suffering from these same problems.
Developers only have a certain budget for creating such large games, and we would certainly prefer to see more of that effort being used to create quests/story content than making single-use animations for cutscenes. In an ideal world, we would like to see better animations but let's be honest, we play Mass Effect for the story and gameplay, not the animation quality. Mass Effect is a game, so Pixar quality animations should not be expected.
Graphically speaking there is little to complain about in Mass Effect Andromeda, with every planet offering its own unique look and beautiful scenery and character models that are vastly more detailed than Bioware's previous RPGs. Yes, some characters will have the trademark Mass Effect "deer in the headlights" look during cutscenes, with lip-syncing being less than perfect, but these are far from dealbreakers.
Performance wise it must be remembered that this game is designed to run at 30FPS at a resolution of 900p on the Xbox One and 1080p on PS4, with each game reducing their resolution to around 720p and 900p respectively during cutscenes. On PC this presents a significant problem, with cutscenes playing at much lower framerates than standard gameplay, due to the simple fact that the PC version does not have separate resolution scale/graphical options during cutscenes. This could be addressed with additional graphical options in a future patch, as more consistent performance would be great to see on PC.
In short, Mass Effect Andromeda plays well on PC, with the game being playable at 60FPS on all the hardware we have tested using the right combination settings and resolutions. Our lower end GPUs like the R9 380 and GTX 960 need to be played at low graphical settings for average framerates of over 60FPS at 1080p, though players could alternatively play with a lower resolution scale for higher graphical detail at a sub-1080p resolution.
Gameplay wise Mass Effect Andromeda is designed to be played at 30FPS on PS4 and Xbox One, though with powerful enough hardware and correctly adjusted graphical settings PC players will easily be able to achieve 60FPS framerates on most hardware configurations.
It is clear from our benchmark results that this game prefers to run on Nvidia hardware, but that does not mean that AMD's GPUs cannot be used to deliver great gaming performance. Sadly AMD's R9 Fury X suffers from some significant performance issues when playing this title, offering not much more performance than our RX 480 and less performance than Nvidia's GTX 1060. Right now AMD has already released a game optimised driver for the title, with Nvidia lacking a "Game Ready" driver for the title at this time.
To say the least, Mass Effect Andromeda is a beautiful title, even if the game's animation quality lets down the title in places. Moving up to 1440p and 4K seeing the title's PC requirements shoot through the roof, with our GTX 1080 struggling to play the title at over 30FPS at Ultra settings at 4K, especially during cutscenes.
While Mass Effect Andromeda may be a demanding title at Ultra settings, the game is also highly scalable, allowing this game to stress some of today's highest-end GPU hardware while at the same time being playable on older gaming PCs.