That other thread made me read Glixel's review:
It notes that the game starts to improve and that Mass Effect 1 had flaws and formulaic stuff in it too, but admits that this could just be bargaining and the game is a disappointment:
BioWare's interstellar epic burns up on re-entry
You're in high orbit over Habitat 7, a garden world in the Eriksson System that is to be humanity's new home, when you first realize that something has gone terribly wrong. You've travelled six hundred years to get to the Andromeda galaxy on little more than the hope that you'd find something new and better than what you had before, back in the Milky Way. Even from above, Habitat 7 is obviously incompatible with human life; electrical storms that span the sky and there are floating lodestones the size of mountains hell, maybe they are mountains. All this time, all this space, only to realize that, well, Andromeda kind of sucks.
At one point, your pugnacious Krogan, Nakmor Drack, and a dour Salarian administrator rehash a familiar debate over the Genophage you cured (or not) in Mass Effect 3.
"You had no right to sterilize our species!" bellows Drack.
"Your people deserved it for using nuclear bombs on each other," the Salarian replies.
"I guess that is true," Drack chuckles, and the conversation abruptly ends.
Andromeda is constantly weighed down by its ham-handed attempts at character building. Barely 15 minutes into the game, your "beloved" twin brother, about whom you know exactly nothing and consequently give precisely zero shits about, goes into a coma. Ryder is inconsolable, while you, on the other hand, feel nothing, underscoring your own alienation from Andromeda. Too often, the game desperately wants you to feel a particular emotion, but does none of the work necessary to get you to feel it. As you cruise across the frozen tundra of Voeld, Andromeda's paradigmatic ice planet, one of your squadmates says, "Look outside. It's harsh, but beautiful. I like it," as if demanding that you feel the same.
Within its first hour, Andromeda bestows upon you an honorific that you have not earned, fuses your brain with a superintelligent AI, and carries you, step by step, through terraforming a radioactive desert planet into a slightly less radioactive desert planet with clear skies. Afterwards, when you return to the Nexus, the mood has suddenly become hopeful. You, however, feel like you've polished off a checklist, because you have.
What's missing most of all from Andromeda, though, is any genuine sense of exploration. In Andromeda, there are no indifferent gods to be found over the next hill, only more waypoints. Consequently, there's no reason to set off into uncharted territory because you know that a mission will send you there anyway. Andromeda has so little faith that you'll explore on your own that anything worth seeing in its cosmic wilds is clearly marked and integrated into some kind of quest chain. Scan these rocks, gather these plants. Even if it were possible to get lost in Andromeda, I can't imagine wanting to; no matter how gorgeous the game's vistas may be, they exist largely to be exhausted and, as a result, give off a sense of emptiness, not possibility. This would be a disaster for any open world, but for a game in which you supposedly play a "Pathfinder," it's fatal. Andromeda is a game about exploration that gives you no space or reason to explore.
Eventually, you also start to forgive, or even reappraise, some of the game's most conspicuous faults. Maybe your first impressions of your companions weren't so fair after all. It's no fault of PeeBee that she's not Liara, and your opinion of her begins to improve at the moment you start to see her for her. As you hear more of your companion's backstories Jaal's long lost love, Cora's sense of abandonment, etc. and listen to their conversations during long drives across lonely planets, you start to suspect that they aren't as hollow inside as you once thought they were. You even start to look past some of the visual bugs. Maybe Ryder's uncomfortably wide smile is just another dimension of her awkwardness. Perhaps those slightly-too-large eyes are a sign of her childlike wonder, and not mere bungling from BioWare's animators.
To be sure, this is a form of bargaining, a desperate bid to see an imperfect game as better than it is. But, let's be frank given its legacy, in what galaxy were you not going to be disappointed by Mass Effect: Andromeda?